The organizers of the annual Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass festival in Sevierville, TN have issued a call for entries for their Mountain Soul Vocal Competition, which they believe is the world’s only singing contest wholly dedicated to the songs of Dolly Parton.
Dolly is a hometown girl, born and raised in Sevier County, TN, and her efforts have helped create a number of tourist attractions in the region. Her Dollywood theme park and Splash Country water park spearheaded the move to place dozens of entertainment establishments in the area, making Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg among the premier tourist destinations in the Appalachian states.
The festival honors Parton through this vocal competition, which is limited to the performance of songs that Dolly has written. Both male and female vocalists are welcome to enter, though you may not be shocked to learn that a preponderance of the contestants are female.
Entrants must submit a recording of themselves singing the song they choose, and 30 finalists will be selected to perform at the festival on May 19. Contestants will be broken into two categories, one for 12 and under, and another for 13 and up. A total of 20 finalists will be named for the 13 and up group, and 10 for 12 and under.
Keep in mind that only songs written by Dolly can be entered. Songs that she may have recorded but not written are not eligible, so check the carefully before submitting an application. The entry fee is only $10 for the elder category, and $5 for youngsters.
First prize in the 13 and up category is $500, plus a recording session at Sound Wave Studios in Nashville. Winners in the younger group also receive cash prizes plus passes to Dollywood.
Complete contest rules and an application form can be found online.
Bloomin’ BBQ & Bluegrass is a free festival held in Sevierville, and all are invited to attend. Headliners include Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, Highland Travelers, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, and a bluegrass set from Mo Pitney.