BRANSON, Mo. — Country singer Dolly Parton has discarded “Dixie” from the name of her popular dinner show, including a location in Branson, Missouri.
From now on, the attraction will simply be known as Dolly Parton’s Stampede.
Parton said in a statement that the name change was spurred by changing attitudes and “will remove any confusion or concerns about our shows” as the company that operates the attraction expands into new markets.
World Choice Investments LLC currently operates the show for Parton in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and Branson.
The Branson show opened in 1995 and includes a four-course dinner, horse-riding stunts and musical productions in a 35,000-square-foot arena decorated like a forested Southern plantation.
The story line centers on lighthearted competitions between the Union and Confederacy, and each audience member sits either with the North or South.
The Branson production is scheduled to reopen on Feb. 23 for the year.
“There will be some changes that are obvious like staging or musical changes and others that are subtle,” said the show’s spokesman Pete Owens in an email.
But, Owens said, the element of competition between North and South and the audience participation will remain the same.
“Even though the South is built upon the foundation of slavery, a campy show produced by a well-meaning country superstar can make believe it’s not,” culture writer Aisha Harris wrote. “We’d prefer to pretend, to let our deepest sins be transmuted into gauzy kitsch — and no one blinks an eye because that’s what they truly want.”
The show’s media team responded to the critique, saying they would evaluate the shows in response to the writer’s concerns.
“We continually listen to our guests,” World Choice CEO Jim Rule said in a statement Monday. “And our desire to expand coupled with our desire to stay relevant in today’s changing world led us to simplify our shows’ names.”
— The Associated Press contributed