Every Southerner must, at some point in his or her life, attend Dolly's Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge, TN. An hour and a half show filled with horse riders, dancing, and Dolly Parton songs, all while eating an entire roasted chicken -- only in the South.

Today the Stampede kicks off its 28th year running with a new look. But don't worry; it still features all the elements we love, including trick horse riders, a Southern meal served to you show-side, and a soundtrack from the Queen of Country. This is the biggest overhaul the performance has undergone since it opened in 1988. Among the changes: a new set, new technology, and new music -- all unveiled tonight. Here are five things to know:

1. The in-house bluegrass band Mountain Ruckus includes the only four-time banjo champion in the country: Gary "Biscuit" Davis.

2. Visitors often ask for the recipe to the soup served at the start of every meal served here. It's a secret.

3. Dolly's "Color Me America" is still a huge part of the show. Break out your red, white, and blue sequins.

4. The new video wall includes 12.5 million LED lights. Though we can't give away all the secrets, the set transports people to an evening in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park without leaving their seats.

5. After the show you can still walk down to the floor and have your photo taken with performers. Or like some people do, you can stand in the hallway and have your photo taken with a huge portrait of Dolly for an Instagram moment.

(Oh, and if you want to recreate Dolly's classic look in honor of the show, get our tips here.)

 

Photo courtesy of Dixie Stampede
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