Lumberjack Flannel
Photo by Krista Joy Montgomery on Unsplash

Lumberjack Flannel

Often you need to move out inside woods and be alone with nature. Alongside times, you intend to sit in a crowded theater, eat a plateful of deep-fried chicken, watching lumberjacks sing, dance, and tumble around a stage. The next time you go to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you are able to do both.

“Lumberjack Adventure” is Dolly Parton’s newest and biggest offering within the city of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee—the retina-searing shrine to tacky capitalism that all tourists must move across before entering America’s most-visited nationwide park. The program unsealed come early july after a lot more than a-year of development, therefore’s been a hit—the evening we visited, the vast majority of the 700 seats had been filled.

Once you understand only that Lumberjack Adventure involved dinner theater of some sort, we arrived with a high hopes of dueling chainsaws and perhaps some gore. Alternatively, it’s Appalachian Cirque du Soleil.

The tv show opens with a bearded storyteller informing a tale about the sawmill that once introduced success into the location. You will find sources to moonshining, hootenannies, and some gunshots in the first five minutes—trope difficult or go back home, as they say. From there, the plot uses a predictable path: two feuding people battle over the mill, while forbidden love blossoms, and a couple of feds chase a moonshiner. All of this, rounded away with some aerialists, countless tumbling, additionally the occasional pyrotechnic.

While you view, numerous south food is plunked in front of you, nearly with time toward songs: a ladle of pulled pork, a biscuit, a-deep deep-fried chicken. The arena has stadium-style seating, but there is a bar in front of each line. Servers whiz by all night, delivering the meal one item at the same time. Professional tip: end up being the good looking guy sitting after the line. Any extra servings the host does not want to transport back once again to the kitchen will ramp up on the dish, as my soon-overstuffed spouse discovered.

The meals is remarkably best for the actual fact it’s becoming prepped and offered on a huge scale. The chicken epidermis was crispy, the pulled chicken was smoky, therefore the coleslaw would not offend your south granny. Dessert—a peach turnover—was probably the most forgettable component, but that might be simply because they had been distributed right since the canine cast members took the phase. (Yes, there are dogs, and indeed, these are generally probably the biggest emphasize.)

Almost all of the cocktails supplied up are combined with moonshine. While white lightning has actually a track record of being slightly like paint thinner, these cocktails will strip the varnish off your smile due to their sugar levels. If you are a “may i get whipped cream on my watermelon margarita?” sort of drinker, you will love all of them. But my choice, the Timber Tonic, a variety of blackberry moonshine with lemonade, tasted too much like a melted Jolly Rancher to drink more than a few sips.

The food isn’t a very important thing about the show. No, the best thing is the beards. Not within the sense that everyone features a beard, in the good sense that each and every beard inside tv show is really luscious and completely coiffed. If it were at all socially appropriate to do this, I’d rush the phase after the show just to operate my hands through those perfect crumb catchers.

Spoiler alert—the tale stops utilizing the two people connecting throughout the hatred of government. It’s an odd peg, thinking about the National Park provider brings significantly more than $800 million into Pigeon Forge location. Nevertheless story is scarcely the purpose. Parton features guaranteed that no minute is lost on any such thing lower than pure, showy lumberjack spectacle. While there are not any chainsaws, there are axes, wielded with ability. Two strapping teenage boys competition to cut logs, chop down articles, and usually defile timber. There are some rounds of axe tossing and puppies just who leap into water to fetch objectives. Parton even sings one number, a surprisingly informative ballad about the plight of Appalachian ladies, which she penned.

The choreography is not constantly in synch plus the story undoubtedly won’t win any honors, but Lumberjack Adventure is wonderful in its earnestness. A night of beards, traveling axes, fried chicken, and flannel are explanation enough to drop by before taking your tent, heading into the forests, and experiencing Appalachia for yourself.