Dolly Parton plays the Ellis Theater

Fans came from LA, Michigan, even Alaska

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (WTOK) - Dolly Parton made her Mississippi debut Saturday in Philadelphia at the Ellis Theater to support Marty Stuart’s Congress of Country Music.

The temperature may have been over 100 degrees, but fans of Dolly Parton did not let that stop them from seeing the country music icon.

Concertgoers lined up as early as 6 a.m., waiting for the gates to open at 1:00 Saturday afternoon.

Dolly took the stage for the first time at 3 p.m., joined by Marty Stuart.

Fans came from all over the country to see her.

News 11 spoke with one fan, James Lovejoy, who crossed the country to experience Dolly.

“I came from Los Angeles, California.” said Lovejoy. “Well, I think two things. Any time you can help out a charity, you‘ve got to take a chance to do that. But it’s Dolly Parton, so you’ve only got so many times to see her. And it’s an amazing concert every time you get to see her, and it’s a joy just to see her.”

We also spoke with Amy Barlow, a fan who has loved Dolly for as long as she can remember.

“I have loved her,” said Barlow. “I love her music, I love her, the spirituality of her music, and the motivation of her music. She sets out to do something, and she does it, and she doesn’t let anybody talk her out of anything or sway her from her dreams. And here she is today because of that.

Barlow said she was surprised to hear of Dolly coming to Philadelphia, Miss.

“When we found out that she was coming, we watched the tickets, and I know that she’s not going to tour here much anymore. So we jumped on the opportunity to come,” Barlow said.

Dolly retook the stage at 7 p.m., after participating in unveiling of the “Wildflower” mural across the street from the Ellis Theater.

Cara Shirley

Cara Shirley

Cara Shirley is from Meridian. After spending time in local radio broadcasting, she made the switch to television broadcasting in December 2022.

Nick Ogelle

Nick Ogelle

Nicholas Ogelle graduated from the University of North Texas in 2022, earning a Bachelor's degree in broadcast and digital journalism. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Nick made the move to come to Meridian and is thrilled to start his career as a reporter and journalist here at WTOK.