"Dolly Should" Returns
After a two-year hiatus, this rollicking, hilarious celebration of Dolly's January birthday returns to Bay St. Louis.
– by Lisa Monti
– Shoofly file photos from Dolly Should 2020 by Kerry Maloney
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Dolly Should, the big-hair birthday tribute to big-hearted Dolly Parton, is making its long-awaited comeback on January 14, the first Second Saturday of the new year.
Smith & Lens Gallery owners Ann Madden and Sandy Maggio came up with the lookalike party idea to invite Dolly to Bay St. Louis for her January birthday. Naturally, fans of the country music icon flocked to the celebration, all Dolly’d up, injecting fun around Old Town just when the post-holiday blues set in.
The last Dolly Should was the fifth annual edition, held in 2020 on Mockingbird Cafe’s front porch next door to the now-closed Smith & Lens Gallery. This year, Ann and Sandy passed the torch to the crew at the Mockingbird, which will host the costume contest in what’s being described as a joyous homage to the Queen. The Mockingbird will have a special menu with Southern favorites and an outside bar to mark the occasion.
“We are honored to carry on Dolly Should,” said Alicein W. Schwabacher of the Mockingbird. “Dolly definitely needs to be celebrated.”
Ann and Sandy will still be involved, Alicein said. Ann designed the new Dolly 2023 graphic and Sandy is designing the prizes for the winners.
Dolly, born January 19,1946, in Tennessee, is a beloved singer, songwriter and actress who is also known for her philanthropy. “We all should be a little more like Dolly,” Alicein noted.
For those who want to partake in the lookalike competition, registration is 5:30 - 6:30pm at the Mockingbird. Dollys will line up on the front porch at 7 pm, and the contest will begin at 7:30. The $10 entry fee will be donated to the Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence.
Returning as emcee is Reba Douglas, drag star and model extraordinaire described as an “electrifying” presence, who will perform for the crowd as the contestants line up. Reba will then crown the 2023 reigning Dolly lookalike.
In case you’re wondering: Dolly has been contacted about coming to Dolly Should and no, she hasn’t RSVPed. But it’s been rumored that she just might have been spotted – maybe – in the crowd one year, disguised in a black wig, mingling with the crowd and checking out her tribute.
“Who knows? It might have been her,” Alicein said, smiling.
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