How to Celebrate the 4th of July Like Dolly Parton

From homemade ice cream to firework shows, you can celebrate Independence Day just like Dolly Parton.

Eleven-time Grammy winner Dolly Parton is beloved for her catchy tunes, bedazzled style and love of down-home cooking. Just check out some of her favorite American comfort foods! This 4th of July, you can take some inspiration from Dolly and celebrate with some of her favorite treats, holiday traditions and, of course, a few rhinestones.

Cook up good food from scratch

Dolly loves a homemade Southern meal, whether she’s entertaining guests or just cooking for herself and her husband. She’ll go out for a holiday like 4th of July. On her YouTube channel, she suggests that fans, “throw another pig on the barbie.” And adds that she’s about to enjoy some ice cream that is being whipped up homemade for the celebration. You can eat just like Dolly this 4th of July with these recipes for all kinds of homemade ice cream.

As far as other items on the menu, you’ll find Parton serving her guests Southern comfort foods. She told The New York Times her favorite meal to make for guests is roast pork, green beans and fried okra. “I love roast pork, especially the fatty part,” she said. “I can’t help it. The greasier the food, the better.”

Try these southern comfort foods
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Go on the road with a picnic

Once you’ve made a Southern spread you can serve it anywhere, why not hit the road like Dolly? She and her husband are known for traveling around in their RV, and of course, she spends plenty of time on tour. She explained to Southern Living that she has a go-to picnic meal that sounds pretty darn tasty to us.

“My husband loves those little Cornish hens, and I fry them. I take ’em and fry ’em, and I make potato salad, and I make homemade green beans,” Dolly explained. “If I’m making a real picnic…I’ll make like a whole special treat for us to have a basket of homemade stuff that I love.”

If you plan on taking a meal like this out on the road, be sure to pack that picnic basket right—just follow our tips.

These foods are picnic-perfect.
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Dig in at Dollywood

If you’re not up for cooking on the holiday weekend plan a trip to Dollywood, Dolly’s amusement park, where guests of the nighttime shows are served up a Southern-style four-course feast. Dishes at the live singing and entertainment shows include homemade biscuits, sugar cured ham, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, and a specialty dessert.

It’s not just the patriotic variety show that serves up Dolly-approved fare. Carts and fast casual restaurants throughout the theme park have American fare to spare. In fact, the food at Dollywood is so top-notch that it’s won multiple awards for having the best cuisine in the amusement park business.

Once you’ve had your fill of stick-to-your-ribs meatloaf and banana pudding made from Parton’s very own recipe it’s time to turn your eyes to the sky. Dollywood so has special fireworks shows to celebrate Independence Day. Of course, you can expect to hear some classic songs as part of the spectacle!

Give thanks and don stars and stripes

While her fans are enjoying their comfort spreads and homemade treats, Dolly reminds everyone to give thanks to armed forces serving the United States on Independence Day.

“Don’t forget to take a moment to remember the men and women currently serving in our armed forces and those that have served in the past,” she said on her YouTube channel, “let them know how thankful you are for their sacrifice.”

She shared this sentiment while wearing a very on-brand sparkling blazer featuring the stars and stripes. It’s no surprise that this shimmering number is not Patton’s only patriotic costume.

If you don’t have any red, white, and blue sequins lying around, don’t worry! You can whip up these patriotic dishes to make sure the stars and stripes are present at your barbecue.

Celebrate with our most patriotic recipes.
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Mandy Naglich
Mandy is a food and beverage writer with bylines at WNYC, Munchies, Mic and October. She's a Certified Cicerone and award-winning homebrewer living, writing and cooking in New York City.