RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Dolly Parton took Richmond by storm and the excitement has been building since the moment tickets went on sale, and almost instantly sold out.
"Really, really excited just to know she's this close to us," said Brandi Jones, who brought her 8-year-old daughter to see the show. "Very excited, she's a huge fan. She's eight but she's liked Dolly for about a year now."
"That's what makes me excited. I can see her, like in person," grinned the young fan, who was quick to answer with her favorite song. "Kenny sings it with her, Kenny Rogers, and it's 'Islands in the Stream.'"
While this girl is a young fan, she knows that song may not be on the set list.
"She needs Kenny to do that," she concluded.
Fans from all over the state, region, and world set their sights on the EKU Center for the Arts to catch the country queen.
"We're tickled pink to have her with us," said Father Jim Sichko, who arranged the "Evening Among Friends" event.
Of course this isn't the first time Dolly's been here. Father Jim says the reason she, and other big-name acts, keep coming back to Richmond is because the way his church cares for the guests and also a nice helping of Kentucky hospitality. Although, he's quick to make a few dreams come true for the fans, as well. On this night he upgraded one fan's tickets to the front row, for several others he gave away passes to Dollywood, and for one ailing fan who made the trip to cross an item off the bucket list, he presented a number of autographed items. This doesn't even include the lucky fan who was able to win an all-expense paid trip to London, England to see Dolly perform.
Still on this night it was all about enjoying a music icon, and it's easy to see that Kentucky loves Dolly. Naturally Dolly was quick to show the fans her appreciation and even gave Father Jim a little praise.
"I think Father Jim is the best opening act I've ever had. Don't you love him?" she said to the applause of a packed crowd.
The next "Evening Among Friends" is set for October and it was announced after the show that Reba McEntire will be the guest artist. Tickets are already on sale at www.saintmarkcatholicchurch.net.