Listowel to attempt a World Record of most Dolly Partons gathered together in one location

A World Record attempt for the largest gathering of people dressed as Dolly Parton will take place in Listowel this June.

Fergus DennehyKerryman

Good golly, miss Dolly! The people of Listowel and North Kerry in general have been putting in a hard shift from nine to five for the past number of weeks as they prepare for what will be a day of days in the area...and that is of course, DollyDay.

For those unfamiliar with what this will entail, it will see the people of Listowel attempting to set a World Record for the largest gathering of people “wearing a full head-to-toe Dolly Parton costume,” all of which will be in aid of the of The Kerry Hospice Foundation and Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Brought to you by the organisers of ‘NunDay’ – which was a huge success when it was held in Listowel back in 2012 and which saw close to 1,500 people dressed as nuns descended on the town centre – organisers of DollyDay will be hoping for similar levels of success 11 years on with this latest event.

NunDay was noted by the good people at Guinness World Records and featured in their 2012 annual print book edition. It was an event that raised awareness for mental health and the money raised was used to set up a Pieta House here in Kerry. The day is still spoken about fondly throughout the town, and pictures of the NunDay are pasted to pubs walls some 11 years later.

Now, in 2023, the committee have brought the band back together and added a few new faces, but it’s led and chaired once again by Cora O’Brien, an active and proud member of the Listowel community.

“The committee and I are dedicated to setting this record but not forgetting to have fun along the way” Cora said.

“We have a number of people outside of the committee to recognise at this early stage of planning from Listowel Vintners, Listowel Emmets, and wig suppliers but again, it’s the people and community of Listowel who are encouraging us along the way. It’s a little bit different this time as we are setting a record, one that has never been attempted before, so there are a few more rules to contend with,” she continued.

As for why they chose the two charities that they have, Cora said that have all been touched in one way or another by these two charities, as have many people in Listowel and beyond. She said that they have had family and friends go through chemotherapy treatment, as well as receive care from the Hospice, and this is their way to give back.

“We are doing this as a way to remember those close to us who have passed away, and to support those going through treatment,” she said.

As for why they have chosen the one and only Miss Parton, the country singing legend – who is the most successful female country singer of all time and who’s songs have been on the Billboard Hot Country songs chart for seven decades – certainly needs no introduction.

Everything she has achieved in her illustrious career, paired with her iconic flamboyant looks, makes Parton the perfect subject for the event, Cora added.

In addition to raising vital funds for the two chosen charities, organisers said that as people get dressed up on the day and as they highlight what they described as Dolly’s ‘assets’, the costumes will serve as a humorous, but important reminder to encourage breast checks.

DollyDay will take place on June 24 in the Frank Sheehy Park (Emmets GAA pitch) with tickets on sale from this coming Thursday, April 6, through Eventbrite. The entry fee of €30 includes the official DollyDay wig to be worn on the day.

More information can be found on the DollyDay Facebook page.