Press Releases

Dolly Parton Celebrates 2024 Pigeon Forge Family Challenge Champs

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee—(March 8, 2024)—Dolly Parton was on hand to celebrate the Falin family who took top honors in the 2024 Pigeon Forge Family Challenge.

The seven-episode series aired on Pigeon Forge’s YouTube channel, where it is available for viewing at Dolly was on hand in the final episode which revealed the grand champion after five fun-filled competitions featuring several popular Pigeon Forge attractions.

“In Pigeon Forge and at my Dollywood, we know it’s a privilege to help families spend time together and make their memories,” Dolly said. “All of our Pigeon Forge Family Challenge families are truly winners, but the Falin family gets the grand champion bragging rights. Everybody showed up and showed off and sure did show folks that fun is easy to find in Pigeon Forge.” 

Sandi and Jimi Falin and their three children Nixon, 15, Skylar, 14, and Ryder, 10, have traveled the country for the past eight years in their RV while living their motto of “TryNsomethingnew” and taking their followers along with them on their travels. They rolled into Pigeon Forge with high hopes of taking top honors.

“Pigeon Forge is the perfect place for trying something new, and the Pigeon Forge Family Challenge most definitely showcased the great variety that families can explore there,” Sandi Falin said. “Navigating our way through the Pigeon Forge Family Challenge competitions was incredible and making new friends with the other four families made our victory even sweeter.”  

The Falins received a return visit to Pigeon Forge and a $5,000 cash prize.

The Pigeon Forge Family Challenge was filmed in August 2023. Knoxville broadcast journalist and Tennessee native Beth Haynes served as host. Other competing families were the Boldens and the Daniels, both from Atlanta, Georgia, the Nichols from Boerne, Texas, and the Bethunes, another nomadic family who travels the country in a renovated bus.

The Pigeon Forge Family Challenge put each family through the paces as they displayed their skills, enthusiasm and agility in five contests. The Island in Pigeon Forge is the backdrop for the introductory episode. The families rolled around on the lawn of the Mountain Mile in a 12-foot water-filled orb from Zorb Outdoor Gravity Park. Competitors stacked pancakes at the historic Old Mill. The Lumberjack Feud Adventure Park tested the families’ athleticism, while an episode filmed at Country Tonite Theater got the families on stage and in step. Of course, they visited Parton’s Dollywood theme park in an episode where knowledge was the featured attraction.

The winning family in each competition was awarded the most points, and the Falin family, which accumulated the most points overall, was named the grand champion.


B-roll is available here, and still images are available here.

About Pigeon Forge: Pigeon Forge is located in East Tennessee, approximately 35 miles from Knoxville and McGhee-Tyson Airport. Two-thirds of the nation’s population east of the Mississippi River lives within a day’s drive, making it an easily accessible family vacation destination. The city’s neighbor is Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most-visited national park in the U.S. It also is home to Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park, Tennessee’s most-visited ticketed attraction. More information about all aspects of Pigeon Forge is available at or toll-free at 1-800-251-9100.

Media Contact:  Trish McGee, [email protected] or 865-453-8574