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Covington featured as backdrop in 2nd Dolly Parton special

The story of Dolly Parton returned to Covington for an all-new holiday sequel to the 2015 “Coat of Many Colors.” “Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love” is set to air on NBC Nov. 30 at 9 p.m.

“Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors,” a made-for-television film, detailed Parton’s upbringing in 1955 as her family struggled to live in the Smokey Mountains. It first premiered on Dec. 10, 2015. The holiday sequel will showcase the Partons, a family of humble means, living in the mountains as they face a devastating event that changings their will. A Christmas miracle draws them closer together, deepening their faith and love for each other.

Turning downtown Covington into a 1955 Tennessee town was a challenge for producers and designers, especially with the filming taking place in the middle of a Georgia summer, according to a video release from Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment.

“The challenge was to take a modern day city block in suburban or rural Atlanta and turn it not only into 1955 Appalachian Tennessee, but then to add a top layer of Christmas on top of it in about seven or eight days of work,” but Lance Totten, set director, said.

Totten said he has worked to turn Georgia towns into several cities, including San Francisco, San Diego and Las Angeles.

“The City of Covington is being doubled as Sevierville, and we’re not having to do very much in terms of changes to make it look like Sevierville,” Executive Producer Sam Haskell said. .

How was Covington selected to represent Sevierville, Tenn.? Georgia’s tax credit rebates, workers and friendly people reeled the production company in, Haskell said.

“The thing about this movie is that not only did it showcase the story of Dolly Parton, but it showcased the State of Georgia beautifully,” he said.

“One of the things that I think any film that deals with in a period, one of its main objectives has to be to transport an audience into that time period,” Haskell said. “I think the store fronts and the types of cars we had parked in the streets and had driving by, the vintage Christmas decorations all took us back to Christmas 1955.”

Small details, even the tinsel used in decorations, were sought out to make sure downtown Covington had the antique look and feel, Ina Mayhew, production designer, said.

“You really start to become, you know, passionate about it,” she said. “That’s what drives us I think, is that we love it so much and really, really take the time to look for specific things.”

“Who would have thought that saving that could would have led to what’s going on today, it’s unbelievable,” Michael Boyd, costume designer, said. “Just a simple thing that her mother made for her out of scraps and remnants has evolved so many years later has evolved so many years later into two films thus far. It’s amazing.”