Five Fabulous Festivals Celebrate Each Season at Dollywood
Fresh off a 2012 season that brought accolades for Best Shows, Best Food, Best New Ride for the Wild Eagle wing coaster, Friendliest Park, and Best Christmas Event for Smoky Mountain Christmas, Dollywood theme park offers five fun-filled festivals in 2013. Free international stage productions and concerts by bluegrass and Southern gospel favorites along with extended summer operating hours combine with the park’s more than 40 rides and attractions to offer a one-of-a-kind Smoky Mountains vacation destination.
Festival of Nations presented by Humana—March 23-April 22, 2013
A springtime celebration of music, dance, food and art from more than 25 countries sets the stage for a multi-cultural celebration overflowing with the pageantry of more than 200 visiting international performers. Headlining shows Cirque Shanghai and Mystic India lead a lineup that also includes Australia’s Swoon sway pole dancers, the all-female Mariachi Divas, Zebra Stelzentheater’s German stilt dancers, the French duo Pause Café and much more. Authentic cuisine by way of the World Passport to Food and the daily One World Celebration along the park’s Showstreet area guarantees a feast for the senses as Dollywood provides guests an entertainment-filled escape to another world in the heart of the Smokies.
Barbeque & Bluegrass—May 25-June 9, 2013
In a powerful combination featuring the South’s best barbeque and the biggest names bluegrass music has to offer, Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass launches the unofficial start of summer on Memorial Day weekend. Free daily concerts by Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder (May 25 & 26), Daily & Vincent (June 2 & 3), Rhonda Vincent & The Rage (June 1 & 2), Riders in the Sky (June 7 & 8), The Darrell Webb Band (May 27-29) and many more highlight this annual tradition. Pounds of saucy pulled pork, barbequed chicken and ribs by the slab, all served fresh from the smoker, abound during this family-favorite event that is music to the ears and the taste buds.
The Great American Summer—June 22-Aug. 4, 2013
Summertime means more time to enjoy Dollywood during The Great American Summer. Extended park hours – 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily – offer unique rides like Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing coaster, all day and into the night! Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors, a colorful nightly fireworks display synchronized to music, features Paint Your Dreams across the Sky, a musical crescendo written specifically for the occasion by Dolly Parton. Two new shows heat up the summer stages. GACTV and Dollywood team to present country music’s biggest hits in The Great American Country Show (May 11 -Oct. 26.), a 40-minute show performed by six singers and a six-piece band, as well as a special appearance by one of country music’s legendary performers. My People—Dolly’s Letter Home (May 10-Jan. 4) celebrates the legendary entertainer’s family, those who nurtured, strengthened and encouraged her to reach for the stars in pursuit of her musical destiny. Performed by Dolly’s brother, sister, nieces and other family members, the music- and story-filled show celebrates, in Dolly’s own words, “the people who inspired me to be me.”
National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration presented by Humana—Oct. 2-Nov. 2, 2013
Perhaps no time in the Smokies is more beautiful than fall and Dollywood capitalizes on the splendor of the season during the National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration. With a lineup that includes Guy Penrod (Oct. 25-27), The McKameys (Oct. 11 & 12), The Isaacs (Oct. 18 & 19), Karen Peck & New River (Oct. 4 & 5), The Perrys (Oct. 20 & 21) and many more, the sounds of soul-stirring Southern gospel music fill the crisp autumn air as free daily concerts echo from the park’s various stages. Visiting artisans from across the country share their talents through an array of handmade wares, spanning from functional to decorative. With Dollywood decked out in its finest autumn attire, each day is a picture-perfect opportunity to enjoy the traditional experiences of a Smoky Mountain harvest!
Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival presented by Humana—Nov. 9, 2013-Jan. 4, 2014
A five-time winner of America’s Best Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival features four million holiday lights and spectacular holiday performances, including Dollywood’s A Christmas Carol. The all-new adaptation of the Dickens classic is underscored by seven powerful new songs written by Dolly for the 45-minute musical. For the first time in theme park history, cutting-edge holographic technology brings Dolly to the stage in a very special role as the Ghost of Christmas past in this heartwarming musical that follows the inspiring and powerful transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge. The festival also includes the park’s more than 20 rides and attractions all set in a festive environment designed to get everyone into the spirit of the season.