350 FREE SOUL-STIRRING CONCERTS HEADLINE DOLLYWOOD’S NATIONAL SOUTHERN GOSPEL & HARVEST CELEBRATION PRESENTED BY HUMANA
PIGEON FORGE, Tenn.—More than 350 free concerts by the most popular acts in Southern gospel music welcome guests to Dollywood’s 2011 National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration presented by Humana Sept. 28-Oct. 29.
The annual fall event gets under way on Sept. 28 with the star-studded Southern Gospel Music Association’s (SGMA) Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and the Singing News Fan Awards in DP’s Celebrity Theatre. The multi-award-winning Statler Brothers will accept the 2011 James D. Vaughan Impact Award.
“Having won the Impact Award myself, I know what a thrill this is for the Statler Brothers, and I’m so happy they’re coming to my National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration to accept and help kick off this great festival since I’ll be on tour,” Dolly Parton said. “Southern gospel music is very near and dear to my heart, and I hope folks enjoy the month’s worth of special entertainment that’s in store for them at Dollywood this fall.”
SGMA Hall of Famers and Singing News Fan Awards artists will walk in a grand red carpet parade to the theatre. Some of the artists appearing in the awards show will perform special concerts in various Dollywood venues throughout the day. In addition to Dollywood admission, tickets are required to attend the SGMA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Singing News Fan Awards. Please call (865) 908-4040 to purchase tickets.
This year’s concert lineup features a who’s who of Southern gospel music acts including the Florida Boys (Sept. 30 & Oct. 1), the McKameys (Oct. 7 & 8), Guy Penrod (Oct. 14-16), Gold City (Oct. 16 & 17), the Isaacs (Oct. 23 & 24), Jeff & Sheri Easter (Oct. 23 & 24) and many more! Dollywood’s Kingdom Heirs perform daily. This year’s event expands with the addition of the Singing News Stage at the Valley Theatre in Craftsman’s Valley. The Praise 96.3 FM Mull Family Stage returns to the Back Porch Theatre.
For a complete concert schedule, please visit Dollywood.com. All concerts are included with Dollywood admission.
In addition to an abundance of fall décor, the festival brings some of the country’s finest artisans to the park. Visiting crafters and displays of their unique artistry fill Dollywood with a variety of handmade items, including home décor, jewelry, musical instruments, tools, toys and more. Many visiting crafters offer up- close demonstrations of their handiwork, too. Dollywood’s own master craftsmen perform demonstrations during the festival including blacksmithing, glassblowing, wagon making, woodcarving, candle making, and candy making.
The season’s best offerings are reflected in the park’s many restaurants. From a slice of homemade cinnamon-spiced apple pie to fresh-from-the-skillet fried green tomatoes, along with a selection of autumn- inspired dishes, Dollywood’s signature cuisine offers a diner’s delight. Aunt Granny’s restaurant features two signature chicken entrees created by Dollywood’s chef especially for the festival. Plus, diners can enjoy delicious fried chicken and a special “dish of the day” featuring pasta or rice and chicken. Aunt Granny’s menu also features several dishes inspired by Sunday church gatherings.