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SAMAIA: LEGEND OF THE CAUCASUS HEADLINES DOLLYWOOD’S 2011 FESTIVAL OF NATIONS PRESENTED BY HUMANA
New shows from Argentina and Ireland join the park’s international entertainment lineup.

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn.—Dollywood’s 2011 Festival of Nations presented by Humana welcomes new international shows from Georgia and Argentina plus an Irish musical showcase to the theme park’s 2011 season which begins March 26.

“When I think about all of the fascinating places my travels have taken me, my heart is always moved by the beautiful music and dance and what I’ve learned about other cultures,” Dolly Parton said. “My Festival of Nations celebrates the sights and sounds that unite us all, from the far corners of the world to right here in my Smoky Mountain home.

Festival of Nations continues through May 2 (closed Tuesdays and Easter Sunday).

One of the South’s largest festivals, Festival of Nations is headlined by Samaia: Legend of the Caucasus, performed by a cast of singers and dancers from the Caucasus region of the Georgian Republic. Sword fighting meets ballet as ancient tales are re-enacted through the brilliant art of Georgian dancing and singing. The breathtaking pageantry of colorful costumes, traditional dance, drumming, songs, chants and sets weaves a multi-hued tapestry of the area’s culture.

Also new is Los Pampas Gauchos, an exciting, fast-paced family act that showcases Argentina’s traditional folk dancing. Presented with a flash of modern showmanship and comedy, this lively production features drums, boleadoras, knives, capes and whips to emphasize the country’s popular dances.

In Oisre, talented musicians pay tribute to Ireland’s rich musical heritage and showcase some of the country’s most popular songs and instrumental music as they carry forward the traditional sounds of the Emerald Isle. Oisre takes audiences on a music-filled journey with a blend of New World enthusiasm and Old World virtuosity.

Back by popular demand, DRUM! returns to the stage with 20 musicians, dancers, drummers and singers from Nova Scotia. The pulsating performance unfolds in song and story, reaching deep into the cultural depths of a land rich with history.

Representing Trinidad and Tobago, Invaders Steel Orchestra celebrates the rhythms of the islands. The group’s repertoire of Classical, gospel, salsa, pop, reggae, calypso and big band sounds season the festival with an air of excitement and jubilation.

Familiar favorites Atahualpa presents the soothing sounds and rhythmic music of the Andes while the popular Zambian Vocal Group shares its inspirational message through a cappella songs from the group’s African homeland.

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The festival also welcomes unique hang drum demonstrations presented by a visiting French musician along with international craft vendors and foods for a one-of-a-kind experience found only at Dollywood. More information is available at Dollywood.com or by calling 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

Dollywood is a 150-acre family adventure park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and is the reigning winner of the prestigious Applause Award, the theme park industry’s highest honor. Open nine months a year (March 26-Dec. 30), Dollywood offers more than 40 rides and attractions; award-winning live entertainment featuring country, bluegrass, gospel and mountain music; and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

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Media: Contact Dollywood Public Relations Manager Pete Owens at 865-428-9486, 865-755-7972 or by email at powens@dollywood.com for B-roll, photography and more information. Check the Dollywood Press Room at http://www.dollywood.com/dollywood-q10214-c1-Press_Room.aspx for updates and new images.