Proceeds benefit Share It Forward, an assistance program benefiting The Dollywood Company’s employees.

PIGEON FORGE, TENN.— Running will be allowed at Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival on Nov. 18 as the theme park hosts the Light the Way 5K Walk/Run at 11 p.m.

Early registration by Oct. 31 is $25; late and race day fee is $30. Register online at Race day registration takes place from 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Dollywood’s front gate.

“The beauty of Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival combined with the challenge of a course that only a theme park can provide makes our Light the Way 5K a one-of-a- kind event for runners and walkers,” said Laura Howard, Dollywood’s Splash Country’s Director of Operations and event co-chair. “But most importantly, this event will help us provide financial assistance to our employees for such basic necessities as utilities and food. The timing is perfect since demand is often greater around Christmas.”

Proceeds from the first-time event benefit the Share It Forward (SIF) program. SIF is a non-profit charity established for the purpose of raising and using funds to assist The Dollywood Company employees and their families in times of need. The program is funded through employee donations which are matched dollar for dollar by The Dollywood Company and, up to specified limits, by the shareholders of Herschend Family Entertainment, the park’s operating partner.

Light the Way 5K participants are treated to a unique course decorated by the park’s four million Christmas lights. Participants begin their journey at Dollywood’s front gate before traversing through the parking lot and eventually winding through the theme park.

The race will be chip timed and managed by Knoxville Track Club. Awards will be presented to the top three overall for male and female participants. The top three finalists in each age division receive hand- blown glass Christmas ornaments custom made for the event by Dollywood’s master glassblower. The event also includes door prizes and refreshments.

For more information, please call (865) 429-9927.

Dollywood is a 150-acre family adventure park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. 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 Operating days and hours vary.

Media: Contact Dollywood Public Relations Manager Pete Owens at 865-428-9486, 865-755-7972 or by email at for B-roll, photography and more information. Check the Dollywood Press Room at for updates and new images.