April 13, 2023
As spring continues to blossom, the Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health (April 21 – June 11) is the perfect place for you to come experience all the great fun of spring in the Smokies. There will be more than one million blooms throughout the park, the fresh tastes of spring and unique entertainment offerings throughout the park. You can never have too much of a good “spring!” (See what I did there?)
Celebrating its fourth season in 2023, this much-celebrated event transforms the park into a breathtaking display of Mother Nature’s finest handiwork. Elaborate floral installations emerge around every corner, translating nature into living art, each coming together to create an unbelievable presentation of color and wonder. I’m having a hard time getting grass to grow in my front yard, and our landscaping team is out here making the park look like the Louvre. Maybe they won’t notice if I sneak a few things out overnight!
Eye-Catching Natural Displays
Our signature lineup of Mosaiculture icons return, including the topsy-turvy butterfly umbrella, woodland animal friends and the touching depiction of Dolly’s mother crafting the Coat of Many Colors. Other guest-favorite icons also return like the mallard duck, a peacock and a beekeeper tending to a hive. These sculptures are designed in partnership with Mosaicultures International, a Montreal-based company that specializes in the art of elaborate floral decorations.
Just “bee”-side the beekeeper Mosaiculture in Craftsman’s Valley (I did it again!) is a brand-new exhibit that puts the focus on nature’s noble pollinator, the honey bee. Hug-a-Bee Honey, owned by Sevierville native Alan Frankenberg, displays hives, showcases beekeeping techniques and educates park guests about the importance of the honey bee in our natural ecosystem. Frankenberg has a varied culinary background, working as a corporate chef for Cracker Barrel (yum!), as well as the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando (double yum!), and most recently, food and beverage director at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando (triple yum!). He now balances his day job with his passion for educating the public about the conservation of the honey bee.
Mouthwatering Festival Tastes
All that talk of food and honey has me hungry, which means the timing is perfect for this festival. While admiring the vivid colors blooming throughout the park, guests can explore a menu crafted with inspiration from fresh spring flavors and Smoky Mountain flair. Returning for this year is the tasting pass, which allows guests to partake in multiple food items at different festival locations.
The tasting pass, which can be purchased in the park or online, is $36.99 plus tax or $33.99 plus tax for gold and diamond passholders. With this pass, guests can sample five food offerings at Flower & Food Festival culinary locations. This year’s festival menu features a Cuban sandwich with mojo sauce, street tacos, pretzel crab melt, garlic butter shrimp mac & cheese, bulgogi nachos, street corn salad, quinoa salad, berries and honey funnel cakes, and hand-decorated flower-themed cookies and cupcakes among many other tasty spring dishes. Are you hungry now?
"Bud-ding" Entertainment Options
Returning this year, performers from Australia’s SWAY combine theatrical elements and acrobatics for the artful show called “Bloom!” The surprising experience takes place high above ground with the performers situated atop sway poles. You definitely don’t want to miss this elevated combination of performance and athleticism.
Dollywood’s streets are filled with music during the Flower & Food Festival. The Hall Sisters, as well as local favorite Kelle Jolly, will perform during the festival in Craftsman’s Valley. A returning favorite show, “A Brighter Day,” features five daily performances at the Back Porch Theater. All shows are included with park admission. A full schedule of live performances is available at Dollywood.com.
Returning Photo Favorites
Back to provide shade along Showstreet is the mesmerizing Umbrella Sky, which brings together hundreds of colorful umbrellas in a brilliant, suspended arrangement that makes for an “Instagram-worthy” background. Guests looking to capture picture-perfect memories at Dollywood can stop by several locations in the park for an amazing photo. These include the Hillside Carpet Display that brings a florally-crafted sunset to Rivertown Junction and the pathways of Adventures in Imagination that are decorated with creative chalk art portraits.
DreamMore Resort Blooms Too
Festival elements carry over into Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa where guests find festive décor and stunning floral accents. Daily mocktails and cocktails will be served in The Lounge at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, each drawing inspiration from the essence of springtime. Families can enjoy live entertainment in the lobby atrium, festival-inspired cuisine at Song & Hearth: A Southern Eatery and in The Lounge, and festival-themed activities at Camp DW. Guests also can pamper themselves with unique Flower & Food Festival treatments at The Spa.
Spring is definitely blooming at Dollywood this season! Come join us and see what the buzz is all about! (Ok, last one!)
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