April 14, 2022
Editor's Note: This blog was originally posted April 14, 2021. It's up! One of Dollywood's most-photographed spots from last season is causing spontaneous selfies along Showstreet once again. Dollywood's Umbrella Sky debuted during the inaugural season of the Flower & Food Festival, and it quickly became a fan favorite. Though the festival is still more than a week away (April 23 - June 7), the cheerful umbrellas are ready for you to strike a pose (or twirl) now!
Like everyone else when the global pandemic hit last year, we had to pivot several plans. In particular, we had scheduled a crew from Portugal to hang our Umbrella Sky. It was new and we wanted it done right. Well, you know the story: international travel ceased, but we had the umbrellas ready to go‚Ä¶ Our teams were determined to figure it out, so they did! It took a few weeks of tweaking, but the final product was just as we hoped. This year, we had the advantage of having the infrastructure in place and the experience of year one under our belts. Rather than weeks, it took three days. To be specific, it took two Dollywood hosts three overnight shifts to get the umbrellas hung.
After our Special Events Team designed the cabling system, it had to have an engineer's stamp of approval. In other words, we not only want Umbrella Sky to be pretty, but also, we want it to be secure. We use aircraft cable (yes, we're that serious!) in the primary and secondary cable lines. There's even a redundancy in the attachments where the umbrellas hang! And now that it's up, there are hosts who check the sky throughout the day. If the wind has blown any umbrella off kilter, our team will fix it and double-check that everything is holding up as it should.
If you compare last year's Umbrella Sky to this year's, you should notice more umbrellas and more vibrant colors. We did order new umbrellas to replace what we had last year because the sun fades them. Let us know what you think about the hundreds of umbrellas that serve as a statement fixture for our Flower & Food Festival! It will hang through at least June 7.
Now that Umbrella Sky is up, what should you see next? As much as we'd like to reveal all festival elements the day the Flower & Food Festival opens, there are hundreds of thousands of flowers that need to be planted and placed. You will start to see those popping up around the park this week-including the installation of our Mosaiculture displays! You're going to love spending this spring at Dollywood!
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