Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Guests enjoy more than one million blooms, the fresh tastes of spring and unique entertainment offerings during Dollywood’s annual Flower & Food Festival.
As spring continues to blossom, Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health (April 21 – June 11) offers park guests a brilliant backdrop for fun in the Smokies, thanks to more than one million blooms, the fresh tastes of spring and unique entertainment offerings throughout the park. There’s no such thing as too much of a good “spring” at Tripadvisor’s #1 U.S. theme park.
Celebrating its fourth season in 2023, this much-celebrated event transforms Dollywood 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.
“This time of year always puts a little ‘spring’ in my step,” Dolly said with a laugh. “Seriously though, there really is nothing like springtime in the Smokies. It is truly amazing to see all of God’s creation blooming to life all around us in these mountains. Our people put a lot of hard work into making sure all of the flowers inside Dollywood stay as beautiful as the ones He has put everywhere for us to enjoy. I hope everyone will come experience this special time in the Smoky Mountains.”
Dollywood’s signature lineup of beloved 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 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, as well as wine director at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, and most recently, food and beverage director at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando. He now balances his day job with his passion for educating the public about the conservation of the honey bee.
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.
The Tasting Pass Offers a Sampling of Festival Flavors
While admiring the vivid colors blooming throughout the park, guests also 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.
Spirited Spring Performances
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. Guests will not 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.
Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa
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 The Lounge, and festival-themed activities at Camp DW. Guests also can pamper themselves with unique Flower & Food Festival treatments at The Spa.
Plan Your Visit
There’s still much more to enjoy during Dollywood’s BIG 2023 season. Big Bear Mountain, the longest roller coaster in the park’s history, opens in May, while the Sweet Summer Nights drone and fireworks show takes to the skies above the park as part of Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration (June 17-August 6). A family tradition for many, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 20-Oct. 30) celebrates the beauty of fall with thousands of carved pumpkins, spirited performances from talented singers and the fun of Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health. The industry’s Best Theme Park Christmas event—Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 4- Jan. 6, 2024)—concludes the park’s 2023 season with 6 million lights, festive holiday shows and the warm Christmas atmosphere guests have come to expect during this joyous time of year.
For more information, please visit dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.