Throughout the year, Dollywood Festivals celebrate every season with award-winning entertainment, attractions, food and much more!
Photo Credit: © Curtis Hilbun Dollywood
Dollywood guests know every season at the award-winning park presents a totally different and exciting atmosphere. Much like the changing scenery in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains creates beautiful sights for visitors, Dollywood’s fabulous festivals provide a distinct and always-changing ambiance for those who come through the gates. As Dollywood enters its third decade of providing memory-making moments for families, its fantastic festivals offer guests a multitude of opportunities they’ll find nowhere else. Free international stage productions and concerts by bluegrass and Southern gospel favorites, the eight-time winner for Best Christmas Event, as well as extended operating hours and a nightly fireworks show in the summer, combine with the park’s more than 40 rides and attractions to provide something for everyone.
Dollywood’s Festival of Nations—March 19-April 18, 2016
Dollywood welcomes the world during Festival of Nations, a fascinating multi-cultural celebration! Featuring the traditional music, dance, food and art of nations from around the globe, Festival of Nations reminds guests of shared similarities while embracing unique, time-honored traditions. The headline show for 2016, Mother Africa, returns after its Dollywood debut in 2014. This renowned show combines skillful acrobatics, live music and traditional dance to delight audiences through a world-class demonstration celebrating Africa’s diverse traditions. Major touring stage shows, internationally-known performance groups, various roaming musicians and more make Festival of Nations a fun, educational and exciting experience. Authentic international cuisine and the daily celebrations by visiting nations throughout the park provide guests with an escape around the world without leaving the heart of the Smokies.
Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass—May 13-22, 2016
Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass launches the unofficial start of summer and combines the tastiest barbeque in the South with the biggest names in bluegrass. This year’s festival features an impressive bluegrass lineup with a multitude of free daily concerts from an amazing collection of International Bluegrass Music Association award winners. This annual tradition wouldn’t be complete without pounds of saucy pulled pork, barbequed chicken and ribs by the slab. This family-favorite event is music to the ears… and a treat for the taste buds.
Dollywood’s Great American Summer—June 11-Aug. 7, 2016
Great American Summer provides families even more of what they already love—time together at Dollywood. This summertime celebration features extended park hours, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, giving families a unique chance to ride Dollywood’s world-class attractions, including Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle all day and well into the night! Families will love Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Show, which returns to Dollywood in 2016. The high-flying antics of these powerful pooches will leave audiences begging for more. Perondi’s amazing animals have been featured on “The Tonight Show,” “Ellen” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Great American Summer also features award-winning illusionist Brad Ross who takes audiences on an inspirational journey into a world of fun and magic. Each show features unbelievable magic, world-class illusions, hysterical comedy and audience interaction. To complete the day, the park’s festive nightly fireworks show features uplifting music and interactive elements to celebrate the fun of Dollywood after dark! Each evening a high-spirited dance party entertains guests in Wilderness Pass with a 15-minute party designed to get every member of the family on their feet prior to Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors!
Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration presented by Humana—Sept. 30-Oct. 29, 2016
With a colorful swatch of orange, red, yellow and gold painted across the landscape, fall in the Great Smoky Mountains provides the perfect festive backdrop for Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration. Featuring a lineup, which includes some of the biggest names in Southern gospel music, the soul-stirring sounds of beautiful harmonies ring through the crisp autumn air as free daily concerts take place on the park’s various stages. Visiting artisans from across the country share their talents through an array of handmade wares, spanning from functional to decorative. Each day is a picture-perfect opportunity to enjoy the traditional experiences of a Smoky Mountain harvest!
Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana—Nov. 5, 2016-Jan. 4, 2017
An eight-time winner of America’s Best Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana features four million holiday lights and spectacular holiday performances, including traditional favorites like “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Christmas in the Smokies.” Guests also can experience the fun and excitement of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends. Many of Dollywood’s signature rides and attractions operate in a festive environment designed to get everyone into the spirit of the season. From the award-winning shows and elaborate holiday decorations to the twinkling lights and Christmas-themed menus, Dollywood captures the essence of a Smoky Mountain Christmas.
Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman