Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
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Dollywood’s Harvest Festival Celebrates the Beauty of the Smokies
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the splendor of a Smoky Mountain autumn, there’s plenty of fall fun, flavorful food and thrilling music right around the corner at Dollywood’s annual Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 24-Oct. 30). The annual guest-favorite event, which includes the family-friendly Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health, has quickly become a cherished experience for park goers and a long-standing family tradition for many.
Celebrate the Splendor of Autumn
Dollywood’s Harvest Festival greets guests with the surrounding mountainsides draped in vibrant colors as fall descends upon the Great Smoky Mountains. Dollywood’s landscape and fresh décor accent the autumn atmosphere and bring the beauty right into the park, making a stunning backdrop for families to create their picture-perfect pumpkin photo ops to share with friends!
Great Pumpkin LumiNights, one of the nation’s premier family-friendly harvest time events, provides bushels of memories for guests, thanks to thousands of glowing carved pumpkins throughout Dollywood. This event is certainly the cream of the crop for those with small children or anyone looking for a fun experience. Families can bask in the glow as they wander through displays in Dollywood’s Timber Canyon, Wilderness Pass and upper Craftsman’s Valley areas. Beyond the impressive displays, guests can find a number of exciting activities to create thrilling memories together. Dolly shared,
“Fall is a special time of year in the Smoky Mountains, because God’s handiwork is on full display for everyone to enjoy when they come to visit. It’s also the time when the heat of the summer fades and the crisp, cool evenings make it just right to enjoy the fresh mountain air. Some of my most treasured family memories took place during the fall, and I want our guests to make their own wonderful memories while they are here. Our team works so hard to bring the mountains right into the middle of the park with all those great decorations and experiences. You really are surrounded by the colors of fall the whole time you are here. It’s no wonder we won this year’s Golden Ticket award for Most Beautiful Theme Park in the whole world; no other park in the world is built right in the middle of the Smokies!”
Experience the Sounds of the Smokies
No festival at Dollywood is complete without award-winning entertainment, and the Harvest Festival certainly delivers. With artists representing genres from Southern Gospel and Bluegrass to Classic Country and Americana, there is something to satisfy every musical taste. Performances take place on indoor and outdoor stages throughout the park, allowing the engaging sounds to echo through the surrounding hillsides. Even more artists can be found roaming the park, literally taking the music to the streets!
Among the festival headliners are CeCe Winans (Oct. 9), Pam Tillis (Sept. 29), Jimmy Fortune (Oct. 2), Shenandoah (Oct. 20-21), Karen Peck and New River (Oct. 3), Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (Oct. 4), Taylor Red (Sept. 24), Rhonda Vincent and the Rage (Oct. 14-15), Janelle Arthur (Sept. 26) and the Lee University Singers (Oct. 17). Additionally, the new Night Time at the Back Porch offers some of the best up-and-coming performers from the Southeast an opportunity to share their talents during the park’s evening hours.
“Dollywood is one of our all-time favorite places to play and has been for years,” Gospel Hall of Fame member Karen Peck said. “We love how nice everyone is at the theaters and the awesome family-friendly feeling we get when we perform at Dollywood. Sometimes, it’s like church breaks out at our concerts!”
Indulge in the Aromas of Autumn
Dollywood’s culinary team has created a smorgasbord of creations to take advantage of the bountiful supply of crops provided by the Smoky Mountain harvest. The smells of smoked bratwurst, turkey legs or chicken and andouille sausage gumbo pair nicely with the fresh tastes of sweet potato poutine, spiced pumpkin bisque and BUSH’S three bean pumpkin chili.
For sweet treats, the ever-popular pumpkin spice is in full supply, with items ranging from pumpkin spice churros with pumpkin fluff to pumpkin spice salted caramel mocha iced coffee. Items like the maple pecan and bacon funnel cake, hot apple cider and the apple pie milkshake are perfect to carry and enjoy while admiring the beauty of Dollywood in the fall.
Plan Your Visit
With so many opportunities for creating vibrant new family traditions, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival is a must-see experience this season. Visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app to plan your visit this fall!