Dollywood Theme Park

Fall for the Sights, Sounds and Smells at Dollywood

Published September 15, 2021 / Last Updated September 23, 2021
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

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!

Team DollyFall for the Sights, Sounds and Smells at Dollywood

Vote for Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards

Published August 6, 2021 / Last Updated August 6, 2021
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Cast your vote for Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights, nominated for Best Theme Park Halloween Event in the USA Today 10Best Awards

Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights, the reigning winner for Best Theme Park Halloween Event in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards, has an opportunity to retain its title as the industry’s best. The region’s premier family-friendly harvesttime event has quickly become a favorite for guests since it was added to Dollywood’s Harvest Festival in 2017.

Fabulous Fall Family Fun

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival, presented by Humana, provides all-day fall fun for the entire family, with the Great Pumpkin LumiNights serving as a glowing end to the evening. Dollywood stays open until 9 p.m. every night during the festival, which runs September 24 through October 30, allowing families more time to enjoy various exhibits throughout the park.

Families will bask in the glow of thousands of intricately-carved pumpkins as they discover whimsical displays all throughout Dollywood’s Timber Canyon, Wilderness Pass and upper Craftsman’s Valley. Beyond the impressive displays, guests can find a number of exciting activities and create thrilling memories together.

Musical artists from multiple genres provide hundreds of performances throughout the festival, and visiting artisans showcase their array of talents for guests to enjoy. Special harvest-themed menu items from Dollywood’s award-winning culinary team are also a delight. There is no doubt that each day is a picture-perfect opportunity for families to experience the joys of the Smoky Mountain harvest.

Voting is Now Open

The USA Today contest, which is now live, runs through Monday, August 30 at 11:59 a.m. A page with a link to the voting page can be found at dollywood.com/vote. Anyone is eligible to vote and may do so once per day, per device. Nominees for all categories are chosen by a panel of relevant experts, which include a combination of editors from USA Today, editors from 10Best.com, relevant expert contributors and more. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa is also in the running for the USA Today 10Best Award for Best Family Resort.

For more information about Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights and the Harvest Festival, please visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood App.

Team DollyVote for Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards

Over 800 Concerts At Dollywood’s Annual Harvest Festival

Published September 28, 2020 / Last Updated September 28, 2020

A diverse range of local and regional talent create Dollywood’s largest music event ever with over 800 concerts at this year’s Harvest Festival.

Anyone missing live concerts the last few months should plan a trip to Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 25-Oct.31) as more than 800 live concerts will take place during the run of the festival! In fact, it is the most live music during any event in the park’s history.

During the festival, guests can enjoy music from multiple genres with heavy influence from both Southern gospel and bluegrass artists. Guests also will find a diverse range of local and regional talent performing Americana and folk music.

With so much music on display, Dollywood’s entertainment team had to get creative with scheduling and locations for the large number of concerts. The spotlight will shine on eight open-air stages in the park, immersing the entire park in the sounds of great live music. In addition to the park’s traditional outdoor stages, temporary stages can be found in Market Square, Adventures in Imagination, and even on the steps of the Robert F. Thomas Chapel.

“People everywhere are really missing the concert and live entertainment experience,” said Paige Bales, Dollywood Entertainment Director. “We’ve been able to host amazing entertainment since we reopened in June, but the Harvest Festival gives us a great opportunity to offer our guests something they’ve been wanting for months. With more than 800 performances from different genres, there is no doubt our guests will be able to find the music they want. We’re also happy to be able to put a lot of local artists on center stage to share their talents.”

Gospel Music

Southern gospel fans can find great performances throughout the event, highlighted by the artists appearing at the Praise 96.3 FM Stage at the Robert F. Thomas Chapel and the Singing News Stage at The Village Depot. Groups at the Praise 96.3 FM Stage include The Griffins, The Isbell Family, Messiah’s Call, Eternal Vision and The Wisecarvers. The Singing News Stage features Westward Road, GloryWay Quartet, 3 Heath Brothers, The Hyssongs, The Millers, and Answered Prayer.

The Back Porch Theater is home to various genres, including Knoxville Americana performer Cruz Contreras, Nashville-based gospel singer Angela Primm, and Robinella and the Down South Boys. The Carolina Boys Quartet, Lauren Talley, The Erwins, The Willis Family, Backline and Three Bridges also call the Back Porch Theater home during the festival.

Bluegrass Music

WDVX hosts great local bluegrass at their stage located in Adventures in Imagination. The Tenos, Joshua Gooding & The Tennessee Ramblers, 7 Mile Junction, Jonah Riddle & Carolina Express, 700 South, and Crossroads are among the groups performing the toe-tapping sounds of bluegrass for visiting guests.

Streetmosphere

The best talent isn’t reserved just for the main stages, however. Additional artists will be found providing “streetmosphere” in all areas of the park. Popular Knoxville performer Kelle Jolly, a blues and jazz artist also known as “The Tennessee Ukulele Lady,” will be playing in the park’s Timber Canyon area. Nashville’s championship-winning, fiddle-playing street busker Hillary Klug is found in Wildwood Grove, while Evie Andrus, a fiddler and vocalist from Knoxville, will be at Lumber Jack’s Pizza.

The Johnson City-based Roper Sisters perform bluegrass and Americana in the Rivertown area of the park, while Addie and Jeff Levy, a father/daughter bluegrass duo from Radford, Virginia, provide entertainment in Market Square.

Great Pumpkin LumiNights

With so much award-winning entertainment during the Harvest Festival, it is the perfect time to take advantage of a season pass to visit again and again. With great music by day, and Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health each evening, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival is the perfect place to make fun fall family memories in the Smokies.

Dollywood is open 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. during each day of operation for the Harvest Festival (Sept 25- Oct. 31), which was named 2019’s Best Theme Park Harvesttime event by USA Today 10Best. Dollywood is closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the festival. For a complete entertainment schedule and a park operating calendar, please visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.

Michael MartinOver 800 Concerts At Dollywood’s Annual Harvest Festival

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival Feels Fresh, Yet Familiar

Published September 22, 2020 / Last Updated September 22, 2020

The annual Harvest Festival features fall fun, immersive music and thousands of pumpkins.

After being named by USA Today as the country’s best fall theme park event last year, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 25-Oct. 31) is back this season with several fresh changes that echo many of the same warm traditions that make this nationally-known event a favorite for so many.

A colorful, lively atmosphere greets guests each day as the warm autumn sun casts the surrounding Smoky Mountains in bright daylight, displaying the rich, bold hues which blanket the hillsides surrounding Dollywood. The splendor of the mountains highlights the experience for guests with many vibrant new features providing surprises for them throughout the day.

Great Pumpkin LumiNights

By night, Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health continues its expansion into Wildwood Grove, providing more pumpkin perfection to enjoy. In only its fourth year, Great Pumpkin LumiNights has given families a multitude of memories to glow about. New this season, guests can purchase a reduced-price ticket which provides entry after 5 p.m. for those who want to make a quick trip to the park to experience the pumpkins as they glow to life. The limited-time offer, which is just $35 plus tax, is available online only; blackout dates apply.

“We know folks are ready to get out and enjoy the colors of fall and the fresh, crisp Smoky Mountain air,” Dolly Parton said. “This year has been challenging for everyone, but we hope the comfort they feel from coming and visiting us gives them that warm, familiar feeling they’ve shared with their friends and loved ones for so many years here at Dollywood. We have a few surprises planned this year, and I think everyone will agree this is that special escape ‘back home’ we all need right now.”

It is within this backdrop that captivating new experiences will enliven the senses of sight, sound, smell and taste. Throughout the park, reinvigorated decorations and visually-impactful landscaping techniques immerse visitors in a fresh, new look. It will be hard to overlook one of the festival’s newest additions, as guests can peruse more than a dozen colossal pumpkins, ranging from 800 to more than 1500 lbs. each. The massive displays come from growers across the East Coast who look forward to sharing their prize pumpkins with Dollywood park patrons.

Over 800 Concerts

Music plays an integral part of this festival, with the largest number of performances during any event ever at Dollywood! Guests can enjoy more than 800 concerts during the run of the festival from Southern gospel and bluegrass artists appearing on eight different outdoor stages. The sounds echo through the park, creating a highly-engaging entertainment offering. Additional artists can be found roaming the park, literally taking the music to the streets!

Fall Flavors

Culinary creations abound, thanks to the bountiful supply of crops from a Smoky Mountain harvest. The smells of smoked beef brisket, turkey legs and sausage pair nicely with the fresh tastes of fried green tomatoes, fire-roasted corn and sweet potato casserole. For sweet treats, the ever-popular pumpkin spice is in full supply with items ranging from pumpkin spice milkshakes and cinnamon rolls to a twist on the park’s beloved cinnamon bread. Pumpkin praline funnel cake, hot wassail and harvest kettle corn are perfect to carry and enjoy while admiring the beauty of Dollywood in the fall.

With so many opportunities for creating vibrant new family traditions, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival is a must-see experience this season.

Dollywood is open 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. each day of operation (Sept. 25- Oct. 31) during the Harvest Festival. The park is closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the festival. For more information and a park operating calendar, please visit Dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

Michael MartinDollywood’s Harvest Festival Feels Fresh, Yet Familiar

Dollywood Prepares New Display For Harvest Festival

Published September 3, 2020 / Last Updated September 3, 2020

Dollywood teams prepare a new display for this season’s Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights.

Dollywood’s hard-working Special Events team is gearing up for this year’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 25-Oct. 31). Last season, the event won USA Today’s 10Best Award as the best fall theme park event in the country, due in large part to the new family-favorite, Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health.

Great Pumpkin LumiNights is a fascinating experience for all ages, as visitors are able to stroll through thousands of pumpkins, including immersive and larger-than-life specialty displays. The event continues its expansion into the park’s newest section, Wildwood Grove, with additional theming elements and displays added this year. Among the new displays is a “sunflower field” with dozens of stacked pumpkins cut sequentially to feature sunflowers. The stacked pumpkin “sunflowers” range in size from 6 ft. to 9 1/2 ft. tall. Carving each stalk takes up to two hours, with additional build time needed to stack the pumpkins and lights to complete the “flower.”

Dollywood guests can experience several new surprises during the Harvest Festival this season, with reinvigorated decorations throughout the park and visually-impactful landscaping techniques which give the event a fresh new look. Dollywood currently is open Friday-Monday. Once the Harvest Festival begins on Sept. 25, the park will be open 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. each day of operation (closed Tuesdays and Thursdays during the Harvest Festival). For more information and a park operating calendar, please visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.

Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights
Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights
Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights
Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights
Michael MartinDollywood Prepares New Display For Harvest Festival