Dollywood Theme Park

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival Brings Fall Family Fun to America’s #1 Theme Park

Published September 21, 2022 / Last Updated September 21, 2022
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

New Hoot Owl Hollow displays provide more fun for all during Dollywood’s 2022 Harvest Festival

Dollywood guests are sure to have a hoot during this year’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 23 – Oct. 29), thanks to a brand new area created within the family-favorite Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health.

Appropriately named Hoot Owl Hollow, the area features hundreds of pumpkins in Dollywood’s Craftsman’s Valley that celebrate the nocturnal creature, including a massive 14-foot tall version created with more than 150 carved white pumpkins. It’s just the latest addition to the event that has overwhelmingly become one of America’s favorite fall family destinations, and it will surely have guests pulling an “owl-nighter” in order to experience “owl” the fun!

“I just know folks are going to get a kick out of the new Hoot Owl Hollow,” Dolly shared. “And in ‘owl’ seriousness, I hope our guests make their own precious Smoky Mountain memories while they are here. As I look back on my favorite family memories, so many of them took place during this time of year, and I hope our guests leave with those special moments they’ll share forever.”

A longstanding tradition for so many, the Harvest Festival greets guests with the surrounding mountainsides draped in vibrant colors. Dollywood’s landscaping and fresh décor accent the autumn atmosphere and bring the beauty right into the park, making it ripe for families to create their picture-perfect pumpkin photo ops to share with friends!

“I think everybody knows I believe every day in the Smoky Mountains is beautiful and truly a gift from God,” Dolly said, “but I do feel like fall is when He really puts on a show for all of us to admire and enjoy. As the leaves change, the mountains transform into a patchwork of bright, vibrant colors that make them look as if they’ve come alive. The hot summer days start to fade and crisp, cool winds bring that fresh mountain air down into the valleys and right into my Dollywood. To me, this has to be the most beautiful theme park in the whole world, because no park in the world is built right in the middle of the Smokies!”

Great Pumpkin LumiNights

At night, 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 and carved pumpkins throughout Dollywood. For those with small children—or anyone looking for a fun, not scary experience—this event is certainly the cream of the crop. Families can bask in the glow as they wander through displays in Dollywood’s Timber Canyon, Wilderness Pass, Wildwood Grove and Craftsman’s Valley areas. Beyond the impressive displays, guests can find a number of exciting activities to create long-lasting memories together.

Award-Winning Entertainment

No festival at Dollywood is complete without award-winning entertainment, and the Harvest Festival certainly delivers. Several genres are well-represented with a wide range of Southern Gospel and bluegrass artists, as well as Americana acts and classic country performers scheduled to appear. In all, more than 1,900 performances take place during the Harvest Festival.

Fresh off a finalist appearance on America’s Got Talent, Chapel Hart graces the stage of DP’s Celebrity Theater on Oct. 2. Country music legend John Anderson—known for hits like “Swingin’,” “Seminole Wind,” and “Straight Tequila Night”—visits the park on Oct. 10. Contemporary Christian group Sidewalk Prophets visits Sept. 28, while Southern Gospel favorites, including The Collingsworth Family (Sept. 26), Karen Peck and New River (Oct. 5), Triumphant Quartet (Oct. 19) and The Isaacs (Oct. 21), also entertain guests throughout the festival. Bluegrass is well represented with Rhonda Vincent and the Rage (Oct. 24), Dailey & Vincent (Oct. 24) and more set to perform. Knoxville’s Emily Ann Roberts—who placed second on season nine of NBC’s The Voice—performs Oct. 20.

A complete schedule can be found on Dollywood.com. Performances take place on indoor and outdoor stages throughout the park, allowing the beautiful sounds to echo through the surrounding hillsides and create highly-engaging entertainment offerings.

Flavors of Fall

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 bratwursts, turkey legs or smoked andouille sausage mac and cheese 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 iced coffee. Items like the maple pecan bacon funnel cake, hot apple cider, wassail or an apple pie milkshake are perfect to carry and enjoy while admiring the beauty of Dollywood in the fall.

Several other guest favorites return to the Harvest Festival, including the colossal pumpkins—last year’s pumpkins ranged in weight from 800 to 1,500 lbs. each—which come from growers across the East Coast. Visiting artisans display their handmade wares at locations throughout Dollywood, with many demonstrating the skills and techniques they use as they create their one-of-a-kind treasures.

Harvest Festival Happenings at DreamMore Resort

The Harvest Festival fun is also celebrated at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa with themed activities and harvest décor planned throughout the resort’s property.

Guests can enjoy live entertainment by featured Harvest Festival performers in the resort’s atrium every Tuesday, including performances by The Young Fables, The Woods, Billy and Cruz Contreras, the High Beams and Kate and Corey. Daily roaming performers can also be found throughout the resort.

The resort’s culinary team is cooking up special dining experiences, including an unforgettable wine pairing event on Saturday, Oct. 23. In The Lounge, guests can feast upon delicious harvest-themed food and beverage options. At The Spa at DreamMore Resort, guests can relax with special treatments infused with fall scents and ingredients. For Dollywood’s Harvest Festival, guests can choose from treatments that are reminiscent of harvest in the Smoky Mountains such as the Honey Chai Massage or Luminous Pumpkin Facial.

Plan Your Visit

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. 23 – Oct. 29) during the Harvest Festival. The park is closed on Tuesdays throughout the festival. For more information and a park operating calendar, visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.

Team DollyDollywood’s Harvest Festival Brings Fall Family Fun to America’s #1 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

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