Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
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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.
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.