PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee–(Sept. 19, 2022)–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’ 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 surely will have guests pulling an “owl-nighter” in order to experience “owl” the fun!
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!
At night, Great Pumpkin LumiNights, one of the nation’s premier family-friendly harvesttime 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.
“I think everybody knows I believe every day in the Smoky Mountains is beautiful and truly a gift from God,” Dolly Parton 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!”
“I just know folks are going to get a kick out of the new Hoot Owl Hollow. 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 the those special moments they’ll share forever.”
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 1900 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 a highly-engaging entertainment offering.
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 1500 lbs. each—which come from growers across the East Coast. Visiting artisans and makers display their handmade wares at locations throughout Dollywood, with many demonstrating the talented skills and techniques they use as they create their one-of-a-kind treasures.
The Harvest Festival fun also is 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 also can 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.
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.
About Dollywood Parks & Resorts: A highly-awarded and widely-recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 160-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa. Currently under construction, Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort is scheduled for completion in 2023. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of 45 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 28 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). The park is located near Great Smoky Mountains National Park and was named in 2022 by Tripadvisor as the top theme park in the country. It also has been recognized as a top-three U.S. theme park by USA Today on multiple occasions. Dollywood is open mid-March through early January and offers rides and attractions, shows and crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel and Tripadvisor as one of the country’s most beautiful water parks, operates from mid-May to Labor Day. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, a favorite of USA Today voters and Tripadvisor reviewers, provides guests with spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. For more information, visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.
Pete Owens: Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or [email protected]
Wes Ramey: Public Relations Director, (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or [email protected]
Ellen Liston: Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or [email protected]
Amber Davis: Digital Publicist, (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 or [email protected]
Jennifer Webb: Publicist, (865) 428-9602, (865) 323-7584 or [email protected]
For B-roll, photography and more information, visit the Dollywood Media Room at http://www.dollywood.com/Media/Media-Room