Guest-favorite festival features fall fun, immersive music, thousands of pumpkins
PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Monday, September 20, 2021) — Dollywood, one of America’s favorite fall family destinations, celebrates the splendor of autumn in the majestic rolling foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains during the Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 24- Oct. 30). The annual guest-favorite event includes the family-friendly Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health, which has quickly become a cherished experience for parkgoers.
A longstanding family 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!
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 and upper Craftsman’s Valley areas. Beyond the impressive displays, guests can find a number of exciting activities to create thrilling memories together.
“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,” Dolly Parton, Dollywood’s Dreamer-in-Chief said. “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!”
Last season, reinvigorated decorations and visually-impactful landscaping techniques were implemented throughout the park to immerse visitors in a fresh, new look. One of the “biggest” additions to last season’s festival returns this year, as guests can peruse more than a dozen colossal pumpkins. Last year’s prize pumpkins ranged from 800 to 1500 lbs. each. The massive displays come from growers across the East Coast who look forward to sharing these gargantuan gourds with guests.
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 and create a highly-engaging entertainment offering. 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). A complete schedule can be found on Dollywood.com. 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!”
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 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.
Visiting artisans and makers display their handmade wares at locations throughout Dollywood. Many even demonstrate the talented skills and techniques they use as they create their one-of-a-kind treasures.
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. 24- Oct. 30) 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 The Dollywood Company: 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; Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. 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 more than 40 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 27 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 has been named a top-three US 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 provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. 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]