Dollywood celebrates 2017 season with ‘Year of the Family’

by Brittani Tuttle

Dollywood’s “Year of the Family” is a jam-packed year full of festivals and family fun.

Dollywood, the resident theme park of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, is celebrating its 32 years of operation with the theme “Year of the Family,” hoping to continue to provide all of the family fun and memories that the award-winning park is known for.

Dollywood is known to be home to year-round entertainment and festivals, stage shows, summertime fireworks and more, which packs each season full of fun things to do with the family.

The first of these is the “Festival of Nations,” happening now through April 9. A cultural spectacular, this festival features traditional food, dancing, music and art from countries around the world. This year’s headlining show is “Mother Africa,” celebrating the colorful and joyful aspects of the culture. This festival is a trip around the world for guests, without them ever having to leave the Smokies.

“Dollywood’s Barbecue and Bluegrass” is this summer’s reigning festival, running from May 26 – June 4. Featuring a lineup of collection of bluegrass bands like Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Blue Highway and Steep Canyon Rangers, this festival is also packed with all of the barbecue, pulled pork and ribs you can eat!

Summer isn’t complete, though, without “Summer at Dollywood.” Giving families even more time to spend together, the park hours are extended to 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and on July 1 and 8, the park hours are extended to midnight – for the first time ever. To complete these long, adventurous days, a fireworks display will close out the evenings.

For Labor Day Weekend 2017, the park brings you “Dollywood’s Rock the Smokies,” a contemporary Christian music festival taking place during the entire Labor Day weekend.

During the fall season, the park offers extended hours until 9 p.m., as well as “Dollywood’s Harvest Festival featuring the Southern Gospel Celebration and Pumpkin LumiLights, presented by Humana.” This festival, taking place from Sept. 29 – Oct. 28, the park will be filled with pumpkin-themed luminaries at night, and performances by some of the biggest Southern gospel performers in the industry during the day.

Finally, to close out the year, Dollywood presents its annual “Smoky Mountain Christmas,” presented by Humana, from Nov. 4 – Jan. 1, 2018. With special holiday performances, lights, and a joyful holiday atmosphere, families can create lasting Christmas memories during this long-running holiday festival.

Dollywood’s “Year of the Family” promises to be a jam-packed year of festivals, shows and spectacles that will be fun, memory making experiences for the entire family. For more information on this year’s festivals and ticket prices, visit dollywood.com.


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