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Silver Dollar City’s Harvest Festival 2021 shines brighter than ever

by Susan and Simon Veness

Silver Dollar City’s Harvest Festival has added an extravaganza of all things pumpkin to its Crafts, Cowboys, and Pumpkins event.

Silver Dollar City Harvest Festival logo

As part of a half-million-dollar “Pumpkins In The City” expansion in honor of their 60th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee, Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo. is packing the park with more pumpkins than ever before.

Larger-than-life pumpkin sculptures, carved pumpkins, and extensive lighted pathways featuring hand-carved designs make this year’s Crafts & Harvest Festival a true celebration of Fall, from Sept. 24 – Oct. 30.

Silver Dollar City cat pumpkin sculpture

“Pumpkins In The City” takes over the area extending from Boatworks Theater to Rivertown Smokehouse, with family-friendly elements including a 14-foot “Lucky” Dog (Fireman’s Landing’s Dalmatian mascot).

Friendly bats with five-foot wingspans perch above the walkways in dramatically lit areas, and all of Rivertown is draped in autumn-inspired festoons.  

Vivid ground lighting highlights a discovery trail lined by thousands of pumpkins and themed sculptures, including a massive cat, pumpkin craftspeople, a two-story-tall scarecrow, and a variety of gigantic animals.

Silver Dollar City harvest festival woodland trail

The park’s roller coasters are among the 40 rides and attractions that will remain open into the night, and families can also take part in blacklight, glow-in-the-dark dance parties, dancing alongside life-sized pumpkin pals.

Event-specific food turns each visit into a party, with pumpkin, the iconic flavor of Fall, taking center stage. Choose from long-time favorites, pumpkin chili, pumpkin corn dogs with sweet potato fries, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, pumpkin spiced churros, pumpkin fluff, pork sandwiches with pumpkin barbecue sauce, pumpkin spiced ribs, and pumpkin bread pudding.

New seasonal treats include:

  • Pumpkin Danish
  • Pumpkin Sausage Pizza
  • Pumpkin Sausage Potato Soup
  • Pumpkin Coconut Chicken Curry and Rice
  • Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
  • Autumn pork belly skillet

Make the most of these delicious offerings with the new “Harvest Tasting Passport,” allowing guests to select five dishes from the extensive 40-item menu spread across 23 locations around the park.

Crafts & Cowboys are part of the festival, too, and each day the park welcomes crafters demonstrating their skills. Among the 43 artists creating jewelry, hand-made dolls, glass and sandstone art, and much more, is the famed pumpkin-carver, Barry Brown, featured on “Good Morning America.”

Craft artists

Specialty handicrafts can be found at The Maker’s Market, including quilts, vintage wares, and applique and woven rugs.

What about the cowboys in Crafts, Cowboys & Pumpkins? An array of Western authors, craftspeople, and artists will sell and display their wares in the Cowboy Emporium during the day, while western, bluegrass, and country music bands take to the stages around the park.

harvest festival Artist Buck Taylor

Fans of the TV series’ “Gunsmoke” and “Yellowstone” will recognize Buck Taylor, now a famed Cowboy Art watercolor artist. He’ll be plying his trade throughout the festival.

Food Network star Kent Rollins

For an authentic westward-ho experience, check out the Cowboy Corral for chuckwagon cooking demonstrations with Jim Flint-Smith (Sept. 24 – Oct.10) and Food Network star Kent Rollins (Oct. 13-30).

And, of course, a posse of wranglers will be on hand to bring the history of Silver Dollar City to life.

For more information, visit SilverDollarCity.com.

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