Dollywood Announces 30th Anniversary Celebrations
Dolly Parton's Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., will be celebrating its 30th anniversary throughout 2015 with a plethora of special events, including unique stage shows and nightly summer fireworks displays.
Parton's last performance at Dollywood was in 2005, but the singer will be returning to kick off the Showcase of Stars with four concerts on Aug. 8 and 9. The showcase will also feature special guests, who are yet to be announced, throughout August and September.
Through April 20, the park is hosting the 15th anniversary of the Festival of Nations, featuring music, dance, food and art from around the globe, to showcase different cultures and traditions. Performers include Rhythm of the Dance, a Celtic music and dance group; Timber!, a high-energy show set to traditional French-Canadian music; Los Pampas Gauchos from Argentina; Mexico's Mariachi Divas; German stilt dancers Zebra Stelzentheater and others.
Barbeque & Bluegrass is set for May 23-June 7 and will feature some of the biggest name in bluegrass music, including Jerry Douglas' Earls of Leicester, the Del McCoury Band, Balsam Range, Rhonda Vincent and Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, along with some of the South's best barbecue.
In the fall, the park will host a pair of religious festivals: Rock the Smokies, a contemporary Christian event, on Sept. 5, and the National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration, which will run Oct. 2-31.
Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas, which has been named America's Best Christmas Event seven times, is set for Nov. 7-Jan. 2, 2016. The event contains four million Christmas lights, holiday menus and a number of holiday-themed performances, including Dollywood's A Christmas Carol, which features a hologram of Parton playing the Ghost of Christmas Past.
The park will also have extended hours from June 13 through Aug. 2 (10AM to 10PM daily) as part of Dollywood's Great American Summer, giving park-goers more time to enjoy the attractions, including the new FireChaser Express. The evenings will feature a 15-minute long dance party and a special fireworks show to celebrate the 30th anniversary.
Dollywood is currently in the middle of a 10-year, $300 million expansion, which is estimated to add 2,500 jobs in the Pigeon Forge area.
“I feel like I’m just startin’,” Parton says. “I’m still trying to grow and come up with new dreams every day and make ‘em come true.”
For a full list of events celebrating Dollywood's 30 years, as well as ticket and season pass sales, visit Dollywood.com.