“I love fall in the Great Smoky Mountains,” Parton said. “It truly is one of my favorite times of the year to come home. God’s coloring book is in full display with the Great Smoky Mountains painted in reds and golds.
“I’m also really excited to be here to let you know about our brand new nighttime event we are adding for families in October called Great Pumpkin LumiNights. You know, people from all around the world know us for the millions of twinklin’ lights we put up at Christmastime. Well, when guests see thousands of these glowing pumpkins all lit up in Timber Canyon, they’re going to have that same special feeling. We think Great Pumpkin LumiNights will become just as popular with families as our Smoky Mountain Christmas festival. I’m pretty sure there will be a lot of new family traditions made this October.”
Dollywood’s Harvest Festival runs Sept. 29 to Oct. 28 and again serves as the backdrop for the Southern Gospel Jubilee.
This marks the first time the park has opened every day — and stayed open after dark — during its family-favorite, five-week harvest event. Parton said she hopes the extra days and evening hours will give park guests even more experiences designed to help them create cherished family memories.
The biggest names in Southern gospel take to stages every day throughout the park with more than 500 individual performances during the run of the festival. Additionally, Great Pumpkin LumiNights offers whimsical, family-friendly activities that are sure to make this event a new harvest tradition.
Thousands of intricately carved pumpkins, aglow each evening, will greet park guests as they wander through harvest-themed displays throughout Timber Canyon. Beyond the displays, a number of exciting activities will be available for guests to create thrilling memories together.
With so many carved pumpkins needed to create Great Pumpkin LumiNights, Dollywood has a number of “pumpkin artists” who will host demonstrations to help guests learn how to produce the perfect pumpkin masterpiece. Unique harvest games and attractions — including a glow maze — for kids, a nightly Pumpkin Boogie dance party, and friendly costume characters will help add to the festive atmosphere. New themed food options and exclusive harvest-themed Coca-Cola products will also be a part of Great Pumpkin LumiNights.
The Southern Gospel Jubilee is the largest Southern gospel music event in America and attracts some of the biggest names in the genre. Performers for this year’s lineup include: Karen Peck & New River (Oct. 21-22), Guy Penrod (Oct. 23-24), The Isaacs (Oct. 12-13), The McKameys (Oct. 6-7) and Gold City (Oct. 2-3).
The park’s “Year of the Family” continues with the extremely popular Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas (Nov. 4- Jan. 1, 2018). Honored for nine consecutive years with Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket for Best Christmas Event, Dollywood is home to a festive holiday atmosphere that truly puts guests in the holiday spirit.
“I just love Christmas at Dollywood, and I know you all do too,” Parton said. “The Parade of Many Colors is back this Christmas, along with seven holiday shows and four million beautiful lights. We even have Rudolph and his friends back for another year of creating family memories. It will be a November and December to remember.”
Parton also spoke about her newest project, a children’s CD entitled “I Believe in You.” The CD will be released in September and features songs she has written throughout the years for Dollywood’s Little Engine Playhouse. It includes a new version of “Coat of Many Colors” which debuted in the playhouse this summer.
For more information about Dollywood’s Harvest Festival or Smoky Mountain Christmas, please visit www.dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.