Every season brings its own unique charm to Dollywood, but few spectacles match the excitement of the theme park’s annual Harvest Festival. In 2022, this special event will take place between late September and October 29th, granting visitors of all ages plenty of opportunities to make the most of autumn in the Smokies. Offering a true feast for the senses, the event brings ornate pumpkin displays, tasty treats, and new this year: Hoot Owl Hollow, adding a new dimension to an already exciting getaway. There’s a lot to take in, but you’ll definitely want to check out the following highlights:
Charming Harvest Decor
Autumn colors lend indescribable beauty to Dollywood — beauty that is further complemented by the stunning decor on display during the Harvest Festival. Take a leisurely stroll through the park as you observe the obvious attention to detail present within this autumn spectacle. Pumpkins, gourds, hay bales, and scarecrows — you’ll find it all as you wander from one attraction to the next. Set aside a few moments to pose for photos alongside the displays; there’s no better way to commemorate your autumn adventures.
Don’t hesitate to extend your Dollywood visit for an entire day. Between the usual rides and the Harvest Festival, there’s plenty to keep you and your loved ones entertained. The long hours will seem more than worthwhile as you observe the change from day to night. You will invariably be impressed as you revisit various locations after dark when they take on a completely different feel.
Local and National Artisans
Smoky Mountain residents have long taken pride in the region’s talented community of artisans. Several of the area’s most talented crafters regularly appear at the Harvest Festival, as do artisans living and working across the nation. These hardworking individuals represent a variety of trades and practices, some of which you may previously have not realized existed. Favorites include pottery, glass painting, chair caning, rug hooking, and even chainsaw carving. This is your opportunity to see the talented individuals responsible for these works and many others in action.
Don’t hesitate to ask artisans about their work; they appreciate the curiosity and love to discuss their livelihood. You’ll come away with a greater appreciation for the many crafts that have been passed down through the generations in the Smoky Mountains and beyond.
Southern Gospel, Blue Grass and Country Music Abounds
Music is always a big deal at Dollywood, but it takes on an extra element of importance during the Harvest Festival. As fall colors take over, the beautiful sounds of music fill the park. During this special season, your park admission will include access to a variety of concerts.
In the past, Dollywood’s Southern Gospel Jubilee has attracted the likes of Mark Bishop, Tim Lovelace, Greater Vision, and The McKameys, among others. Visiting artists primarily perform at Celebrity Theater and The Pines Theater. Grab a seat if you have the chance, or at least make a point of walking by one of these theaters during a performance. There’s nothing like being serenaded as you take in the park’s welcoming atmosphere. Whether you listen to a few measures or several songs, these awe-inspiring performances will have you feeling inspired and uplifted.
Great Pumpkin LumiNights
An integral part of the annual Harvest Festival, the Great Pumpkin LumiNights transforms Dollywood into a slightly spooky — but mostly whimsical — wonderland after dark. This is the ultimate event for Halloween lovers, who no longer need to limit the fun to just one evening.
A variety of options are available for making the most of Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Visitors who have spent the entire day at the park often enjoy returning to spots they checked out in the morning or afternoon. Many are amazed at the extent to which nightfall and glowing lights can change the park’s entire ambiance. Other visitors are more impressed by the many pumpkin-themed foods available throughout the park. Once you’ve eaten your fill, you’re welcome to burn off those extra calories during the nightly dance, which includes family-friendly music and costumed characters.
As cooler temperatures take over and the days grow shorter, you’ll want to mark the change in seasons with a tradition like no other. Don’t hesitate to stop by Dollywood for a touch of autumn whimsy. You’ll always treasure the one-of-a-kind memories made during the theme park’s annual Harvest Festival.