Don’t get me wrong—I love summer as much as the next girl. I love summer clothes, summer vacations, summer cookouts, the warm summer sun… But, there’s something exciting when you feel that first fall breeze of the season.
Fall ushers in newness: a new school year, new football season, new wardrobe rotation, new traditions. Where I’m from, autumn is celebrated September through Thanksgiving with bon fires, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and hay rides. And, I make sure my family participates in ALL. OF. IT. I’m kind of a sucker when it comes to seasonal traditions.
So, naturally, I texted my husband as soon as I heard what Dollywood was planning for this year’s Harvest Festival. I stepped out of a meeting and the conversation went something like this-
Me– Oh my goodness! You won’t BELIEVE what we’re going to do at the park this October. I’m so excited. We’ll have to bring Trevor multiple times. He’s going to LOVE it!!
Husband– Sounds great.
But, remember, you’re due to have a baby at the beginning of October…
Me– Well, he/she had better be good with outings because WE’RE NOT GOING TO MISS THIS!
I had just seen renderings of the new nighttime walk-through experience we’re calling Great Pumpkin LumiNights. It’s going to wrap up the hill from the Groups and Preferred Parking entrance through Timber Canyon and into Wilderness Pass—that’s a 1/3 of Dollywood! Imagine- thousands of intricately carved and illuminated pumpkins in whimsical displays; playful characters for family photo ops; a glow maze that I anticipate my 2-year-old will ask to do again and again; glow in the dark face painting; special harvest menu items; nightly Pumpkin Boogie Dance Party… and all of it is family-friendly.
What I love even more is that Dollywood will continue to celebrate fall as it has for decades—during the day, guests
will enjoy our Southern Gospel Jubilee (there will be more than 500 concerts included with admission throughout the month!) and our Harvest Craftsmen who are regional artisans demonstrating their skills and selling unique products.
Now that we’re adding this nighttime feature, the park will be open daily from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sept. 29 – Oct. 28 for Dollywood’s Harvest Festival. That gives more families the opportunity to make even more memories and traditions. So, by all means, roast those marshmallows over the fire, take the hay ride, get lost in the corn maze—just be sure to add Dollywood to your fall list of must-do’s before the season ends Oct. 28!