Takin’ It To The (Dollywood) Streets.

Spontaneity, entertainment and Dollywood – three of my favorite things about life.  And when the three of these are combined together at the theme park’s Festival of Nations that started March 16 – well, it just doesn’t get any better in my world!

Now I love the fancy choreography and special effects and spiffy costumes that are part of the big festival acts in Dollywood’s indoor theaters, like this year’s internationally-known headliners – The National Dance Company of Siberia, The Flamenco Kings starring Los Vivancos, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. But if you give me a choice of the kind of entertainment I like best at Festival of Nations, I’m going to channel my favorite Doobie Brothers tune and have to be “takin’ it to the streets.”

To be fair, my love of entertainers that roam around Dollywood began during the park’s 10th season when Jukebox Junction opened. That’s when the Gem Tones a capella group took over the streets in the 1950’s themed area with their doo-wop sounds and poodle skirts. Their fun harmonies soon occupied a place in my musical heart that still can’t be dislodged. So imagine my excitement when Festival of Nations debuted in 2001, and I learned that street-mosphere entertainment would be part of the musical magic: my definition of entertainment heaven!

Over the years, I’ve always been drawn to these musicians, singers and spreaders of fun that turn up in various places throughout Dollywood during Festival of Nations. I absolutely loved last year’s duo who are festival favorites, Hodman & Sally from the country of “Oblivia.” Pretty sure I have dual citizenship there!  And one of my all-time favorite photos of Dolly at Dollywood is our sweet superstar hanging out with Zebra Stelzentheater, and they are back this year! These German stilt dancers wear incredible, colorful costumes and seem to always be on the lookout for fun from their tall perch. All I have to do is see them seemingly walking up among the tree tops, and a smile immediately takes over my face. Pretty sure they will make everyone else’s day every day they are at Dollywood, just like they do mine.

So if you’re looking for me at Dollywood during the Festival of Nations (now through April 9), don’t look for me in line waiting to ride the Dollywood Express train or at the Celebrity Theater waiting to see a great show on stage. Instead, you’ll find me with some delicious cinnamon bread or kettle corn in hand (maybe both!), waiting to experience the fun about to be had listening to some pretty spectacular entertainers just roaming around helping folks like you and me make memories.  Just follow the sound of laughter and fun out in the streets of Dollywood – should be pretty easy to find me!

By | 2018-03-19T15:57:17+00:00 March 19th, 2018|Festivals|0 Comments

About the Author:

If it has anything to do with East Tennessee, this Dollywood blogger loves it. Ellen Liston was born in Kingsport and grew up in a rural environment that she says has many similarities to the Sevier County area and the beautiful Smoky Mountains here. When she’s not at Dollywood or enjoying the multitude of activities and attractions in these mountains, Ellen can usually be found cheering on the Tennessee Volunteers, particularly at football and Lady Vols basketball games, or hanging out with her family – sometimes cheering on the Vols together! Some of her favorite things are reading almost any kind of book imaginable, history, crime dramas (especially Perry Mason and Forensic Files), old movies, ‘80s music, and most anything to do with her Scottish heritage, including kilts and bagpipes. She and her husband Scott live in South Knoxville on 6 acres with their yellow labs, Charlie and Rudy, and a Maine Coon cat with a major attitude, Sam.
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