logo_white_big



Festival of Nations Kicks Off Dollywood’s Biggest Season Ever!

There is no doubt that all of us—and I’m guessing all of you—are more excited about the opening of this season than we’ve ever been about a year in Dollywood’s history! With the addition of Wildwood Grove, thrilling festivals all season long, and great entertainment and food, this year is certainly the biggest we’ve ever had!

It all begins with one of our greatest Festival of Nations lineups ever! The event, which begins when the park opens to Season Passholders on March 15, features exhilarating new headline shows, the return of the Passport to Foods and special cooking demonstrations throughout the festival. The best part for families who may be planning their spring breaks is that Festival of Nations is also an educational experience—just don’t tell the kids or let them read this. They’ll never know; it can be our little secret!


When you visit during Festival of Nations, start your globetrotting adventure by enjoying the great new headline shows visiting this season. Fun Fact: Go down after the show to the stage. Many of the performers enjoy meeting guests and sharing facts about their home and culture.

One of our headliners this year is Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba, which is a fusion dance and music company that mixes Hispanic and Caribbean cultures into each performance. It is considered to include some of the best performers from Cuba and has been together for more than 25 years and entertained on five continents. Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba can be found in DP’s Celebrity Theater.


I’m really excited about Drumstruck. Billed as the first interactive drum-theater experience ever, Drumstruck will leave your family laughing and smiling about all the fun they’ve had. As you enter Showstreet Palace Theater, you’ll find drums placed in each seat throughout the theater. You use these drums to become part of the performance yourself! This high-energy production weaves South African music and culture with West African rhythms and will be quite the experience!

If you’re like me and you love to eat, the new Passport to Food is just the ticket! Your taste buds can travel the world thanks to this expanded international menu that lets you enjoy savory and sweet delights from a number of countries. I was lucky enough to get to attend a special food tasting (someone has to write the descriptions so you’ll know what you’re getting!).

It was all spectacular, but my favorites were the grilled beef skewers from Trinidad, poutine and fried cheese curds from Canada, and beef bulgogi nachos over wonton chips from South Korea. Oh my gosh the nachos! There also are some very refreshing drinks to wash it all down! Finally, if your sweet tooth is as large as mine, you’ll have to sample some of the great pastries and dessert items we’ve got this year!

There will be great chefs cooking international dishes every weekend during Festival of Nations. Chef Pepin, a well-known Cuban chef who has appeared on a number of national and international television shows, will make some of his most popular recipes during the opening weekend of the festival. I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll want to go home and try for yourself.

Here are the other great groups performing this year:

  • Invaders Steel Orchestra- One of the world’s oldest and most respected steel drum bands, Invaders Steel Orchestra celebrates more than 75 years of creating festive music for audiences around the world. You’ll feel the Caribbean sand between your toes with this group. Location: The Valley Theater
  • Atahualpa – Hailing from Ecuador, Atahualpa combines native Incan instruments with contemporary backups to celebrate the history and culture of the Andes Mountains. Atahualpa’s mix of songs includes contemporary music, South American dance rhythms, and the traditional music of the Andes. Location: Showstreet Gazebo
  • De Temps Antan- Traveling from Quebec, Canada, De Temps Antan explores and performs the time-honored melodies from Quebec’s musical past. Location: Back Porch Theater (Performing March 16- 24)
  • Les Grands Hurleurs- Les Grands Hurleurs of Quebec, Canada has pushed boundaries and incorporate a variety of musical influences for their own special sound. Location: Back Porch Theater (Performing March 27- April 14)

Invaders Steel Drum Band

If you don’t have it yet, this is the year to take advantage of the value of a Dollywood Season Pass. With the opening of Wildwood Grove and the large amount of entertainment and festivals available throughout the season, you will want to visit a lot this year!

By | 2019-05-13T15:35:01+00:00 March 11th, 2019|Festivals|0 Comments

About the Author:

While he is originally from Gate City, Virginia, Wes Ramey has long considered Dollywood and the Smoky Mountains region his second home. Many weekends of the year, he would travel with his parents and grandparents to the Smokies to enjoy some his favorite attractions in the area, including the Space Needle, the Gatlinburg Sky Lift, go karts, and of course, Dollywood. Based on his love as a three-year-old for Dollywood’s Convoy ride (there is a picture on his desk), Wes first told his parents he wanted to become a truck driver when he grew up. He also enjoyed the Flooded Mine because: A.) it was the only ride his mamaw was brave enough to ride, and B.) she was usually scared halfway through! When Wes isn’t working to tell people about the awesome things you can do at Dollywood with your family (scaring your grandparents doesn’t count), he enjoys spending time with his wife Lyndsey and young children. Most of his days are filled with reading Imagination Library books and baking imaginary cupcakes for tea parties, but when he has time, he enjoys anything with wheels and an engine. While Wes doesn’t own his own race car (yet), he does enjoy watching the professionals do their thing each week. For now, he fulfills his need for speed on Lightning Rod, Thunderhead, Wild Eagle and the Rockin’ Roadway!
WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux