This is the second year of Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health, but because of the pandemic, this may be your first time to experience it. To ensure you know what to expect, I’ll highlight the elements waiting for you to enjoy when you visit from April 23 – June 7.
While Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain landscaping is always a talking point of your visit, if you come to the park during the Flower & Food Festival, the backdrop becomes the forefront. In addition to the lovely flora (and fauna) you see in every season, you’ll get to experience an additional 500,000 plants during this springtime festival. The footprint of the festival runs from the park entrance on Showstreet and through Adventures in Imagination and winds its way throughout Rivertown Junction. If you’re a Dollywood veteran, you know that much of our newer festival elements (specifically, Great Pumpkin LumiNights and Glacier Ridge) have been focused on the upper loop of the park. It’s exciting that this festival brings extra fun to the lower third of the property.
You will see more potted flowers, more hanging baskets and more flower beds with tightly-packed color blocks. Beyond that—and what you really want to know about—we have iconic displays to discover as you journey through the festival area. These larger-than-life blooms feature whimsical scenes you’re going to want to capture on your Instagram feed. I can’t decide which is my favorite, but I do love the mischievous raccoons, the bear family and Dolly’s mother sewing the Coat of Many Colors.
To create these flower structures, we teamed up with a floral design company in Montreal, Canada. You may be tempted to call them topiaries, but a traditional topiary is a shrub or tree that is clipped into an ornamental shape. Whereas our designs are made up of as many as 6,000 individual plants!
You know when food is in the name of the festival, the bar has been set. If you’re familiar with Dollywood’s year-round fare, you’re likely satisfied with the status quo. I agree that a good Southern meal polished off with a loaf of cinnamon bread is hard to top, but hear me out. The menu for our Flower & Food Festival is full of fresh-from-the-garden flavors. What I tasted last year has me ready for round two. And, our culinary team has upped the game. Now, there’s a dining pass that allows you to sample five different entrees, desserts or drinks from the festival menu! The portions are small entrees and you can use it over the course of several visits until you’ve used it for five items. The price is $29.99 ($27.99 for Dollywood Season Passholders!). You’re going to LOVE this opportunity.
New in 2021, Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival features inspiring entertainment through a new spring concert series. These shows are all included with admission—just remember that capacity is limited in our theaters. The lineup is incredible and showcases the talent of big names from contemporary Christian and Southern gospel. Check out the full schedule and plan your visit around one of your favorite artists!
How have I made it this far into the blog and have not mentioned our Umbrella Sky?? Well, I’m a big fan. You will be, too, if you’re not already. Umbrella Sky sets the stage—and dare I say your mood—as you enter Dollywood and walk down Showstreet. Hundreds of cheerful umbrellas are suspended above you, creating a fun atmosphere of your first impression of the park.
Continuing the playful theming, chalk art will make a debut during this year’s Flower & Food Festival. A chalk artist will be at the park every day drawing butterflies and flowers and interactive photo ops. Look for this in the Adventures in Imagination area of the park.
Drawn by the allure of half-a-million flowers, Flit and Flutter will travel from Wildwood Grove to visit festival-goers. Our charming butterfly ambassadors will pose for pictures and add sparkle to the festival atmosphere.
Before You Visit
I predict this festival is going to become another beloved staple in the Dollywood seasonal calendar. So, get ready to fall in love with our spring event. To bide your time until opening day (this Friday!) you can check out these Flower & Food coloring pages created just for you. And, one of our Dollywood Insiders got his hands on a few recipes he could try at home. Learn how to make succotash and blood orange lemonade and then come enjoy it at Dollywood!