PIGEON FORGE — As spring continues to blossom throughout the Smoky Mountains, guests to Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health (April 23- June 7) can enjoy more than half-a-million blooming flowers, a new dining pass that provides an unforgettable culinary journey, and a warm spring atmosphere filled with the sounds of inspirational music emanating from stages throughout the Pigeon Forge park.
This fresh festival delights guests with lavish landscaping and massive floral sculptures that are brought to life by an array of more than half-a-million bright and vibrant flowers that serve as the cornerstone of the event.
Fun and discovery are around every corner, thanks to expansive displays which include a vivid butterfly umbrella, various scenes featuring mischievous and friendly animals, and even a depiction of Dolly’s mother quilting the Coat of Many Colors. These “Mosaicultures” are developed in partnership with Mosaicultures International, an internationally-known company from Montreal that specializes in these one-of-kind creations.
“When I was a little girl, I loved springtime because everything seemed so bright with color,” Dolly Parton explained. “It started to get warm outside and you just felt like you could finally get out of the house after being cooped up in there for so long, which is something I know we’re all feeling right now. But the thing I remember most about those spring days were the flowers that would start blooming all over the hills. So, the Smokies really were the inspiration for this festival.
“And I just love we made that big, beautiful display of my mama with all those wonderful flowers. It’s special to me, and I know she would have been so proud of it. But something else I’m happy about this year is that not only do we have all the flowers, we’re also bringing in a lot of great music to the festival. I just know it is really going to make the whole park feel so joyful. It’s a special time of year, and I really think Dollywood is a great place to get outdoors and enjoy it all!”
In addition to the beautiful flowers, culinary creations abound with a menu full of items inspired by spring in the Smokies. Among the new offerings in 2021 is the Flower & Food Festival Dining Pass, which allows guests to partake in multiple items at a number of culinary locations during the springtime event.
The dining pass, which is available online or at the park, is just $29.99 plus tax or $27.99 plus tax for season passholders.
With the pass, guests can sample five meals at any of the Flower & Food Festival culinary locations. Among the items featured on this year’s festival menu are a Cuban sandwich with plantain chips, fish and chips, mountain paella, summer succotash featuring pan-seared chicken, lobster roll, beef bulgogi nachos, blueberry and blackberry mini funnel cake, lemon curd and blueberry liege waffle, and much more.
Entertainment is a major component of this year’s festival, thanks to a number of performances and shows — as well as a new concert series — which take place during the event.
The Melodies of Spring concert series features contemporary Christian artists, Southern gospel groups and other fresh and inspirational acts appearing inside DP’s Celebrity Theater every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the festival. Among the artists currently scheduled are Matthew West, Big Daddy Weave, I AM THEY, Rebecca St. James, Sidewalk Prophets, the Rhett Walker Band, Triumphant Quartet and more.
Guests also will enjoy a number of performances throughout the park from groups including The Voice contestants Worth The Wait, Willow City, The Hall Sisters and the 3 Heath Brothers.
Music fills the air with the sounds of spring, thanks to Kelle Jolly at the Robert F. Thomas Chapel and roaming performer Stephani Ezatoff. All shows are included with park admission. A full schedule of performances can be found at Dollywood.com.
In addition to the visiting entertainers, several shows featuring Dollywood’s own performers debuted earlier this spring including Harmonies of the Heart — featuring Dolly’s family — and A Brighter Day, an inspiring show that delights guests with uplifting favorites at the Back Porch Theater. In The Village, Dollywood’s talented The Tones offer a fresh acapella take on today’s current hits.
Returning in 2021, the dazzling Umbrella Sky greets guests with a stunning visual upon arrival as hundreds of colorful umbrellas are suspended above Showstreet. The display proved to be an overwhelming hit with the bright umbrellas serving as the perfect “Instagrammable” backdrop for guest photos.
A number of “Insta” opportunities are available throughout the park to help guests document the experience for their friends on social media. A new feature this year, chalk art dazzles guests with incredible displays in Adventures in Imagination. Every day, one of Dollywood’s talented artists creates uplifting works of art inspired by springtime in the Smokies.
Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa celebrates the Flower & Food Festival with a number of special events that bring the fun of Dollywood to the resort with blooming festival décor and floral designs.
Families will find live entertainment from featured festival performers, festival-themed activities at Camp DW, as well as a special spring menu and chef demonstrations at the resort’s restaurant. The resort also partners with Biltmore Winery for a Winemaker’s Dinner on Saturday, May 22.
Dollywood celebrates a year full of exceptional experiences, with each season unlike the next. It’s the perfect year for a season pass, as guests will want to return throughout the year to enjoy it all.
After the Flower & Food Festival, guests can enjoy Summer Celebration (June 25-July 31), which includes a new evening drone show and dance party every night. Thousands of pumpkins glow to life as part of the Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 24- Oct. 30), and Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 6- Jan. 2, 2022) celebrates the spirit of the season.
For more information about Dollywood, visit dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.