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Barnstormer, Return of Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival, New Christmas Show Highlight Dollywood’s 2011 Season

High-flying high jinks take to the sky at Dollywood for the 2011 season with the new Barnstormer ride, a $5.5 million family thrill ride situated in a barnyard-themed area which also includes play areas for younger guests. (Graphic: Business Wire)

Season opens March 26 with Festival of Nations international celebration.

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn., USA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dollywood adds the Barnstormer, revives the popular Barbeque & Bluegrass fall festival and debuts a Christmas ice skating show for guests visiting the Smoky Mountains in 2011.

The Barnstormer, Dollywood’s newest family thrill ride, takes flight for the 2011 season. Situated on a ridge alongside Craftsman’s Valley adjacent to the Mountain Slidewinder, the Barnstormer “landed” on Owens Farm. Passengers are seated back-to-back on two giant pendulum arms that reach 81 feet in the air. The journey to the treetops reaches a maximum speed of 45 miles per hour and 230 degrees of rotation. Situated amid a big, red barn, the Barnstormer’s barnyard theme includes activity-filled children’s play areas. Lil’ Pilots Playground features a 22-foot by 16-foot wooden bi-plane while Granny’s Garden & Pig Pen offers play structures and water fountains. To add authenticity to the Owens Farm area and the Barnstormer attraction, Dollywood partnered in the project with Tennessee Farmers Cooperative.

“When we were kids, we were absolutely amazed when we saw an airplane do stunts in the sky,” Dolly Parton said. “Their tricks would entertain us for hours on end, and I just know that my new Barnstormer ride is going to be every bit as exciting to folks today. I can’t wait to see the looks on folks’ faces as they dip and soar!”

Home to five of the South’s largest festivals, Dollywood’s revives its popular Barbeque & Bluegrass festival Aug. 19-Sept. 5. Free concerts by the biggest names in bluegrass music get under way with Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder Aug. 19 and 20 with two shows each day. Other performers include Sierra Hull & Highway 111 (Aug. 21 & 22), The Grascals (Aug. 24), Riders in the Sky (Aug. 26 & 27), Rhonda Vincent & The Rage (Aug. 28 & 29), The Gibson Brothers (Sept. 2 & 3), Marty Raybon (Sept. 4 & 5) and many more.

“My love for bluegrass music runs real deep, and after hearing from lots of folks, I know the same is true for them,” Parton said. “And that’s why I’m so very proud to bring my Barbeque and Bluegrass festival back this year. We’ve got fine pickers and mighty fine barbecue to spice things up, too!”

For the holidays, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival presented by Humana, a three-time winner of America’s best Christmas event, welcomes Christmas on Ice. The spectacular indoor ice skating production, with spins and spirals choreographed to the sounds of the season, features the Ice Theater of New York. The show joins the park’s award-winning lineup of Christmastime shows, including the perennial favorite Christmas in the Smokies.

Other festival highlights include The Gazillion Bubble Show, Cloudy with a Chance of Meat Balls™ 4D Experience and two new children’s shows performed by the Penguin Players—Otis and Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad—all during KidsFest (June 17-Aug. 7). National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration presented by Humana begins with the return of Southern Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and the Singing News Fan Awards on Sept. 28. Dollywood Nights, a week of extended park hours, is slated for Aug. 8-14.

Dollywood is a 150-acre family adventure park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Open nine months a year (March 26-Dec. 30), Dollywood offers more than 40 rides and attractions; award-winning live entertainment featuring country, bluegrass, gospel and mountain music; and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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