Dollywood is set to introduce its inaugural Flower & Food Festival, a vibrant new event that adds another touch of dazzling color to the natural beauty that already surrounds the award-winning theme park.
Coinciding with the park’s 35th anniversary, the first new festival experience at Dollywood since 2006 immerses park guests in the splendor of spring flowers through creative and aromatic displays as well as the freshest food flavors of the spring with delicious and mouth-watering Smoky Mountain cuisine selections. The five-week festival is slated for May 8-June 14.
Dollywood’s Dreamer-In-Chief Dolly Parton loved springtime in the Smoky Mountains as a child and continues to draw inspiration from the beauty of what she calls “God’s Coloring Book.” With nearly half-a-million plants and flowers throughout the park, it will be easy for guests to feel as if they are walking through those pages.
“When I was just a little girl, spring was a wondrous time,” Parton explained. “Everything came to life – flowers bloomed in the meadow near our house, and the Dogwood, red bud and fruit trees blossomed with the sweetest smells. I imagined having my own special field of flowers that were a fragrant home to my favorite animal friends in the woods. Now, my Dollywood becomes that special place with everything made of flowers – I can’t wait to share it with everyone just in time for our 35th season!”
Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival brings Dolly’s dreams to life in an all-new way with floral displays that bloom in a kaleidoscope of colors. In partnership with internationally-acclaimed Mosaicultures flower sculpting team, a multitude of flowers come to life throughout Dollywood as Smoky Mountain turtles, raccoons, frogs, and black bears. Dolly’s rich influence through song comes alive in blooming topiary tributes to “I Will Always Love You” with a floral heart umbrella and to “Coat of Many Colors” with a brilliant butterfly and a marvelous scenic sculpture of her mother sewing the priceless garment. Just like Dolly, these topiaries are larger than life – measuring 10-15 feet tall – and each spring sculpture offers a variety of colors and flowers.
The festival takes its blooms and brilliance throughout Dollywood, starting with photo opportunities before guests step foot through the turnstiles. Once in the park, the Showstreet area of Dollywood becomes a colorful shower of flowers – literally! Guests quickly find themselves under an “Umbrella Sky” with hundreds of multi-colored umbrellas dancing above their heads. “This gives all new meaning to one of my favorite sayings – ‘If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain,’” Parton said. “With these umbrellas, it’s sure to be a sunshine kind of day no matter what!”
Flit and Flutter, the colorful characters from Wildwood Grove, venture throughout the park for special meet and greet experiences and photo opportunities during this new event. Special “Instagramable” photo locations and interactive activities allow families to capture special memories that will live on long after the festival flowers bloom.
The colorful splendor created by an artful array of flowers and plants is accented by the delicious dishes of spring’s freshest tastes for a mouth-watering festival of flavors. Dollywood’s team of culinary experts dug deep into the traditions of Southern and Smoky Mountain cuisine to plant tantalizing tastes sure to take root on the list of favorite foods for every festival visitor.