For all the spectacular rides and water adventures offered by Dollywood every year, it’s the theme park’s shows that draw just as many crowds to them as any coaster or slide. If you’re from the area, you know that Dollywood’s Festival of Nations draw some of the biggest.
Dollywood’s Festival of Nations in Pigeon Forge, TN is a great way to discover Dollywood if this is your first time at the park, as well as a great event for those who have been a time or two. Festival of Nations has been an end of March through the beginning of May event in years past featuring international performers highlighting their cultures through dance, song, and culinary delights. It’s one of Dollywood’s most captivating events showcasing a world of entertainment, plus art, dancing, music and food, that’s most won’t see in person over an entire lifetime.
In 2011, Le Grand Cirque and the show Imaginé was back for another run on the Festival of Nations stage. But this is no Americanized “Circus”. This is a mouth-dropping performance weaving the flavor of numerous cultures into one spell binding show. These performances combine aerial acrobats, gymnasts, clowns, jugglers, and high wire artists in fantastic costumes. It’s a dazzling display of amazing feats set to great music. Really a can’t miss for the Festival of Nations.
Other shows that have wowed the crowds at the Dollywood spectacular include Keona, an act unlike any other from Switzerland. They perform using an instrument called the hang drum, which produces fascinating rhythms on many different drums. The Equadorian group Atahualpa captures the crowd with traditional South American song and dance. Native instruments as well as modern keyboards and guitars are just a part of their show, resulting in a melting pot of cultures and sounds. Calpulli Danza Mexicana has also put on a lively performance in years past featuring the Mexican variations of music and dance. Ceremonial dances and rich costumes from Mexico play a large part in Calpulli Danza Mexicana’s number.
DRUM!, a Nova Scotian group featuring 20 musicians, puts on quite the musical spectacle with dancers, drummers, and singers performing songs from four principle cultures – Aboriginal, Black, Celtic and Acadian. This 45-minute stage show is an upbeat combination of music, dance, poetry, video, rhythm and song, and is known the world over for its melding of different cultures into one spectacular performance.
Another group found to have combined together different cultures, Zambian Vocal Group brought numerous tribes together for their performance last year. Their united performance in a capella – no instruments, brought the crowd to its feet following a show of traditional hymns as well as original pieces to the backdrop of African rhythms, unique vocal percussion, and complex harmonies.
Whatever time of year, it’s always a great time to be at Dollywood, and even more so during the Festival of Nations. For the month of April into early May, you get all the normal attractions, plus everything encompassing the Festival of Nations. For more Festival of Nations information, check out Dollywood’s Festival of Nations web page. You’ll also find anything you need if you’re visiting Dollywood for the first time.
Driving Directions to Dollywood:
- From Interstate 40, take Exit 407 toward Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg.
- Follow TN Hwy. 66 South which becomes US 441.
- At Traffic Light No. 8 in Pigeon Forge, turn left. Dollywood signs are posted along the road till you reach the park.
Using a GPS Navigation System:
Use the address 1198 McCarter Hollow Road, Pigeon Forge, TN 37862 to take you to Dollywood’s entrance.