Dollywood’s Harvest Festival, Great Pumpkin LumiNights Returns with Fall Fun for All


Image Courtesy Dollywood. Photo by Steven Bridges.

Family-friendly fall fun has returned to Dollywood! The Dollywood Harvest Festival is again welcoming guests thanks to the return of Great Pumpkin LumiNights. A guest favorite since its 2017 introduction, Great Pumpkin LumiNights was named the country’s Best Theme Park Halloween Event in the 2019 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards. Now in its third season, Great Pumpkin LumiNights is bringing even more fun this year by adding the glow to Wildwood Grove where guest can enjoy a harvest experience at The Wildwood Tree. This year will also feature new harvest-themed experiences, and new food and merchandise.

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival runs September 27- Nov. 2 (closed Tuesday, October 22 & Tuesday, October 29) with extended park hours every day from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Popular pumpkin displays from previous events return including the pumpkin spider, pumpkin dance party, and Dolly-inspired displays.

The Plaza at Wilderness Pass again serves as a hub for all things fall with an area for character interaction, additional displays, and a 40-foot tall pumpkin tree featuring enormous carved pumpkins. Families can enjoy the glow from thousands of carved pumpkins while wandering through displays in Timber Canyon, Wilderness Pass, Wildwood Grove and upper Craftsman’s Valley areas. Beyond the displays, guests can find a variety of exciting activities!

“I’m so glad to hear families are just lovin’ Great Pumpkin LumiNights,” Dolly Parton said. “When I was a kid, we’d love to get pumpkins, scoop out all those guts from the inside and carve these beautiful masterpieces—at least us kids thought they were masterpieces! But, it makes me just feel good to know families are able to spend time together exploring during what really is the most beautiful time of year in the Smokies.”

Great Pumpkin LumiNights lights up Dollywood each evening and some of the biggest names in Southern gospel music lift their voices each day as part of the Southern Gospel Jubilee. More than 600 individual Southern gospel performances happen on stages throughout the park during the festival.

“God truly does turn the Smokies into His own personal coloring book during the fall,” Parton added. “And nothing fits so well with those colorful fall mountains than the uplifting Southern gospel songs that fill the air with powerful praise for Him. I’m proud we’re able to have some of the best Southern gospel singers here during the Harvest Festival.”

Dollywood celebrates Smoky Mountain crafts year round, but during the Harvest Festival more than two dozen visiting artisans from across the country give in-depth demonstrations of woodworking, chainsaw carvings, fiddle-making and more. Guests will find jewelry, historic handmade games, pottery, hand-painted Christmas ornaments, and even Windsor chairs available for purchase.

Autumn in the Smokies wouldn’t be complete without a harvest of crops that Dollywood’s culinary team uses to create a menu full of fall favorites. Traditional items like cabbage rolls, pierogis, sausage sandwiches, skillet potatoes, apple cider, and fried apple pies will be available to tempt guest’s tastebuds. Additionally, a number of new treats are on the menu like chicken Applewood pasta, Reuben wontons, candy corn cider, and even chocolate chip cookie pizza.

Check out Dollywood online for tickets to the greatest fall festival in the Smoky Mountains.

Brianna works full time in the publishing industry, passionately building books to bring to the masses. Her first fandom was Harry Potter, which she joined at age 11. Her love for books took her abroad to earn her Masters Degree at University College London, after which she lived in New York City, and now resides in Austin. She loves all things fandom including Supernatural, Doctor Who, and more. Ever the introvert, she can usually be found reading, playing with her dog, listening to music and practicing yoga. Brianna joined the Nerds and Beyond staff in 2018 where she unites her love for all things "nerd" with her passion for writing. Find her on Twitter here: @bookbag09

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