Dollywood Makes Largest Entertainment Investment in History

Cindy Dupree 8:29 PM State
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PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. – Hailing the year as a “Season of Showstoppers,” Dolly Parton has announced an entertainment lineup which represents an investment $1 million greater than any season-long entertainment schedule in the park’s history. Headlining 2018 are performances by The Marshall Tucker Band, The Drifters, T.G. Sheppard, Suzy Bogguss, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Crystal Gayle, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and more.

Combined, the headlining artists performing at Dollywood in 2018 have 42 gold albums, 18 platinum albums, 30 Grammys, 14 Country Music Association Awards, 10 American Country Music Awards, five American Music Association Awards and 62 Dove Awards.

It all begins with Dollywood’s Festival of Nations (March 17-April 9) which includes headliners National Dance Company of Siberia, The Flamenco Kings starring Los Vivancos, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Hailing from South Africa, internationally-known Grammy award-winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo—who worked with Parton on her 1996 album Treasures—has teamed with Paul Simon, Sarah McLachlan, Emmylou Harris, and many more.

April plays host to three weeks (April 11-29) of stellar performances during the all-new Spring Mix Music Series. Dollywood guests can expect performances by Dollywood entertainment alumnus Bogguss, Sheppard, Pam Tillis, Gayle, Connie Smith and Shenandoah during the first week of the event. The second week plays host to artists such as Amy Grant, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Larnelle Harris, David Phelps and comedienne Chonda Pierce.

Classic artists like The Marshall Tucker Band, The Drifters, Debby Boone, The Atlanta Rhythm Section, Firefall, and Al Stewart entertain park guests during the final week of the event. Individual concert dates and show times will be announced at a later date.

Already one of the nation’s best bluegrass events, Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 25- June 10) adds an extra week of concerts from the biggest names in the business. Guests should expect hundreds of live bluegrass performances during the festival with headline shows from Grammy and IBMA winner Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, and IMBA winners Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Dailey & Vincent and more.

During Dollywood’s Summer Celebration. iLuminate, finalists on America’s Got Talent in 2011, bring their electrified glow-in-the-dark costumes to DP’s Celebrity Theater to perform dynamic dance routines and illusions. Summer 2018 also sees international touring sensation DRUMLine Live! visit the park with riveting rhythms, bold beats and energy. Developed by the consultants of the hit 2002 movie Drumline, the band featured in this show creates a synchronized musical masterpiece for guests. Speed painter, Dan Dunn brings his mesmerizing PaintJam to Dollywood. He’ll create works of art on a spinning 360-degree canvas, while he dances and moves throughout the performance.

Dollywood’s popular Rock the Smokies moves to Aug. 25, 2018 with TobyMac and Crowder serving as headliners. Multiple contemporary Christian artists perform throughout the park during this conclusion to the summer.

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 28 – Nov. 3) provides more fall family fun with the expansion of the new Great Pumpkin LumiNights and the largest Southern gospel event in America. During the festival, several hundred performances by Southern gospel royalty take place during the day; while at night, thousands of carved pumpkins illuminate the dark with an expanded number of displays and activities. Dollywood guests also can enjoy the artistry of visiting crafters from across the country, or sample the harvest-themed food items.

Dollywood’s 2018 season ends with America’s favorite theme park holiday event, Smoky Mountain Christmas. Voted as the best theme park Christmas event for a decade, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 10, 2018 – Jan. 5, 2019) features 4 million lights, classic holiday entertainment—including Christmas in the Smokies and It’s a Wonderful Life—Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Friends, and Parade of Many Colors.