Pigeon Forge, Tennessee: As the leaves change in the Great Smoky Mountains, one of the area’s most beautiful places to be is Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration presented by Humana, Sept 30- Oct. 29.
Dollywood proudly hosts the best in Southern gospel music with an impressive lineup of talent sure to inspire park guests. The soul-stirring sounds of beautiful harmonies ring through the crisp autumn air with free daily concerts on the park’s various stages.
“It’s no secret I love singing about the beauty of God’s coloring book,” said Dolly Parton, “and viewing the bright fall colors of the Great Smoky Mountains on His pages is so very inspiring. When you mix in all of that great Southern gospel talent, including Sandi Patty, this truly is a great time of year to visit my Dollywood.”
Five-time Grammy Award winner Sandi Patty, who is in her final year of touring, headlines this year’s festival with concerts Sept. 30-Oct. 1. Guests can see a number of returning Dollywood favorites including Guy Penrod (Oct. 14-15), The McKameys (Oct.7-8), Karen Peck & New River (Oct.19-20), The Isaacs (Oct. 5-6), Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (Oct. 16-17) and Gold City (Oct. 21-22).
“It is such an honor for me to be performing at Dollywood for this year’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration,” Patty explained. “The vision that the legendary Dolly Parton has created in her theme park and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort is evident in the meaningful entertainment that is constantly offered. It is such a special opportunity to spend a few days at Dollywood during my Farewell Tour. I look forward to sharing some of the most well-known songs that I’ve had the privilege of singing in my career. We’re going to have a great time together in worship.”
Guy Penrod, a guest-favorite for a number of years, greatly anticipates his annual visit to the park each fall. “I love Dollywood,” Penrod exclaimed. “It’s probably the most beautiful setting for a theme park that you can imagine. I admire their love for gospel music and am thankful for the freedom to perform there.”
Many other artists take to the stage throughout the festival including special concerts on the Praise 96.3 FM and Singing News stages. Dollywood’s own Kingdom Heirs also play prominently throughout the festival. Incredibly, guests can experience more than 350 concerts, all free with park admission, during the festival. For a complete Southern gospel concert schedule, visit Dollywood.com/gospel.
Additionally, Dollywood’s own master craftsmen are joined by more than 40 visiting artisans from around the country. Daily craft demonstrations illustrate how many of America’s vital products were made for centuries.
Dollywood’s master craftsmen make a multitude of beautiful handmade products from glass ornaments and glazed pottery to decorative candles and rustic knives. Among the visiting crafters Dollywood guests can observe during the National Southern Gospel and Harvest Celebration are banjo and fiddle making, loom weaving, rug hooking, basket weaving, paper marbling, felt hat making and much more. Products for purchase also include dulcimers, various forms of jewelry, chainsaw carving, bentwood boxes, stained glass artwork, and more.
Finally, Dollywood perfectly captures the essence of fall with perfectly-themed menus which take advantage of the crops from a bountiful autumn harvest. Special food locations feature various recipes including fresh apples, fried green tomatoes and much more. New this year is a special harvest treat cooked on Dollywood’s famous Big Skillets. The harvest version features smoked sausage, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green and red peppers, and onions.
Guests also can attend worship services each Sunday during the festival at Dollywood’s Robert F. Thomas Chapel. Named in honor of the doctor who delivered little Dolly Rebecca Parton, the one-room country church reminds guests of a simpler time. Park visitors also can attend chapel services, which take place throughout the regular operating season at 11:30 a.m. every Sunday.
Each day is a picture-perfect opportunity to enjoy the traditional experiences of a Smoky Mountain harvest!
AmusementParks News Bureau: firstname.lastname@example.org