Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on September 21, 2021
Now that we've officially reached autumn, all you pumpkin-spice-loving people can finally stop griping about summer and celebrate your favorite season of the year. And when you're visiting the Great Smoky Mountains, fall just isn't fall without Dollywood's annual Harvest Festival. This year's festival runs now through October 30 and is the perfect complement to a morning or afternoon on our zip lines in the Smoky Mountains.
Voted the #1 Fall Family Event by readers of USA Today, Harvest Festival celebrates that time of year when the nearby foothills of the Smokies come to life with vivid colors and the smells of apple and pumpkin-flavored treats waft through the streets of the popular Pigeon Forge theme park.
One of the seasonal highlights of the festival is the lineup of fall foods that visitors will discover when roaming the streets of Dollywood. Look for old and new dishes alike, including sweet potato poutine, smoked brats with potato hash and red-cabbage jam, roasted sweet potato and pumpkin corn chowder, and balsamic-honey-mustard-glazed pork chops. Fall beverages include an apple pie milkshake, the Autumn Apple Palmer (a twist on the Arnold Palmer) and good old hot apple cider. For dessert, you could try an apple dumpling with vanilla ice cream or a Belgium waffle ice cream sandwich with maple pecan ice cream.
The park is known for its music shows throughout the year, but this fall's show calendar features a special roster of guest artists that includes Grammy-winning gospel singer Cece Winans, Nashville-based folk group Roanoke, country singer Jimmy Fortune, country artist Pam Tillis and many more. Artists will be performing at indoor and outdoor music venues throughout the park. Also look for regional and national performers like Cruz Contreras, The McNeills, Sunday Drive, The Coffmans, the Malpass Brothers, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, and Buddy Jewell.
One of the highlights of every Harvest Festival is the Great Pumpkin LumiNights shows, which take place each evening throughout the event. The park transforms into a display of autumn splendor as thousands of carved pumpkins and larger-than-life pumpkin icons light up the night. A warm orange glow across the park invites guests to explore a world of not-so-spooky nighttime fun. Stroll through a forest of shimmering sunflowers, see a family of glowing frogs or snap a pic or two in front of the towering Pumpkin Tree.
There are plenty of seasonal decorations to see during the day as well. Dollywood dresses up for the season with all kinds of festive fall regalia, including a collection of colossal pumpkins that weigh between 800 and 1,500 pounds each. Hailing from growers up and down the east coast, these prize-winning pumpkins are likewise worth a close-up look and a photo opp.
Then there are the special things that Dollywood is known for through the year, including rides, attractions and world-class artisans. They're all going strong during Harvest Festival too. Guests can get their thrills on any of 50 rides and attractions ranging from classic kiddie rides to some of the coolest roller coasters in the Southeast. Coaster enthusiasts from all over the world love coming to Dollywood to try out rides like Lightning Rod, the Tennessee Tornado, Thunderhead and Wild Eagle. If that's not your speed, you could just kick back on the Dollywood Express for a leisurely but scenic train ride around the park, complete with lovely mountain views.
And joining Dollywood's community of resident craftsmen are unique artisans from around the country, who are set up throughout the park to share their handmade crafts and works of art. You can watch artisans like blacksmiths, glass workers, candle makers, leather workers and wood carvers at work as they practice their crafts.