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The Festival of Nations at Dollywood

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I was a guest of  The following post was written after I experienced firsthand the Festival of Nations at Dollywood.  Opinions and grammatical errors are my own.

Dollywood’s Festival of Nations is taking place throughout the park from March 17th until April 9th.  This guest favorite event features food and performances from around the globe all in one place – Dollywood.

Festival of Nations:  The Food

There’s no better way for guests to start (or finish) their world culinary journey than to stop at Spotlight Bakery near the entrance and trying Baklava (Greece), Apple Strudel (Germany), Cannoli and Large Chocolate  Dipped Biscotti (Italy), S’more Cookie Bars (USA), Toffee Brownie Trifle (England), or Tres Leches Cake (Mexico).

Chicken Samosas with Coconut Cilantro ChutneyChicken Samosas with Coconut Cilantro Chutney

For a satisfying meal, dishes honoring countries from around the world can be found at the Front Porch Cafe, where guests can order Chicken Samosas with Coconut Cilantro Chutney (South Africa), Citrus Ancho & Coca Cola Braised Beef Tostada (Mexico), a Cuban sandwich, Bobotie (South Africa), Chicken Tofu Pad Thai (Thailand), as well as Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee (France).

Chicken Tofu Pad Thai

Tastes from Germany (German Sausage sampler on a stick) and Spain (Paella) can be had at Market Square.  At the Market Square Booths, guests can enjoy Elote with Pimente Espelette and Elote Con Queso (Mexico), or delve into tasty Crepes (France)!

Guests can also celebrate the United States of America by enjoying a funnel cake customized with mouthwatering toppings.

Funnel Cake topped with Reese’s Cups, Reese’s Pieces, and ice cream

Festival of Nations:  The Shows

The second best thing about the Festival of Nations (the food is the best thing, naturally), are the shows!  Incredible performers from around the world share their culture through world-class performances – all included with admission to Dollywood.  The 2018 lineup features acts from four continents plus a Carribean nation.

National Dance Company of Siberia

The National Dance Company of Siberia is amazing!  The female dancers come out in gorgeous costumes and appear to glide on the stage.  It’s truly mesmerizing.

The male dancers are equally talented and don’t disappoint guests with their Russian squat dancing.

The Flamenco Kings

The Flamenco Kings star Los Vivancos – seven brothers from Spain who each speak a minimum of three languages and play at least 2 musical instruments each.

If that wasn’t enough, the brothers are also award-winning dancers who combine Flamenco, martial arts, and ballet into their performances.

Zebra Stelzentheater

The Zebra Stelzentheater can be found roaming the streets of Dollywood, bringing their good-hearted German fun to Tennessee.  They are often spotted taking pictures of Dollywood guests with their micro-cameras.

Additional 2018 Shows:

  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo has a unique Mbube vocal style and they share their music along with the history and culture of South Africa.
  • Invaders Steel Orchestra bring the tropical sounds and amazing musicianship of one of the Caribbean’s most recognized steel pan orchestras.
  • JigJam, the “best Irish group so far in Bluegrass” by Irish American News, bring their award-winning sound from the heart of the midlands of Ireland to Dollywood.
  • Atahualpa share the history and culture of the Andes Mountains in Ecuador through beautiful traditional music, dance and fun.

Remember, all of the shows are included in the price of admission.  Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate.

Other events taking place at Dollywood during the 2018 season are:

  • Spring Mix (April 11 – 29) – concert series features three weeks of classic artists, country legends, inspirational hits and more.
  • Barbecue and Bluegrass (May 25 – June 10) – barbecue and performances by Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Dailey & Vincent, The Grascals, and many more.
  • Summer Celebration (June 16 – August 5) –  extended park hours, exciting summer entertainment and nightly fireworks.
  • Thrills in the Hills (July 13 & 14) – behind-the-scenes tours and exclusive ride time on some of your favorite Dollywood roller coasters.
  • Rock the Smokies (August 25) –  a time of worship unlike any other during Dollywood’s Rock the Smokies featuring a number of the genre’s biggest acts, including Toby Mac and Crowder.
  • Harvest Festival (September 28 – November 3)
  • Smoky Mountain Christmas (November 10 – January 5) – the Smokies’ most spectacular light display and a lineup of live Christmas shows that celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, all at Dollywood.

With all that Dollywood has to offer, it might be a good investment to purchase season passes this year.

For more information about Pigeon Forge, visit

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Food, Fun, and Family in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee


Wednesday 28th of March 2018

I'm adding this to the places I want to go see in America list! Thanks for writing such a detailed post! Love this!