PIGEON FORGE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With Dollywood’s emphasis on show-stopping entertainment in 2018, the park’s annual Festival of Nations kicks off the new season with a multi-cultural event featuring world-renowned talent. The celebration takes place March 16-April 9 and lets guests take a trip around the world without leaving the Smokies.
This colorful, interactive event marks the beginning of Dollywood’s “Season of Showstoppers” with cultural music, food, and crafts that immerse the entire family in festive fun.
Grammy award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo have transcended musical barriers to produce awe-inspiring projects with artists such as Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, and even Dolly Parton herself. The group, which sings of peace, love and harmony, is in its sixth decade, and has produced more than 60 albums during its existence. They won their fifth Grammy in January, this time for Best World Music Album. The group gets its name from a combination of Ladysmith, South Africa (the group’s hometown), the color of oxen (one of the strongest farm animals), and the Zulu word for “chopping axe” (a symbol of the group’s vocal strength). Ladysmith Black Mambazo songs have been featured in multiple motion pictures, and the group even traveled to Norway with Nelson Mandela to perform when he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Guests can find this talented group at the Showstreet Palace Theater.
Founded in 1960, the National Dance Company of Siberia has wowed audiences around the globe with colorful and expressive dance, traditional folk music and vivid costumes. This renowned dance company brings their amazing performance to life for guests in a must-see display of talent and passion. High energy, dazzling colors and authentic Siberian customs combine for an astonishing visual masterpiece. The National Dance Company of Siberia is located in the park’s largest theater, DP’s Celebrity Theater.
Los Vivancos is comprised of seven Spanish brothers who traveled the world before studying at the prestigious Barcelona Dance Conservatory. Drawing from their years of study, Los Vivancos have created an eclectic style that combines flamenco, ballet, martial arts, street dance, theater and acrobatics into one thrilling, non-stop performance that truly showcases their charisma and flair. The brothers have served as guest performers on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Their show, The Flamenco Kings featuring Los Vivancos, is located in Pines Theater.
Dollywood’s 2018 Festival of Nations lineup also includes the following shows and acts:
- JigJam – This quartet hails from the heart of Ireland and blends the best of traditional Irish music with the unique sound of American bluegrass to create a genre of music affectionately known as “Celtgrass.” The group has been humorously described as “the best Irish group so far in bluegrass.” Thanks to their gregarious personalities and entertaining antics, this show is an upbeat, foot-stomping good time Dollywood guests won’t want to miss. Location: Back Porch Theater
- Invaders Steel Orchestra – One of the world’s oldest and most respected steel drum bands, Invaders Steel Orchestra celebrates more than 75 years of creating festive music for audiences around the world. This guest-favorite group returns to Dollywood to bring the tropical sounds of the Caribbean to the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. While the songs they play are familiar, the unique sounds of Invaders Steel Orchestra’s drums will transport guests to a sandy beach far away. Location: The Valley Theater
- Atahualpa – Hailing from Ecuador, Atahualpa combines native Incan instruments with contemporary backups to celebrate the history and culture of the Andes Mountains. Atahualpa’s mix of songs includes contemporary music, South American dance rhythms, as well as the traditional music of the Andes. Through their sharing of music, culture and heritage, Atahualpa hopes to promote brotherhood, friendship and peace to all the people of the world. Location: Showstreet Gazebo
- Zebra Stelzentheater – Zebra Stelzentheater features German stilt dancers in original costumes who perform while roaming the streets of Dollywood. They are always looking for guest interaction, so be on the lookout for fun. This lively troop is always on the search for new friends! Location: Roaming
Guests also can find food from around the globe at various locations throughout Dollywood. Items include Elote w/Pimente Espelette, Citrus Ancho & Coca-Cola Braised Beef Tostada, Lamb or Chicken Gyros, Crepe Suzette, Pad Thai and much more!
Dollywood’s Festival of Nations sets the stage for a show-stopping 2018 season. The park celebrates the arrival of spring with the all-new Spring Mix Music Series April 11-29. Spring Mix includes performances by artists including The Marshall Tucker Band, Amy Grant, Pam Tillis, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Crystal Gayle and more. Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 25-June 10) includes more than 350 performances by the best in bluegrass, while the park’s Summer Celebration features iLuminate, DRUMLine Live and Dan Dunn’s PaintJam. Extended hours and nightly fireworks shows highlight Dollywood’s summer season, June 16-Aug. 5. Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 28-Nov. 3) features Southern gospel’s greatest performers alongside the second year for the guest-favorite Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Dollywood’s 2018 season concludes with the ten-time winner for Best Theme Park Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, Nov. 10-Jan. 5, 2019.
If there has ever been a year to take advantage of the value of a Dollywood season pass, this is it. With a number of new entertainment options (all included with park admission) available throughout the season, guests certainly will want to make several return visits in 2018.
Guests can learn more about Dollywood’s Season of Showstoppers by visiting www.dollywood.com or calling 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.
About The Dollywood Company: A highly-awarded and widely-recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of more than 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 26 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). The park is located near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which celebrated record attendance in 2017. Dollywood was named a top three US theme park by USA Today in 2014 and 2017, and TripAdvisor recognized Dollywood as a top-20 worldwide theme park in 2015. Dollywood is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel and TripAdvisor as one of the country’s most beautiful water parks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from mid-May to Labor Day. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, which received the 2017 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.
For B-roll, photography and more information, visit the Dollywood Media Room at http://www.dollywood.com/Media/Media-Room.