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Summer vacation is here, and it’s time we start thinking about where we are traveling this year. If you live in the south like I do, then I am sure you are considering a trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. And you can’t visit Pigeon Forge without visiting Dollywood theme park!
And the summer is a great time to visit Dollywood. That is because of Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Celebration! This is an event that runs from June 18, 2022 through August 7th, 2022.
We’ll tell you about all the fun things happening during the festival. And then we’ll tell you how to book your tickets and hotel!
The highlight of a day at Dollywood this summer might actually come at the end of the night. Because that is when you get to see a shimmering spectacular in the sky! Hundreds of drones will dance across the night sky. They’ll tell a unique Dollywood story through 3D animations along with a symphony of light. The drones are even huger this year and there are brand new illuminated scenes. A fan favorite getting better is always a great sign for a wonderful summer!
Gazillion Bubble Show Aurora
The Gazillion Bubble Show Aurora Show is returning to the Dollywood stage for the first time since 2017! Watch in awe as billions of bubbles take over the theater in a one-of-a-kind show. And this year there is an all-new segment that pays homage to Dolly Parton and the Great Smoky Mountains.
Festival Food & Drinks
If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know I love festivals with food and drink options. And luckily Dollywood has an abundance of these during the Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration!
I’ll tell you about what food & drinks you can find at each location.
Hickory House BBQ
- BBQ Andouille Sausage Rope
- Smoked andouille sausage with Memphis BBQ sauce served with a side of sweet maple baked beans
- Smoked Chicken Wings
- Chicken wings marinated with brown sugar, fresh herbs & Himalayan sea salt, served with parsley garnish & lemon
Till & Harvest Food Hall
- BBQ Burger
- Fresh all-beef patty, smoked cheddar cheese, pulled pork shoulder, crisp onion straws & Memphis BBQ sauce on a warm bun
- Cheese Empanada
- Deep-fried cheese empanada served with a side of mojito chimichurri sauce
Seasonal Culinary Booth
- Philly-Style Sandwich
- Steak, onions & banana peppers on a sloppy joe bun, served with a side of crisp kettle-cooked chips
- BBQ Pork Nachos
- Pulled pork shoulder BBQ nachos drizzled with white queso & topped with pickled jalapenos, shredded cheddar cheese & lime crema
- Fried Fish & Hushpuppies
- Breaded flounder fillets & fresh cornbread hushpuppies served with lemon wedges & a side of tartar sauce
- Hot Chicken Sandwich
- Crispy chicken, Nashville Hot sauce, dill pickle chips & coleslaw on a warm bun
- Cobb Salad Shaker
- Crisp greens topped with grilled chicken, bacon bits, boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, shredded cheese & roasted corn served with a side of buttermilk ranch dressing
- Fried Bologna Sandwich
- Thick-cut bologna, pimento cheese spread, creole mustard, sweet pickles & crispy onion straws on a warm bun
- Blueberry Tea Punch
- Lemonade, green tea & blueberry syrup with a garnishing of blueberries & a lemon wedge
- Blue Lemonade
- Minute Maid lemonade & non-alcoholic blue curacao syrup garnished with blueberries & a lemon wedge
- Mountain Berry Lemonade
- Minute Maid Lemonade, strawberry & raspberry syrups, garnished with fresh blueberries & a lime wedge
- Peach Boba Tea
- Green tea, juice-filled peach bobas & peach syrup
- Mayfield Ice Cream
- Served in a sandwich form or cone form
Iron Horse Pizza
- Open-Faced Grilled Cheese
- Four melted kinds of cheese (provolone, swiss, cheddar & cream cheeses) on a sliced sourdough loaf with a side of gazpacho for dipping
- Mediterranean Salad Shaker
- Spinach leaves, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, feta cheese & sun-dried tomatoes
Miss Lillian’s BBQ Corner presented by Bush’s Beans
- Three Little Pigs Sandwich
- Roasted pork loin, pulled pork shoulder, smoked sausage, tangy Memphis-style BBQ sauce, & coleslaw on a bun
- Pork Belly on a Stick
- Smoked pork belly drizzled with Memphis BBQ sauce on a stick served with a side of sweet maple baked beans
- Southern Fried Corn
- Fried corn on the cob battered with buttermilk & Cajun-inspired breading, served with a cool side of ranch dressing
Showstreet Ice Cream
- Cookies and Cream Liege Waffle
- Liege waffle topped with vanilla ice cream, rich chocolate sauce, chocolate wafer cookie crumbles & real whipped cream garnished with a whole chocolate wafer cookie
- Peanut Butter Cup Liege Waffle
- Liege waffle topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate & peanut butter sauces, peanut butter candies & real whipped cream garnished with a whole peanut butter cup
- Melon Delight
- Dairy-free fruity soft serve
- Peaches and Cream Cupcake
- A cupcake with a vanilla base, peach puree & peach-infused icing
- Sweet Treats
- Hand-decorated cookies showcasing symbols of summertime
Crossroads Funnel Cakes
- S’mores Funnel Cake
- A traditional funnel cake base loaded with a Hershey’s chocolate bar, marshmallow fluff, mini marshmallows, crushed graham crackers & chocolate sauce on top
Sweets & Treats
- Fanta Float
- Soft-serve ice cream with the flavor of Orange Fanta
Simple Summer Joys
There are also simple summer joys throughout the theme park. For example, there is a colorful fountain made of water hoses. You can also splash in a spraying fire hydrant (a great way to cool off in the summer!). Or burst through a cloud of bubble foam. And another good way to cool off is at Rivertown Junction, where you can splash through playful jumping water jets.
There will about be live performers throughout the park, so keep your eye out. You might see musical gardeners turn ordinary trashcans into musical moments. Or you might see a Singing in the Rain troupe transform spontaneous rain showers into super fun performances.
Shows & Rides
And of course, no trip to Dollywood is complete without your favorite shows and rides! There are lots of great shows and rides for you and your family to enjoy during your visit to Dollywood.
Tickets & Hotel Information
The Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration is included in the cost of your admission to Dollywood. You can click here to buy a ticket to Dollywood.
Are you thinking about staying onsite during your stay? Click here to book Dollywood’s much-beloved DreamMore Resort, a 4-star resort and spa, at the best available price.
My family loves staying at the Music Road Resort when we visit Pigeon Forge. You can read our review here.