Dolly Parton sits down for an interview on Dollywood’s opening day March 16, 2018.
Michael Patrick/News Sentinel

A new summer festival with extended park hours will begin at Dollywood on Saturday.

More: Dolly Parton to produce, star in 2019 Netflix film series about her songs

More: Dolly Parton surprises seniors at Sevier County Senior Center renaming ceremony

Dollywood’s Summer Celebration, which is part of the park’s Season of Showstoppers, will go from Saturday, June 16, through Aug. 5 and will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, according to a news release from the park.

Summer Celebration also will feature new shows and food items, nightly fireworks and entertainment after dark in the park.

More: Dolly Parton breaks down what’s new for Dollywood’s 2018 season at park’s opening day

New Dollywood summer shows

Dollywood will present new shows during Summer Celebration, which will highlight music, lights and paint.

Developed by consultants of the 2002 film of the same name, DRUMLine will put on shows featuring rhythms, beats and energy, according to the news release. It will run from June 16 to July 4 at the park’s Celebrity Theater.

“Dollywood is the ultimate family theme park and DRUMLine Live is the ultimate family show,” Don Roberts, CEO and director of DRUMLine Live, said in the release. “We promise to offer the same excitement, energy and exhilarating entertainment as any roller coaster in the park. I guarantee you’ve never seen anything like DRUMLine LIVE. We will have you on your feet by halftime. We want to thank Dolly Parton and the team at Dollywood for giving us this wonderful opportunity.”

“America’s Got Talent” finalists iLuminate will bring their glow-in-the-dark costumes and dance routines to Dollywood on July 7-21 at the park’s Celebrity Theater.

“ILuminate is very excited and honored to bring our unique dance performance technology to Dollywood this July,” Miral Kotb, iLuminate creator, said in the release. “We will be featuring new light suits and dances that have never been seen before, while bringing back some audience favorites. Get ready for energetic and mesmerizing performances that you and your family will remember for years to come!”

More: ‘America’s Got Talent:’ Family is focal point for Knoxville contestant Michael Ketterer

More: ‘America’s Got Talent’: Knoxville’s Michael Ketterer gets golden buzzer from judges

More: ‘America’s Got Talent:’ 5 things to know about Knoxville’s Michael Ketterer

Speed painter Ricardo Barazza will showcase his talents with PaintJam, a show during which he paints works of art on a spinning 360-degree canvas and dances. PaintJam will run throughout the entirety of Summer Celebration.

If you only have one day to visit Dollywood, how do you prioritize what to do and see?

Experience Dollywood after dark

Due to the park’s extended hours, another new show will come to the park called Nighttime Experience, during which some of Dollywood’s daytime performers will perform their interpretations of today’s hits, according to the news release.

Nighttime Experience will take place from July 25 to Aug. 8.

Guests also will get to test out some of Dollywood’s rides in the dark.

“Once the sun sets, Dollywood’s trademark attractions, like Wild Eagle, Lightning Rod and Thunderhead, provide a unique experience for those who climb aboard,” the release said. “These rides thrill guests who race through the summer night with no idea which way the track will turn next!”

Every night during Summer Celebration also will feature Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors, a fireworks show synchronized to music.

Food and plays

Summer Celebration will feature the following new food items and festival-exclusive dessert offerings at Dollywood.

  • Savory jambalaya with shrimp and andouille sausage
  • Chicken and beef skewers over rice pilaf
  • Street tacos
  • Blackberry cobbler
  • Churros
  • Strawberries and cream

Dollywood’s Little Engine Playhouse will bring three books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to life.

  • “Coat of Many Colors,” based on Parton’s newest children’s book.
  • “Pretend” by Jennifer Plecas
  • “The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper

“Coat of Many Colors” and “Pretend” will feature singalongs, according to the news release.

For more information visit or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

From the archives: Dolly Parton has “always had a dream to do great things.” She has been a success in music, movies, business and aher philanthropic ventures. Parton talks about her many business interests and to what she attributes her successes.
KNS Archives

Read or Share this story: