Dollywood Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival 2013: May 25 – June 09

Willis Clan image courtesy of Dollywood

Once again it’s time for Dollywood to host its 16-day Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival, starting this Saturday, May 25 and lasting through June 9. The festival features over 50 bands in 250 shows staged daily and nightly throughout the park, free for Dollywood patrons and included in admission.

Musicians this year include Grammy award-winner Ricky Skaggs with Kentucky Thunder, headlining this weekend on May 25 & 26, as well as Rhonda Vincent and The Rage, Marty Raybon, Riders in the Sky, The Willis Clan and many more of bluegrass music’s biggest names.

If the bluegrass gets you dancing and the dancing gets you hungry, you’ll find more than 50,000 pounds of barbeque waiting to be sampled, including Tennessee pulled pork and barbequed ribs and chicken – or maybe you feel like grappling with one of the massive smoked Turkey drumsticks!

The BBQ action centers around the Market Square area – just follow your nose. The Backstage Restaurant promises some BBQ innovations in the menu, and a Sauce Tasting Station will offer an amazing variety of sauces. There’s plenty to learn also from the chefs giving BBQ demonstrations at the festival.

This is a family good time, perfect for reunions, wandering around Dollywood’s huge park with the air filled with delightful music and delicious aromas. Dollywood is always a full day of adventure to take in, and then some, so be sure to check the artist schedule and the showtime calendar to be there when your favorites are playing. And just make a day of it!

Dolly Parton herself loves the Barbeque & Bluegrass festival – here she is talking about how much it means to her – check this out:


TIP: for cabins in the area, check our Gatlinburg cabin rentals and our Pigeon Forge cabins, as well as the Wears Valley cabins on the quiet side of the Smoky Mountains. If the family pet is coming too, check our updated list of pet friendly cabins in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.


About Carrie Waxler

I've worked for Gatlinburg Falls since March 2011. Lived in TN since 1996. I have now hiked Mt. LeConte three times. I've been on every trail that leads to the top. The last one we hiked up the Boulevard. I have walked my first 2.7 miles on the Appalachian Trail. Only 2176 miles to go. I plan to hike the Appalachian Trail when my children graduate. I also love lake kayaking on Cherokee Lake and Douglas Lake. We take our kayaks camping to middle Tennessee as well for river kayaking. I love talking to guests from the places I've visited or lived. Brings back many good memories. I love to be where people are having fun.