Festival of Nations 2017 at Dollywood

Spring comes and winter weather exits the Smoky Mountains, and Dollywood reopens its doors – on Saturday, March 18, 2017 – for hours of fun, excitement, and entertainment at Tennessee’s premier theme park.

Set your calendar for opening day and get ready to experience cultures from around the world at Festival of Nations 2017, which runs from March 18 through April 9.

Images courtesy of Dollywood

Images courtesy of Dollywood

During the festival, the park becomes a canvas of brilliantly colored, handcrafted traditional costumes from exotic cultures, and a showcase for a multitude of talent and entertainment – and food. Bring a hearty appetite as the aromas of exotic flavors and spices wafts through the air teasing the taste buds.

Festival of Nations Performances 

There’s an impressive lineup of entertainment taking place each day during the 2017 festival, with music, dancing, characters in costume, highland bagpipes, acrobatics, photo opportunities, and more.

From the mesmerizing tunes played by Kelly Shipe on bagpipes as she strolls the streets, to the Valley Theater’s Caribbean sounds of the Invaders Steel Orchestra, music fills the air and will have your toe tapping throughout your visit.

If you’ve ever wanted to visit the Swiss Alps, now is your chance to take a cultural trip at the festival and learn about life in the Alps through traditional music and stories presented by Streichmusik Alder at Heartsong Theater.


Poland is well represented with over 30 dancers decked out in beautifully detailed costumes, each depicting a specific region of the country. Enjoy traditional folk dances and music by the Slask ensemble at the Showstreet Palace Theater.

Beautiful and mysterious Africa is on display as Mother Africa brings the stage at DP’s Celebrity Theater alive with performance. Live music, exciting dance routines, colorful costumes, and heart-pounding acrobatics regale the audience.


Sit back and relax at the Back Porch Theater, and let the lilting sounds of the flute and Irish harp set a soothing tone with a series of tranquil duets performed by husband and wife Dearbhail Finnegan and Robin Slater.

Like the Appalachian Mountains culture, the Andes Mountains has its own unique culture, which is shared through the traditional music and dance performed by Atahualpa at the Showstreet Gazebo.

Kids of all ages will have a blast getting their picture taken with some interesting characters who’ve arrived from “Oblivia.” Look for Hodman & Sally as they make their way around the festival with their unique friends.


With the Easter holiday right around the corner, now is a good time to start planning an outing to enjoy the spring weather and the beauty of Pigeon Forge beginning with Dollywood’s Festival of Nations 2017. All performances are scheduled to run through April 9, so there’s plenty of time to make plans for a cultural world tour with a visit to the park.

Set aside some time to continue your adventure and explore the world-famous theme park and its many activities and entertainment options. Check out the 40 rides and attractions, enjoy one of the 15 entertaining shows, dine on sumptuous southern-style cuisine.

For a taste of Tennessee culture, visit the on-site blacksmith and the glass maker in Craftsman’s Valley and watch as each artisan meticulously hand-crafts a collection of intricate pieces. Be sure to stop by one of the shops for a souvenir.

For more information see the Dollywood Festival of Nations 2017 website.

And if you don’t get an opportunity to see and do everything – plan a return visit when the 35-acre Splash Country Water Park opens on Saturday, May 15!




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About Dusty Camp

Dusty Camp

I moved to the Smoky Mountains a few years ago from Alabama – a big change, but one I’m glad I made. I like meeting all the different types of people who visit here, and getting to know a little bit about them. I love to watch all the wildlife throughout Cades Cove, but most of all I like winter, waking up to see everything covered in snow and icicles.