• Dawn Sabato

FESTIVAL OF NATIONS BRINGS THE WORLD TO DOLLYWOOD MARCH 14-APRIL 20



Two new headline acts, World Passport to Food highlight season opener


PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Tuesday, March 10, 2020)—Dollywood’s 35TH anniversary season arrives in style with Festival of Nations (March 14- April 20). This year’s event—the 20th edition of Festival of Nations—features two new headline shows, delicious and innovative items on the Passport to Food and the chance to experience a glimpse around the world without ever leaving the Smoky Mountains!


To celebrate the park’s milestone season, Dollywood hosts a number of new and returning groups performing in internationally-acclaimed entertainment offerings. For families visiting during spring break, it’s a vibrant and exciting way to celebrate and learn about the home cultures of these talented entertainers.


New to the festival in 2020, Namaste, India provides a visually-striking look at India and the myriad dance forms for which the country is known. The show takes guests on a journey through the states of India, each represented through dance and story. Elaborate costumes and a video wall are incorporated into the performance to create an awe-inspiring experience. One of India’s most famous lyricists provides the captivating music for this production presented by Beyond Bollywood.


Also new this season is Ole!, a hilarious show that features tremendous musicality combined with slapstick comedy from the self-proclaimed “Gypsy Kings of Comedy.” Audiences will be mesmerized by their unique show which includes unparalleled musical ability alongside visual antics which include everything from shooting ping pong balls from their mouths to smashing eggs on stage. Guests won’t know what is coming next!


Returning after rave reviews from Dollywood audiences last season, Drumstruck is the first interactive drum-theater experience and leaves families laughing and creating memories they will remember for years to come. As guests enter Showstreet Palace Theater, they find drums placed in each seat throughout the venue. Members of the audience use these drums to become part of the performance. This high-energy production weaves South African music and culture with West African rhythms.


Guests also can let their taste buds travel the world with the Passport to Food. This expanded international menu lets guests enjoy savory and sweet delights from a number of countries. Returning favorites from 2019 include grilled beef skewers from Trinidad, poutine and fried cheese curds from Canada, and beef bulgogi nachos over wonton chips from South Korea. New items include chicken tikka masala with pearled couscous from India, Shepherd’s Pie from Ireland, and Beef Berbere with tomato chutney from South Africa. The new items were all selected to pair with the homes of the entertainment acts appearing at this season’s festival.


A number of refreshing drinks also are available and serve as the perfect complement to the delectable dishes available as part of the passport. A wide range of international pastries and desserts tempt those with a sweet tooth, including carrot fritters and upside-down plantain cake. Guests can pick up a passport when they enter the park to help them keep track of the locations they visit.


Dollywood’s 2020 Festival of Nations entertainment lineup also includes the following shows and acts:


  • Invaders Steel Drum Orchestra - One of the world’s oldest and most respected steel drum bands, Invaders Steel Drum 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, and 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

  • The Irish Stage at the Back Porch Theater- Three groups perform at the aptly-named Irish Stage and provide Dollywood guests a musical visit to the Emerald Isle. Groups scheduled to appear include Four Leaf Peat (March 14-16), Jig Jam (March 18, March 20-23, March 25, March 27-30, April 7-11, April 13-15) and John Doyle (April 1-6, April 16-20).


Dollywood’s Festival of Nations is the exciting kickoff to the park’s milestone 35th anniversary season. With a packed events calendar to celebrate the season, it is the perfect year for a season pass. After Festival of Nations, the biggest names in bluegrass visit during Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass presented by BUSH’s® (April 24- May 3), while the park’s newest event, Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health, takes place May 8 –June 14. Summer Celebration (June 20- Aug. 2) features later hours and the return of the Gazillion Bubbles Show. Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 25-Oct. 31) features Southern gospel’s greatest performers alongside the guest-favorite Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health. Dollywood’s season concludes with the 12-time winner for Best Theme Park Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, Nov. 7-Jan. 2, 2020.


Guests can learn more about Dollywood’s biggest season ever by visiting www.dollywood.com or calling 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

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