There’s so much to love about the advent of a new spring season in the Smokies that starting anywhere other than the obvious is a challenge for a blog article. The warm weather and fundamental restart to the life cycle all throughout the mountains is the big, obvious first reason – the healthy glowing emerald green of the mountains comes back as expected but always seems to be more flush and thicker than ever before. The incredible colors of the spring flowers, which appropriately bring the opposite end of the color spectrum that we typically see in autumn to every elevation of our area, are a closely attached second. The comfort that 70-80 degree days bring along with some surprise bursts of defiant winter weather keep things interesting may be third, but it ties neck-and-neck with the artsy and culture-expanding special events that we save for spring.
And nothing between March and May is more culturally enriching than our perennial favorite: Dollywood’s Festival of Nations!
It’s been going on for over 20 years, but Festival of Nations only feels as new to us as its fourth or fifth year. Festival of Nations is Dollywood’s grand opening festival for each operating season and it conducts festivities by bringing a healthy collection of lesser represented cultures and nations to the Smokies and representing them with shows, decorations, storefronts, performances, new food selections and more. Many years see former performers, groups and nations return for the current year while many brand new names and nations are introduced each Festival as well.
This year Festival of Nations opens on March 17th and goes on until April 9th for 2018. We have the following to look forward to:
* The Flamenco Kings starring Los Vivancos *
“Los Vivancos is comprised of seven Spanish brothers who traveled the world before studying at the prestigious Barcelona Dance Conservatory. Drawing from their years of study, Los Vivancos have created an eclectic style that combines flamenco, ballet, martial arts, street dance, theater and acrobatics in to one thrilling, non-stop performance that truly showcases their charisma and flair. The brothers have served as guest performers on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.” – Dollywood.com
* LadySmith Black Mambazo *
“LadySmith Black Mambazo brings their unique Mbube vocal style to Dollywood during Festival of Nations. For decades LadySmith Black Mambazo has wowed audiences in their home country of South Africa and throughout the world. Recipients of multiple awards including four Grammy Awards, LadySmith Black Mambazo now travels sharing their music along with the history and culture of South Africa with audiences around the world.” – Dollywood.com
* National Dance Company of Siberia *
“Founded in 1960, the National Dance Company of Siberia has wowed audiences around the globe with colorful and expressive dance, traditional folk music and vivid costumes. This renowned dance company utilizes live musical accompaniment to bring a traditional performance to life for guests. High energy, dazzling colors and authentic Siberian customs combine for an astonishing visual masterpiece.” – Dollywood.com
* Invaders Steel Orchestra *
Trinidad and Tobago
“Carrying on traditions which started more than 75 years ago, the Invaders Steel Orchestra is recognized throughout the world as one of the most highly-regarded and influential steel bands performing today. With diverse musical selections, the group demonstrates a high level of musicianship and unique arrangements which have earned them numerous awards. You are invited to experience the sweet sounds and lively energy of this talented group of performers as they take you on a musical journey to the islands.” – Dollywood.com
* JigJam *
“JigJam are a multi-award winning quartet from the heart of the midlands in Ireland. Blending the best of traditional Irish music with bluegrass and Americana in a new genre which has been branded as ‘CeltGrass’, their onstage energy along with their virtuosic musical ability has captivated audiences throughout the world. “Here’s an Irish band that’s going to impact the world as hard as Clancy Brothers or U2 if they get only half a chance.” – Dollywood.com
* Atahualpa *
“Hailing from Ecuador, Atahualpa combines native Incan instruments with contemporary backups to celebrate the culture of the Andes Mountains. The group uses an eclectic mix of songs, including contemporary music, South American dance rhythms and the traditional music of the Andes to engage Dollywood guests in this high-energy show. They may just pull a few people out of the crowd to join them in a traditional dance from the Andes! Through their sharing of music and culture, Atahualpa seeks to promote friendship and peace to all the people of the world.” – Dollywood.com
* Zebra Stelzentheater of Germany *
“Zebra Stelzentheater features German stilt dancers in original costumes performing high-spirited routines while roaming the streets of Dollywood. During Festival of Nations, guests should be on the lookout for fun as this lively troop is always on the search for new friends.” – Dollywood.com
And there will be more we’ll be expecting once Dollywood opens up for their 2018 operating season! Festival of Nations for 2018 is March 17th to April 9th and more information on them can be found Dollywood Website
Want to find the perfect spring break, Festival of Nations, wildflower pilgrimage and emerald mountain sightseeing headquarters to stay at in Spring? Browse through our cabin listings HERE