Dollywood’s Festival of Nations will feature several new shows this year with a lineup of international performers from more than 30 countries, with authentic demonstrations of music, dance, food and art.
The new “Mother Africa” show comes to the Celebrity Theater after recently being in New York. The 45-minute show combines African dancing, music and acrobatics with music celebrating African traditions. Artists participating come from several different countries in Africa.
“Mother Africa, that show has literally toured around the world,” Dollywood Spokesperson Wes Ramey said. “They were in Australia last year and New York for a couple of months at the end of last year. For that show to come here is really impressive. There are 26 different performers from the continent of Africa with lots of acrobatics and a lot of different things that people have never seen before.”
“La Danza de Colombia” is a Colombian-themed show that provides a look at the folklore and cultural traditions of Colombian people through dance and music on the Showstreet Palace Theater stage.
“They really use a lot of interesting Colombian instruments,” Ramey said. “Folks will really enjoy all the colors and the dancing. It’s something that a lot of people have not seen before, and it’s exciting to see that here for the first time.”
The following are other new shows in Dollywood’s Festival of Nations:
- “Moscow Nights” is a performance originally from Russia featuring Russian folklore.
- “Buddy MacDonald Trio” in which Canadian singer/songwriter Buddy MacDonald brings Celtic and Gaelic folk music mixed with his own unique sound.
- “Strings of Fire” features Ramon Romero, a harp player from Paraguay, who plays South American music.
- “Streichmusik Alder” a group of Swiss musicians who play traditional music that includes formation yodeling and alphorn player.
- “Pianoforte Balletto” a drivable grand piano from Italy that makes its way through the park, taking music to the people, and also features a live ballerina on top.
- “Acrobatic Unicycle” is a daredevil from Ethiopia who performs tricks on his unicycle.
Returning performances include “Hodman and Sally,” a wandering street act from the fictitious nation of “Oblvia;” “Atahualpa,” which features native Incan instruments; “Zambian Vocal Group,” a five-member male acapella chorus; “Zebra Stelzentheater,” stilt dancer in original Bavarian folk costumes; a Scottish Bagpiper and a Polish accordion player. All Festival of Nations shows are included with park admission. Each day, Dollywood’s One World Celebration unites all Festival of Nations performers in a performance throughout Dollywood’s Showstreet area. The international case, dressed in colorful native costumes, engages guests in this street celebration.
“Overall, we have more than 30 countries represented through all the food, entertainment, merchandise throughout the park,” Ramey said. “It’s really impressive.”
The World Passport to Food features a wide variety of food options for guests who wish to experience food from various cultures around the world in various parts of the park.
“Because of all of the different international dishes available, one thing that’s really cool is this World Passport to Food where guests can pick up one when they come through the gate and it details every location throughout the park that has an international dish,” Ramey said.
“At that location, they will stamp the passport. It’s a fun way to try dishes and travel around the world within Dollywood and sample an international cuisine.”