Christmas lights going up at popular amusement park

Christmas lights going up at Dollywood

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — There may still be over 120 shopping days until Christmas, but planning for this year’s holiday is well underway in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s amusement park in Pigeon Forge, is closed Tuesdays through Thursdays each week now that the summer season has come to an end. But the park is still bustling with activity. That’s because team members are hard at work, hanging lights for the Great Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival.

Between July and the festival’s opening day Nov. 14, workers have to hang 5 million lights. This year’s event includes a 50-foot Christmas tree, holiday musical productions - including Dollywood’s own “Christmas in the Smokies” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” - and the Parade of Many Colors.

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In the meantime, the park hosts its annual Halloween event known as the Harvest Festival. It kicks off Sept. 25. The festival featuring Great Pumpkin LumiNights earned the 2019 USA Today 10Best Award as the No. 1 theme park Halloween event in the country.

The Smoky Mountain Christmas festival is the 12-time, and only winner of Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Award for Best Theme Park Christmas event.