Like many other businesses, Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee had been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. Upon re-opening, Dollywood decided to go ahead with their brand new Flower & Food Festival. It will be back in 2022, and it stands to reason that it will be better than ever. Here’s what to see and eat at Dollywood Flower and Food Festival.
What to See at Dollywood Flower & Food Festival
Many things have been altered or changed since early 2020. Fortunately, the Flower & Food Festival at Dollywood was able to open the park after its closing, and it will continue to be part of the festival lineup. These are some of the best things to see at Dollywood’s Flower and Food Festival.
New Festival Signage
The first thing guests see upon entering the park is the iconic Dollywood sign in front of the Showstreet Palace Theater. Decorations reflect the Flower and Food Festival logo with vibrant colors and several different types of flowers.
The new signage is a great photo opportunity. Guests can have a Dollywood Host take their photo with a Dollywood official camera or guests can take their own photos (or ask politely for the Host to take their photo with their own camera).
Umbrella Sky on Showstreet
After stopping to take a photo at the park entrance, hang a right down Showstreet and venture under the Umbrella Sky display.
A team from Portugal was supposed to travel to Dollywood to install the display. Unfortunately, due to travel restrictions in the festival’s first year, they were unable to make the trip. Instead, the Dollywood team got to work learning how to install this awesome display on their own!
Topiaries at other theme parks, look out. The team at Dollywood hired Mosaiculture from Canada to create and install their displays, and wow do they look good. Mosaiculture is “the horticultural art of creating larger-than-life plant sculptures using thousands of plants to cover a steel frame.”
Unlike other topiaries formed from a single plant, these artistic forms are created by planting thousands of individual plants.
The showpiece of the festival is Dolly’s mother sewing the famous “Coat of Many Colors” that inspired Dolly’s hit song of the same name. Other displays include butterflies, bears, raccoons, and turtles.
Festival Themed Merchandise
Next, Flower and Food Festival merchandise can be purchased in the pop-up shops along Showstreet and near Market Square.
Hats, cups, umbrellas, shirts, and more are all adorned with the festival logo. Additionally, artificial plants and artificial flower crowns are available for purchase.
What to Eat at Dollywood Flower & Food Festival
What would a food festival be without the opportunity to sample some new eats? I’ve always appreciated Dollywood’s food; their festival food brings new, lighter fare to sample. One thing to note is that the food portions at festival booths are quite generous. Unlike other theme parks, these portions are easily shareable and definitely bigger than snack sizes!
The first stop is the Spotlight Bakery. Inside, several festival specialties are offered. Butterfly, flower, or 35-shaped sugar cookies in honor of Dollywood’s 35th anniversary and cupcakes with a floral theme can be purchased. I will update this section with the new bakery treats as I am able this year!
BIG NEWS for the bakery is its recent offering of Dollywood’s famous Cinnamon Bread, which previously could only be purchased at the Grist Mill in Craftsman’s Valley.
Dollywood may have physical maps back for the 2022 Flower & Food festival edition. If they do not, you’ll have to rely on the Dollywood App to get around and find things.
The app map did not list Flower & Food Festival booths when I attended the first festival. All booths were located on:
- Market Square
- Rivertown Junction
Showstreet and Market Square Booths
As previously mentioned, the portions of festival food are quite large. I was solo for this trip, so my stomach could only handle so much food at once! However, I got a photo of most menu items to share.
Here’s what you will find on Showstreet in the first booth on your right:
- Belgium Waffle with Nutella
- Belgium Waffle with Lemon Curd and Blueberry
- Strawberries and Cream
- Strawberry Hibiscus Refresher
Showstreet booth number two menu (left of the butterfly display):
- Citrus Shrimp
- Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroon
- Strawberry Guava Quencher
Showstreet/Market Square booth number three menu (behind the display of Dolly’s mother):
- Beef and Lamb Gyro
- Greek Orzo Pasta (light, fresh, and a very filling portion)
Market Square booth:
- Chicken Stir Fry
- Zucchini Cake
- Toasted Coconut Cupcake
- Chili Lime Skirt Steak over Panzanella Salad
- Caramelized Brussels Sprouts (I wanted to like these so much, but mine were a little tough to chew)
Behind Market Square/Rivertown Junction
The festival booths continue past Market Square on into Rivertown Junction. However, there are no booths past that area. If you’re aiming to hit them all, once you arrive at Craftsman’s Valley or Country Fair, you won’t see any more booths.
Menu for the booth behind Market Square (on the left):
- Lobster Roll
- Blueberry Tart (my FAVORITE thing I ate)
- Blueberry Lavender Lemonade (very refreshing and not overly floral)
Menu for the booth behind the Back Porch Theater:
- Pork Sliders
- Chocolate Ganache Brownie
- Watermelon Lime Fresca
NEW for 2022-Flower & Food Tasting Pass
Looking to add value to your Dollywood visit? Check out their new tasting pass for the Flower & Food Festival. The pass gives you the opportunity to try up to five festival foods for one price. The pass costs $34.99 (plus tax), and Gold or Diamond passholders receive $3 off that price.
The Tasting Pass is redeemable for festival food and drink. It is redeemable from April 22-June 5, 2022 only.
Finally, since there may not be physical maps to help guide you around, I recommend downloading the Dollywood App. While it doesn’t have specific Flower & Food Festival information, it can help you navigate the expansive park. It’s free in the App Store and on Google Play.
Dollywood Flower and Food Festival runs April 22-June 5, 2022! Hurry and see it this spring/early summer before it’s gone!