Dollywood adds 1,000-pound pumpkins for harvest celebration

Harvest festival and 'Great Pumpkin LumiNights' run though Halloween

Dolly Parton’s Dollywood is bringing back its annual fall celebration starting this weekend.

The Pigeon Forge, Tenn. amusement park’s harvest festival and “Great Pumpkin LumiNights” will kick off Sept. 25, and run through Oct. 31.

The event, which USA Today readers voted as the best theme park Halloween event last year, includes more than 800 concerts plus thousands of pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns, according to the park.

This year, those pumpkins include dozens of “colossal” prize pumpkins weighing between 800 and more than 1,500 pounds each from growers across the East Coast. Some of the glowing displays include stacks of jack-o-lanterns cut to look like sunflowers, plus a 40-foot-tall pumpkin tree.

Great Pumpkin LumiNights will run at Dollywood through Halloween. (Dollywood)

Great Pumpkin LumiNights will run at Dollywood through Halloween. (Dollywood)

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Various Southern gospel and bluegrass artists will perform on eight stages as well as while roaming the park during the event.

Since it’s a harvest festival, there will also be lots of seasonal food options. The park will offer pumpkin spice milkshakes and cinnamon rolls, pumpkin praline funnel cake, hot wassail, harvest kettle corn, fried green tomatoes, sweet potato casserole and barbecue.

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“This year has been challenging for everyone, but we hope the comfort they feel from coming and visiting us gives them that warm, familiar feeling they’ve shared with their friends and loved ones for so many years here at Dollywood,” Parton said of the fun in a statement.

The park also has “a few surprises planned this year,” she added.

Dollywood encompasses 160 acres near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It claims to be the No. 1 ticketed attraction in Tennessee, hosting more than 2.7 million visitors each year.

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