Festival of Nations offers world of entertainment, treats

Contributed To The Press • Apr 2, 2016 at 5:30 PM

PIGEON FORGE — Two of Dollywood guests’ favorite international performing groups return to headline this season’s Festival of Nations (now through April 18), which represents more than two dozen countries through entertainment showcases, exotic cuisine and authentic craftsmanship.

During this delightfully diverse celebration, Dollywood offers a glimpse into the fascinating cultures of countries like Argentina, Ecuador, France, Germany, Japan, China and many more.

“Festival of Nations truly is a special time of year at my Dollywood,” said Dolly Parton.

“I’ve been lucky enough to experience the great entertainment and cultures of countries all over the world. I’m so proud to bring these amazing performers to Dollywood so they can share their tremendous talents with all our guests.”

After a successful debut during Festival of Nations in 2014, Mother Africa returns to Dollywood with an all-new show which transports guests to Khayelitsha, one of the largest townships in South Africa.

The show combines acrobatics, live music and traditional and modern dance through a celebration of Africa’s diverse traditions.

While the artists hail from various countries across Africa, they unite as one giant family to present this spectacular, high-energy production.

Los Pampas Gauchos is an exciting, fast-paced show that blends the traditional folk dancing of Argentina with the thrill of modern showmanship and comedy.

This unique and entertaining show wows audiences with dance, music and the mesmerizing skills of champion boleadoras dancers. Guests can experience all Festival of Nations entertainment free with park admission.

Dollywood’s 2016 Festival of Nations lineup also includes the following shows and acts:

• The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra — This unique ensemble plays a variety of world music, all arranged for the ukulele.

Their professional musical talents on the ukulele, along with their hilarious antics, make this show unlike anything else. Combining British comedy with the traditional Hawaiian instrument, The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra breaks down musical borders!

• Duo Del Sol — Bringing the unmistakable sounds of Latin music to Dollywood, Duo del Sol stretches its instruments beyond traditional limits to create the raw energy and awesome sounds of a cutting-edge performance.

Recently nominated for Best Instrumental Album by the Independent Music Awards, Duo del Sol provides an innovative new music experience for Dollywood guests.

• Via Romen - Led by one of the most prominent Russian-Romani (Gypsy) seven-string guitar virtuosos in the world, Vadim Kolpakov, Via Romen presents traditional and modern European and Russian-Romani music.

Via Romen takes traditional Gypsy music and interjects intricate improvisations, catchy tunes and flashy footwork to offer unprecedented performances for audiences.

• Celtic Coast — Led by Cape Breton Island musical ambassador and award-winning singer/songwriter Buddy MacDonald, Celtic Coast features original music and traditional tunes inspired by the diverse musical heritage of Nova Scotia, Canada.

Joining MacDonald are Rachel Davis on fiddle and multi-instrumentalist Darren McMullen, two of Cape Breton’s brightest young talents.

• Atahualpa - Hailing from Ecuador, Atahualpa combines native Incan instruments with contemporary backups to celebrate the history and culture of the Andes Mountains. Atahualpa’s mix of songs includes contemporary music and South American dance rhythms, as well as the traditional music of the Andes.

• David Charrier - This talented French musician shares his passion for discovering new rhythms and melodies with Dollywood guests through his interactive street performance. A self-taught guitarist, percussionist and vocalist, Charrier has become best known for his use of the Hang, a unique instrument developed in 2000.

• Zebra Stelzentheater - German stilt dancers in original costumes perform high-spirited routines while roaming the streets of Dollywood.

During Festival of Nations, guests should be on the lookout for fun as this lively troupe is always on the search for new friends.

In addition to world-class entertainment offered to guests of Festival of Nations, Dollywood has cooked up some of the most diverse dishes from around the world.

A myriad of exotic recipes, available throughout the park, sends guests’ taste buds on a trip during each visit to Dollywood’s award-winning food locations.

Guests can find hibachi teriyaki chicken and vegetables from Japan, beef lo mein and egg noodles from China, classic flatbreads from Greece and Italy, tacos with Colombian pork or Mexican shredded beef and much more.

For those with a sweet tooth, delectable delights from around the world are available, including various crepes from France, England and Belgium.

Guests can learn more about Dollywood’s Festival of Nations by visiting www.dollywood.com or calling 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

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