The all-new Festival of Wonder in April, a new summer concert series and a big new Christmas expansion top the lineup for Silver Dollar City’s 2017 season, designated the Year of Food and Crafts. The Year of Food and Crafts celebrates the art of American fine craftsmanship with new handcrafted treasures, and presents new signature dining experiences with over 200 new specialty foods throughout the season.
The Year of Food and Crafts kicks off with the park’s opening ride event Spring Ride Days March 15-26, then the new Festival of Wonder opens April 6 with amazing acts of curiosity and larger-than-life performances, all billed as “A Most Amazing Entertainment Experience.” Featuring the world’s largest playable stringed instrument, the Earth Harp Collective has strings stretched the length of Red Gold Heritage Hall, vibrating above the heads of the audience as it plays, creating a multi-faceted music experience. The Earth Harp is just one of the show’s beyond-believable instruments from visionary instrument creator William Close, an America’s Got Talent finalist. The festival also features the Flamenco Kings, seven brothers whose stunning performances are a fusion of flamenco, tap, martial arts and acrobatics; Balancing Wonders, presenting gravity-defying performers in an extraordinary balancing show; plus Speed Painter Dan Dunn, glass armonica music and incredible wind instruments.
New foods for the Festival of Wonder take an outrageous turn as well, including Curious Kabobs with shark or alligator on a stick, and the World of Bacon with Bacon Cannoli and Chocolate Covered Bacon. The festival runs April 6-30.
In May, the popular festival Bluegrass & BBQ brings in top bluegrass musicians, including a special concert with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. Skaggs, winner of 14 Grammy Awards, 8 CMA Awards, 11 IBMA* Awards and 2 Dove Awards, headlines Memorial Weekend, with a concert on May 28. Also among the festival’s top performers are Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Flatt Lonesome, The Gibson Brothers and The Grascals. A huge new BBQ Pitmaster Courtyard offers savory barbecue feasting, with new foods including layered Barbecue Sundaes, a “Ribs Spectacular,” and Mason Jar Desserts. Bluegrass & BBQ runs May 4-29.
June brings a new Echo Hollow Summer Concert Series, presenting concert fun from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s with performances by Poco, Rare Earth, The Association, The Spinners and The Lovin’ Spoonful. Concerts are June 2-4 and 9-11.
June also brings the family-focused festival Star-Spangled Summer, featuring the Harlem Globetrotters, with 9 new Guinness World Records for trick shots, in the final year of The Globetrotter Experience show. The festival also presents stunt dogs, champion cloggers and cartoon characters, June 3-July 16. Food Days lead into and top off summer events with wild new flavors. The park’s night ride event Moonlight Madness, July 15-30, brings back ride-in-the-dark fun and evening street dances, performances by international touring group Rockapella.
The top names in Southern Gospel fill the stages for Southern Gospel Picnic, August 24-September 4, including Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Dove Award winners The Booth Brothers and Jeff & Sheri Easter, Greater Vision, The Hoppers, Legacy Five and The Isaacs. The food spotlight is on Southern cuisine, as Southern cooking expert and food blogger Christy Jordan presents all-new recipes in The House of Chicken & Fixin’s.
Concerts featuring country music icons Restless Heart, Diamond Rio and Lonestar are presented each evening during Silver Dollar City’s Country Music Weekend, September 8-10, and the National Crafts & Cowboy Festival features the nation’s finest craftsmen and authentic cowboys, September 13-October 28. The festival presents the popular Wild West Show with trick riders, ropers and a world-champion Native American Hoop dancer; Western music, a barn dance, and 125 visiting craftsmen. Cuisine includes Cowboy Beef Stew and Dutch Oven Dessert
An Old Time Christmas is brighter than ever, debuting the all-new Christmas in Midtown, a 70,000 sq. ft. area filled with new light displays 9 stories high, including 30 angels, animated reindeer pulling a sleigh, 3 light tunnels, two 40-foot long moving trains, dozens of stars and snowflakes, and a 50-foot tree, all created at Silver Dollar City. Christmas in Midtown adds 1.5 million new lights, bringing the park’s total to 6.5 million lights. The festival also presents “Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Christmas Light Parade” led by the most famous reindeer of all, with musical lighted floats and dozens of costumed characters, plus two original musical productions: It’s A Wonderful Life and A Dickens’ Christmas Carol. Ranked as one of the world’s top holiday events, the park dazzles with the acclaimed 5-story special effects Christmas Tree and an encompassing light-and-sound show on the Square, plus new holiday foods, November 4-December 30. Also new this year is aNew Year’s Celebration December 31 and January 1.
The park presents more than 40 rides and attractions, including the world-famous wood coaster Outlaw Run, named Best New Ride of 2013 worldwide and featured in Guinness World Records 2015. The new Year of Food and Crafts spotlights the park’s 100 craftsmen demonstrating America’s heritage crafts, hundreds of new food specialties are added to the dining options, and shows fill the stages throughout the season. The 1880s-style theme park is open March 15–December 31, 2017 and January 1, 2018; www.silverdollarcity.com.