Sara Sails Away

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Dollywood’s Festival of Nations–the shopping

*NOTE–the content below refers to the 2016 season of Dollywood’s Festival of Nations. I offer it here to give an idea of what to expect if you should go. To see my initial post about the performance part of the festival, go here.

Dollywood’s Festival of Nations offers a fair amount of unique shopping opportunities if you care to take advantage of them. Booths with authentic merchandise from numerous countries line either side of Showstreet down to Marketplace Square and are worth a look for items ranging from small trinkets to expensive art. If I weren’t trying to get rid of everything I own, I probably would have made it home with a small nativity or two. Below are some of the items for sale during the 2016 season.

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Dollywood’s Festival of Nations–the food

*NOTE–the content below refers to the 2016 season of Dollywood’s Festival of Nations. I offer it here to give an idea of what to expect if you should go. To see my initial post about the performance part of the festival, go here

For every festival throughout the year, Dollywood adds special menu items sold at booths set up around the Marketplace Square, the central area for counter service food in the park. For the Festival of Nations, with a huge rotating globe just near the entrance, you’ll find such exotic and international specialties as…tacos, Chinese food, and pizza. *PIZZA* 

Even if it were decently executed tacos, Chinese food, and pizza, that would be something, but alas, most of the dishes were uninspiring. Perhaps it’s lucky that they are only open for lunch, and barely then. Times of food service are unposted and erratic, three booths may open up at noon, while another doesn’t open for another 30 minutes, and they seem to close whenever folks stop walking up. Don’t expect to stop by for a snack at 3 pm, for example, especially not on a weekday.

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Dollywood’s Festival of Nations

The performers in this article refer to the 2016 season of Dollywood’s Festival of Nations. I *thought* I’d be getting this post up around the time the 2017 season started, to offer a taste of what this wonderful festival is like (because it surprised me!) but it turns out the 2017 festival is already over…at only three weeks long, you’ve got to act quickly! I promise I’ll get the hang of this blogging thing. 

Being a music lover and a traveler with an interest in world music, I had long wanted to visit Dollywood’s Festival of Nations, which occurs every spring in late March to early April. (2017 festival dates were March 18-April 9.) I finally put together a solo trip for myself in 2016 for the last week of the festival and enjoyed myself immensely! This festival was so much more than I expected.

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