BY ANGELA GARY
For me, family vacations always meant the Great Smoky Mountains. Some families headed to the beach but not us. Our vacation destination was always the mountains of east Tennessee. How fitting that “Year of the Family” is being celebrated this year at Dollywood, where the 32nd season of the park recently kicked off.
I certainly have lots of family memories of time spent at Dollywood. It has been a favorite destination for us every season of the year. I have many fond memories of attending opening weekend in the spring when Dolly Parton was on hand to greet season pass holders and guests. In the summer, the park was the highlight of our family vacation where we enjoyed all the shows, rides and harvest f. In the fall, we always enjoyed the pumpkins and special exhibits, while winter was probably my favorite time of all with all of the Christmas festivities. Every season, there is something special for families to enjoy.
This year on opening weekend, we went to Mother Africa, a musical show that highlights skillful acrobatics, live music and traditional and modern dance from across Africa’s diverse tradition. The Mother Africa cast, assembled from all across the African continent, invites guests to visit the typical township of Khayelitsha (which means “My Home”) where the people celebrate the joy of everyday life. The streets come to life through music, dance and amazing acrobatic feats as the people rise above their surroundings through their creativity, spirit and athletic skills. The show is located at Celebrity Theater and it will be featured as part of Dollywood’s Festival of Nations, which will be at the park through April 9.