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Carlo Klemm

Dollywood starts Christmas preparations in July

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Carlo Klemm
Dollywood starts Christmas preparations in July

by WKRN 

July 25, 2015

 

 

Excerpt:

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WATE) – The calendar says it’s summer, but Dollywood is already preparing for Christmas – five months away. Workers there get started in the middle of summer every year to make sure the millions of lights are up in time.

It’s peak season for Dollywood with people breaking out the shorts and tank tops to beat the heat while they enjoy the rides, but if you look closely, you might see a hint of Christmas in July.

“It’s hard to think of that in July, but we’re getting ready for Christmas right now!” said Dollywood spokesman Wes Ramey.

The Christmas lights are going up.

“I know it’s July and I know it’s hot, but in order to get this park done by when we open for Christmas, we have to start now,” said Andrea Fontana, lighting coordinator.

With four million lights to be stretched and stapled throughout the park, trees to go up and decorations to make it a holly jolly Dollywood, there’s no time to spare.

 

*****

 

Right now it’s all about summer with the Great American Summer Festival and there’s one more festival to go before the Christmas lights come on for the winter season, but on October 31 the park closes and all the fall decorations are pulled out. That leaves one week to put the finishing touches on the winter wonderland.

Workers end up spending months decking the halls of Dollywood. The lights will go on for Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival November 8 through January 3. Once the festival ends, it will take through March to get all the lights down.

 

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Santa Joel

Kathy and I are really thinking about going this year. Hopefully, I will get all our Christmas stuff up before we go. Haven't done too good with that the last few years. Because of remodeling on the house we lost all of our outside plugins. 

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SantaDon

Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO is starting the same process.  It takes so long to get those lights up.  We went down last Saturday and Sunday but didn't get everything done (due to the heat) so we're running down again this Thursday!

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SCSanta

The behind the scenes prep takes so much more time than most folks realize. I started preliminary design sketches last November for an original Georgia O'Keeffe stage work that I won't start building until January of 2016.

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Bama Kringle

My wife and I have visited Walt Disney World during the Christmas season, and a few years ago we had an opportunity to do the same at Dollywood.

 

Primary differences  - It was blasted cold for this Alabama boy :)  and several attractions/rides were not open because of that.  However, the shows at Dollywood were excellent with several being unapologetically Christian (this is not a park that tries to be all things to all people).  We very much enjoyed the lights and the productions.

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Santa Joel

Kathy and I have been in Pigeon Forge for the last few days and just kind of browsed around and visited some of the stores, buying for the grand kids. We did not go to Dolly Wood because Kathy is having trouble doing much walking right now. It was mainly a chance to get away from the house and unwind. Watched the stream drift by our balcony. Fourteen Canadian geese, a Wood duck with 7 ducklings, maybe an otter, fed onion rings to the minnows and watched a snake go after them. And of course, no trip to Pigeon Forge would be complete without a visit to The Christmas Place. 

Kathy and I figure we are already behind on getting ready to decorate. 

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