As a visitor to the Smoky Mountains this Holiday Season, I am sure you could be overwhelmed with the possibilities of which shows to attend. The Parkway is lined with theaters displaying unique signs featuring their performers and shows. During the Christmas Season, the entire town goes through a face lift and transforms into a wintery showplace.
Businesses and theaters “Deck the Halls” with over the top holiday trimmings. Each year it seems to be bigger and more elaborate. My wife marvels at the unique blue lights outside of the Christmas Place Inn and Store. They are quite amazing!
Along with these decorations come a string of shows catering to Christmas. Singers, dancers, and actors have worked overtime the past few weeks to perfect their holiday shows. One that I would like to highlight today is a favorite of my family, Dixie Stampede.
With 32 trained horses, camels, sheep, and more animals that I can’t remember, Dixie Stampede Christmas Show is top of the line. The cast of professional horse riders also sing and dance for your entertainment. The costumes have been dazzled with red, green, gold, and white…and the set of the show is decorated like a typical southern plantation at Christmas with pine garland, lights, red bows, poinsettias, and Christmas trees. The actual show allows you to participate in the program so you feel like you are part of the cast—It is unforgettable!
When you arrive at “The Stampede,” you enter a nostalgic barroom atmosphere where you will be entertained by a bluegrass band (which could easily serve as the main show)! There, you can purchase a specialty drink (non alcoholic) in one of the boot glasses you see everywhere. If you have kids, plan on getting one. They must have it, and then you can sell it in your yard sale this summer. I think we have about 10 or so!
When it is time for you to enter the arena, the staff escorts you to your seat. You are soon greeted by your server to begin your meal. Did I mention that this was a dinner show? You might be thinking that the food at these shows isn’t that great. Not here…Their food is sooo good!
We often joke about going to “The Stampede” to just eat dinner. You get a whole rotisserie chicken, barbecue pork loin, corn on the cob, creamy vegetable soup—my favorite, herb-basted potatoes, homemade biscuit, dessert, and unlimited drink refills.
The show starts and you sit in amazement as you watch the dazzling lights, talented performers, trained animals, and eat good food. The servers are actually performers in their own right. You seem to become fast friends with the employees of Dixie Stampede and before you leave…you feel like you work there—and love it!
If you didn’t know it, this is one of Dolly Parton’s attractions and she puts a guarantee on it that it is the Smokies’ most fun place to eat. I guess if you don’t agree, you can call Dolly and she will take care of it. I do hope you can make this show during a trip to the Gatlinburg / Pigeon Forge area. It is located right on the Parkway, about a mile from Dollywood. For complete information and show times, call 1.800.356.1676 or visit www.dixiestampede.com.