Summer can officially begin as Silver Dollar City launches their annual Star-Spangled Summer festival, which runs now through July 25.
The 1880s theme park invites guests to join them as they celebrate summer time with new live entertainment, unforgettable food and their more than 40 rides and attractions.
The live entertainment at the park starts with the return of The Harlem Globetrotters, who are teaming up with SDC to present an exclusive new show this summer. The Harlem Globetrotters Skills Showcase will be 30 minutes of nonstop showmanship and laughs as they exhibit their ball-handling skills, teamwork and trick-shot mastery. The Globetrotters will offer their show at the park now through Aug. 8.
“They’re going to be at Red Gold Heritage Hall doing three shows a day, everyday but Thursday,” Silver Dollar City Manager of Entertainment Events Casey Robertson said. “They’ve got five players and an emcee, and then Globie will be here too. We’ll have two different crews. We’ll switch them out after the July 4 weekend and get a whole other crew in, so they’ll be with us for Summer and Moonlight Madness.”
The Dockside Theater is now home to the newest SDC production, Down by the Riverside, which stars the Rivertown Ramblers.
“We took cover songs about rivers and water and adventures and put it into a show with three singers — two girls and a guy — and a four-piece band. All the music, we changed the style from what it was originally to kind of southern gospel and kind of Dixieland. Songs like ‘Come Sail Away,’ ’The Water is Wide’ and ‘River Deep Mountain High.’ It’s really fun. It’s going really well,” Robertson said. “Audiences are really loving it. We opened that a week ago, and it’s just packed every show, and people are hoopin’ and hollerin’. It doesn’t matter who you are, everybody seems to love it.”
Since 1973, SDC has been entertaining folks with their saloon show. Though the saloon remains closed due to the pandemic, Robertson said that hasn’t stopped the show from finding a new home at the Boatworks Theater.
“The saloon show is Sadie’s Traveling Wild West Revue, and that’s at Boatworks. (For the show) the owner of the Boatworks Theatre is a little upset that we’re still there and kind of getting everybody riled up, so he wants us out,” Robertson said. “Comedy ensues, and there’s some tomfoolery, and you get to see the saloon girls do the can-can. It’s going really well. It’s fun to do the saloon show outside. People get to walk by and see it in a way they’ve not seen it before.”
In the center of town square, Robertson said they’ll have a number of entertainment options performing at the gazebo throughout the festival.
“We’ll have the Homestead Pickers, a big favorite, up at the square,” Robertson said. “We’ll do what we’ve always done: family bluegrass groups. We’ve got about three in the rotation, and we’ve done this for years. It’s a great welcome to the park because the gazebo is the first venue you see. Bluegrass is very Silver Dollar City. We’ll also have Lindley Creek and The Dalton Gang and some other groups in there.”
During the festival, the park will also welcome the talents of The Baker Family, the Horsecreek Band, Comedian Mike Bliss and Teenage Ventriloquist Landon Harvey.
As the Star-Spangled Summer festival begins, Robertson said it feels like the kick-off of summer to him.
“Families are starting to go on vacation, and everybody’s getting out and about,” Robertson said. “For us in the entertainment part of it, it just seems like people haven’t had live entertainment. They’ve been stuck at their house watching Netflix or other stuff. To get out and watch shows and have an adventure, everybody really wants to do it. It’s really great to see all the families smiling and having a great time and feeling safe again.”
Toward the end of the festival, SDC will welcome Grammy Award-winning Christian Music Artist Chris Tomlin on July 24.
“The exciting thing about this is we’ve actually been working hard on this one,” said Robertson. “This might be one of the biggest shows as far as production goes, as far as lights and video and stuff like that we’ve ever had in Echo Hollow. So that’s a lot of fun.”
Tomlin’s performance will also help launch Moonlight Madness at the park, which runs from July 24 to Aug. 8. Every night, Moonlight Madness will include an 8 p.m. performance at Echo Hollow followed by fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
Earlier this year, SDC rolled out their new Tasting Passport, which gives guests the chance to choose five items from the park’s exclusive summer menu. A few of the Summer Tasting Passport menu items will include the southwest burger slider, the BBQ brisket grilled cheese slider, the brisket mac and cheese wrap and the Oreo cookies and cream funnel cake.
While at the park, guests are encouraged to visit the newest ride at SDC. Mystic River Falls, which debuted last summer, features a nearly half-mile river ride, an eight-story lift tower, an elevated channel and a 4 ½ story waterfall drop.
For additional information visit silverdollarcity.com.