Silver Dollar City Celebrates
50 Years with Year-Long Party
... New $7 Million Ride Is On Tap for 2010
Silver Dollar City launches its 50th year in 2010, celebrating with a year-long party themed as "Take Time to Celebrate."
The family-focused theme park also plans a new $7 million ride, special birthday events, shows by big name entertainers, new shows for each of its six world-class festivals and a $50,000 prize give-away.
(At right, one of Silver Dollar City's popular water rides is, at times, a wet experience --- perfect for cooling summer fun.*)
More than 65 million guests have visited Silver Dollar City in the past five decades.
So this year's anniversary celebration is also focused on those golden memories.
A new show is reminiscent of the park's early years. The park is debuting an on-line memorabilia search. And on this anniversary year, it will celebrate a past era by providing change in "coin" dollars.
Also on tap are craftsmen reunions and an evening show focused on 50 years of country hits.
Today, the park bills itself as "The Home of American Craftsmanship." (At left, a woodworking artisan demonstrates her skills for visitors at Silver Dollar City.*)
The Herschend family opened Silver Dollar City on May 1, 1960 atop the famed Marvel Cave.
During that start-up year, the park featured a town square, a demonstrating blacksmith, a general store and ice cream parlor, and a crew of 17 who ran the shops and performed street shows.
Guests numbered about 125,000 that first year. The park now entertains two million guests annually.
Today's Silver Dollar City encompasses more than 100 acres and featuring 100 craftsmen, 30 rides/attractions, six festivals, dozens of theaters and myriad restaurants.
More New Features for the 50th Anniversary Year
Debuting in early spring is the new $7 million ride Tom & Huck’s RiverBlast, a super-soaking water raft ride themed around the adventures of fun-loving, mischief-makers Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.
(At right, a rendering depicts the ride's water action.*)
Raft riders, armed with water soakers, navigate the Mighty White River, battling raft-to-raft and raft-to-shore, dodging even more streams of water from sharp shooters ashore. A friendly warning -- you will get wet!
The 50th Celebration goes global with World-Fest opening in April.
Visitors will enjoy an all-new production Fiery Fiddles, featuring the world’s only soaring strings aerialist.
WorldFest will also feature the return of the popular Zhejiang Balancing Monks of China, and new dance troupes from Mexico and Trinidad. (Shown above, dancers perform perform at a previous WorldFest celebration.*)
Birthday Celebration Weekend is April 30 to May 2. On tap are a parkwide birthday party, special concerts with the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, fireworks, the official debut of the new Great American Country Nights evening show and a special Night of Praise.
A national recipe contest, now underway through Taste of Home magazine, will discover and name the Official Silver Dollar City Birthday Cake!
The celebration heats up in summer during America’s largest kids’ festival, KidsFest, slated for June through August.
(At right, teens perform at a previous KidsFest event.*)
In addition to the new ride, visitors will enjoy a major new stunt dog show and Silver Dollar City’s Famous Friends appearances by kid-favorite costumed characters including SpongeBob & Patrick, Shaggy & Scooby Doo, The Jetsons, The Flintstones and the Backyardigans.
In fall, the National Harvest Festival will host the Craft in America Exhibit, created exclusively for SDC.
The exhibit is from the creators of the PBS documentary series featuring unique American artists; 50 artists will choose their works for the exhibition.
Additionally, artisans previously featured at Silver Dollar City will return in a special craftsmen’s reunion showcase.
Also in fall, the season-long "Take Time To Celebrate Sweepstakes" will culminate in the give-away of $50,000 in prizes. These will include a boat, an European tour, a backyard makeover and a $5,000 Silver Dollar City shopping spree.
The birthday year concludes with the spectacular festival "An Old Time Christmas."
Guests can share memories, snapshots, video and memorabilia of their experiences at Silver Dollar City over the past 50 years in an online scrapbook: “Our Times Together Scrapbook.”
Visitors might peruse or purchase special Silver Dollar City merchandise in commemoration of the 50th Birthday. For example, the six episodes of the Beverly Hillbillies shot at Silver Dollar City and aired in October 1969 will be available for sale for home viewing. CBS is releasing the six episodes on DVD, which will be available for purchase at Silver Dollar City for a limited time.
Daywind Records, one of the nation’s top Southern gospel labels, is releasing a Silver Dollar City 50th Anniversary commemorative CD featuring top names who frequently appear at Silver Dollar City including Jeff & Sheri Easter and The Kingsmen. The CD will be sold in stores throughoutthe region.
Ott’s Foods is also releasing a commemorative Silver Dollar City 50th Anniversary Blackberry Barbecue Sauce
During 2010, Silver Dollar City is open March 18 – Dec. 30. For information, call 800-831-4FUN or visit www.silverdollarcity.com.