While summer at Silver Dollar City officially kicked off last week with the Summer Concert Series, this weekend, the 1880s theme park continues the seasonal celebration with the Star-Spangled Summer festival, which runs until July 22.
Specifically designed and geared towards the “family experience,” Star-Spangled Summer features shows including “Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience,” the Championship Cloggers, Rockapella, Storytelling at Half Dollar Holler, “Hits from the Hollow” at Echo Hollow, visiting performers, character meet and greets, character breakfasts and more.
The Summer Concert Series wraps up Friday night with Southern Rock favorites Atlanta Rhythm Section. This laid-back group had two gold and one platinum album in the 1970s thanks to hit tunes such as “So in to You” and “Imaginary Lover.” Other tracks like “Doraville,” “Spooky” and “I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight” remain crowd favorites
Saturday night, Echo Hollow will host 70’s favorite Blood, Sweat and Tears. These jazz-rock stars won Album of the Year at the 1970 Grammy Awards. Their biggest hits include “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” “And When I Die” and “Spinning Wheel.”
Silver Dollar City’s Summer Concert Series wraps up June 10 with 60’s hitmakers The Buckinghams. This pop group surged onto the scene in the late 1960s, reaching the top of the charts with their iconic single “Kind Of A Drag.” Other hits include “Don’t You Care,” “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” and “Hey Baby, They’re Playing Our Song.”
Showtime is 7 p.m. at the Echo Hollow Amphitheatre. Each of these concerts is free with park admission.
As far as Star-Spangles Summer events, “Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience,” which hits the stage each day except Wednesday through July 22, is back for another year headlining the festival. Perondi and his troupe of dogs perform a variety of tricks, using anything from frisbees to hula hoops and even other people.
Perondi and his canine counterparts have been seen on “Oprah,” “The Tonight Show,” and “Ellen.”
Also back are the Championship Cloggers in the Boatworks Theatre, which features a different group of young performers from across the country. The Southern Belles from Atlanta, Ga., will perform June 9-23, followed by Indiana Dance Company of Bloomington, In.
On June 25-30, the Southern Rhythm Cloggers from Lake City, Fla. perform July 2-7, followed by Rocky Mountain Express Cloggers from Orem, Utah July 9-14, the PowerTaps from Woodstock, Ga. July 16-21, the Red River Cloggers from Clinton, Ark. July 23-28, and Hollister’s Premiere Dance Academy July 30 through Aug. 4.
There are no performances on Sundays.
Rockapella, a five-man acapella group who gained national attention on the massively popular PBS show “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?,” where they provided the theme song, are also back this year.
The group performed at Silver Dollar City last summer for a limited run, but due to popular demand, they’re back from June 9 through July 22 at the Riverfront Playhouse. No shows on Tuesdays.
One of the most popular events during Star-Spangled Summer is the character meet and greets and character breakfasts.
From Thursday through Sunday, guests can meet their favorite cartoon characters in the Carousel Barn. Characters visiting this season include Dexter & Dee Dee June 7-9, Raphael and Michaelangelo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles June 14-16, Ben 10 June 21-23, Fred Flintstone, Barney Rubble & Dino June 28-30, Scooby Doo & Shaggy July 5-7, Gumball & Darwin July 12-14, Tom & Jerry July 19-21, SpongeBob SquarePants & Patrick Star July 26-28, and Astro, George and Elroy Jetson August 2-4.
On select Saturdays during Star-Spangled Summer, folks can have breakfast with their favorite characters. June 16 will host Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Michaelangelo & Raphael, Scooby Doo & Shaggy July 7, and SpongeBob SquarePants & Patrick July 28.
These breakfasts are reserved-seating events, and include an all-you-can-eat buffet. Tickets are available on the website.
Silver Dollar City will also host visiting performers during the summer, featuring a variety of bluegrass, Southern Gospel and western musicians.
In addition to the shows, food, fun and more than 40 rides and attractions the park is known for, this summer’s headlines have been dominated by the new $26 million coaster, the record-breaking Time Traveler. Billed as the “world’s fastest, steepest and tallest complete-circuit spinning roller coaster,” Time Traveler features a 360-degree controlled spin that delivers high dimension, sensations and perspectives that differ with every car, every ride, every time. Time Traveler reaches speeds of 50 miles per hour and stands at 100 feet tall, making full use of the Ozark Mountains terrain. It also includes an immediate 10-story drop, straight down. A trip on the Time Traveler lasts nearly two minutes, with riders experiencing a total of three inversions, another first for a complete-circuit spinning coaster, with a dive loop, vertical loop and zero-gravity roll.
Time Traveler, which opened earlier this year, set the following records:
•Fastest– Top speed of 50.3 miles per hour.
•Steepest - A 10-story, 90-degree vertical drop ... straight down. Custom-engineered to have an immediate out-of-the-station, gravity-driven drop down an Ozarks mountainside.
•Tallest - Custom-designed for mountainous terrain with its tallest point at 100 feet.
•First & Only with Three Inversions - a Dive Loop, a Vertical Loop and a Zero-G Roll.
•First & Only with a Vertical Loop - A 95-foot tall loop.
•First and Only Double Launch – 0 to 47 mph in 3 seconds; 30 to 45 mph in 3.5 seconds.
Also still calling the park home is the groundbreaking wood coaster Outlaw Run, voted Best New Ride of 2013 worldwide and featured in Guinness World Records 2015 for Steepest Drop. Additional rides range from the explosive launch roller coaster PowderKeg and the multi-looping roller coaster WildFire to an authentic steam train, plus themed ride areas such as Fireman’s Landing with 10 family attractions.
Moonlight Madness will return July 21.
For a schedule of events and hours of operation, visit silverdollarcity.com.