PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — Despite the heat and the muggy weather, it's starting to look a lot like Christmas! At least, it is in Dollywood as Sevier County starts preparing for its holiday festivities.
Dollywood special events administrator Diane Tucker said workers are getting Dollywood ready for the park's Smoky Mountain Christmas event. They are hanging up lights and putting up decorations.
"We are really in the midst of all of our Christmas set up throughout the park," Tucker said.
More than 5 million lights are put up, with workers logging more than 15,000 hours, all to make the Christmas magic happen.
"We have a whole team working around the clock just to get the park ready for Christmas," Tucker said. "It takes a village to get it done."
Light crews are busy stapling up over 100 miles of lights with more than 500,000 staples. There are cases upon cases of black and white tape, officials said.
"Some lights are capped off so that if we don't want it to show, it will just disappear," said Tucker. "You won't see it at all."
With such a large number of lights, it's going to take a while to hang them up. That's why the preparation starts early in the summer.
In Sevier County, parks and recreation director Bob Parker said light displays are already set up. They are just not turned on until WinterFest.
"We've already replaced about 50,000 thousand light bulbs over the last 2 or 3 weeks," Parker said.
There are light displays on every other pole from Exit 407 to Pigeon Forge, according to Parker.
Tucker said the celebration of lights helps the community feel a little bit of light and joy during a time when a lot could be on their minds.
"Helping people forget what's going on in the world around us - and for just a moment in time, their life just lights up," Tucker said.
Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas runs from Nov. 6 through Jan. 2.