PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — Though drowning is preventable, it’s one of the leading causes of death among children. 

Dollywood’s Splash Country wants to change that. For 10 years now, the water park has set aside a day to educate the community about water safety.

This year, swim instructors and community leaders will come together Thursday, June 20 to provide a free 30-minute lesson in the morning and offer education throughout the day.

“As a family water park, we believe it is incumbent upon us to join arm-in-arm with our community and raise awareness about the benefits of teaching kids to swim,” explained Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager Janet Dawson. “This is the tenth year that we’ve participated in the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson. We’ve made this an important day in our season because research shows that formal swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children who are four and younger. We believe this simple event can save lives.”

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The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson happens at pools and water parks around the world on June 20. Dollywood’s Splash Country is one of the participating venues. Last year, nearly 42,000 kids and adults participated in 27 countries.

Due to popular demand, Olympic gold medalist Jenna Johnson and legendary swim coach Jackie Bertucci are teaming up for a second consecutive year to lead the lesson at Dollywood’s Splash Country.

“LeConte Medical Center is honored to be a part of raising awareness concerning safety on or near water,” said LeConte Medical Center President and CAO Gaye Jolly. “The event is important to our community and we are proud to have great partners like the Dr. Robert F Thomas Foundation and Dollywood’s Splash County for Water Safety Day.”

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The swim lesson begins at 10 a.m. at Mountain Waves wave pool. Vendor booths are open from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Guests who visit the vendor booths receive a Splash Pass, allowing them to receive a prize at each booth. Once the participants have visited all vendors, they may turn their pass in for the chance to win two season passes to Dollywood’s Splash Country!

Water Safety Day and WLSL registration begin Thursday, June 20 at 9 a.m. at Dollywood’s Splash Country. The park opens to guests at 9:30 a.m. 

Guests should arrive early to register before the swim lesson begins at 10 a.m. Dollywood’s Splash Country admission is required to participate in Water Safety Day and may be purchased on-site or online at Dollywood.com.