Final 2016 Curtain call for some popular Branson shows!

The last 2016 performance of the  first show on the Branson Strip, Presleys' Country Jubilee, is Dec.  27.

The last 2016 performance of the first show on the Branson Strip, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, is Dec. 17.

“Although the clear majority of Branson attractions and shopping remains open year-round and many of our most popular shows will be open, albeit on a winter schedule, till the end of the year, a substantial number of shows will be concluding their 2016 season within the next three weeks,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. Here is a list of the last date in 2016 that some of Branson’s most popular shows will be performing, sorted chronologically by date, starting on Dec.1 and ending on Dec. 31. It is followed by a list of some of Branson’s shows most popular New Year’s Eve celebrations:

Dec. 7: Duttons
Dec. 8: New South Gospel
Dec. 9: Andy Williams Christmas Extravaganza
Dec. 9: Down Home Country
Dec. 9: Shoji Tabuchi
Dec. 10: George Dyer
Dec. 10:The Lettermen
Dec. 11: Sunday Gospel Jubilee
Dec. 11: Ozark Mountain Jubilee
Dec. 16: Branson Country USA
Dec. 17: Christmas Wonderland
Dec. 17: Presleys’ Country Jubilee
Dec. 17: SIX
Dec. 18: New Jersey Nights
Dec. 18: Puttin’ on the Ritz
Dec. 23: Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies
Dec. 29: The Haygoods*
Dec. 30: Clay Cooper’s Country Express*
Dec. 30: Hughes Brothers Christmas Show*
Dec. 31: Acrobats of China
Dec. 31: Amazing Pets
Dec. 31: Comedy Jamboree
Dec. 31: Grand Jubilee*
Dec. 31: Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show*
Dec. 31: Legends in Concert*
Dec. 31: Million Dollar Quartet
Dec. 31: Moses
Dec. 31: Pierce Arrow*

 BRANSON’S MOST POPULAR NEW YEARS EVE PARTIES

Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve (Clay Cooper and Haygoods joint celebration)
Grand Jubilee
Hughes Brothers New Years Eve
Legends in Concert
Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess
Million Dollar Quartet
Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show*
Pierce Arrow

* Has New Year’s Eve celebration. Clay Cooper &Haygoods are celebrating jointly

Branson Tourism Center’s Garrison points out that weather, abbreviated Christmas show schedules, and availability are excellent reasons to, not only check the schedule for the show(s) you are interested in, but to make advanced reservations. He suggests calling 1-800-785-1550 and talking with one of BTC’s Branson based Travel Planners where, “one call takes care of it all.” They will be delighted to answer any questions you might have about Branson, its shows, hotels, or attractions and assist you with reservations to help ensure that you obtain the best available seating at shows and the lodging accommodations you desire. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM. BTC may also be contacted through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com

From its improbable start Million Dollar Quartet celebrates 60th Anniversary

How about celebrating New Year's Eve with the Miilion Dollar Quartet?

The Million Dollar Quartet, a special entertainment experience, based on the most unique Rock n’ Roll jam session of all time!

“For the past two years, Branson audiences have had the thrill of experiencing the hit musical Million Dollar Quartet, joining the ranks of the millions throughout the world who have enjoyed it since its creation in 2007, by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Prior to hearing about the Million Dollar Quartet show, most are not even aware of the event that the show was based on and, even after seeing it, many do not realize how improbable it was that we would be celebrating the 60th anniversary of that event,” she added.

Wood points out that it’s obvious we are not celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Million Dollar Quartet show. What’s being celebrated is the 60th anniversary of the greatest Rock n’ Roll jam session of all time; a onetime impromptu event, involving four young performers, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis, in the early stages of their careers. It happened in Memphis, TN inside the storefront recording studio of Sun Records on December 4, 1956.

Carl Perkins, Sun recording artist, was in the studio along with his brother Jay on bass, and drummer, WS “Fluke” Holland, and Sun recording artist Jerry Lee Lewis, who was there to play piano for the Perkins’ recording session of “Matchbox.” Sun recording artist, Johnny Cash, came in to observe the recording session and talk with Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records. Still later, Elvis Presley, RCA and ex-Sun Recording artist, dropped by with a girl he was seeing at the time, Marilyn Evans.

As musicians have done since time in memoriam, they just started “jamming.” When Phillips saw the improbable session taking place he called Bob Johnson, the entertainment editor of the “Memphis Press-Scimitar,” and invited him over. He came and brought a photographer with him. The next day Phillips wrote a story on the jam session calling them the “Million Dollar Quartet” which was accompanied by a photograph of the four around the piano.

The impromptu jam session would not have been recorded, but for the efforts of sound technician Jack Clement, who was there to record the Perkins session. As the informal jam session got underway, Clement decided that he would be remiss if he did not record it so, without anyone’s knowledge, he did.

Probably because no one knew that Clement had recorded the session, and despite “The Million Dollar Quartet” news story, the recording went unnoticed, into the Sun Records “library,” where it remained for decades until discovered by a new owner of Sun Records as they worked through the contents of the library. It was recorded and released in Europe in 1981, in the United States in 1990, and became the basis for the hit musical Million Dollar Quartet in 2007.

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of this historic event, on December 4th, 2016, some of Branson’s biggest stars will join the cast of the Million Dollar Quartet in paying a musical tribute to the four legends and “to express their gratitude for the inspirational music they have given. “One of the highlights of the Million Dollar Quartet show is the finale that re-creates just how special that jam session was,” said Dathan Atchison, General Manager of the Welk Resort Branson.

“We are so honored to have these incredible guests join us in celebrating that historic night, and the four men who have inspired generations of performers,” Atchison continued. “The influence of the four members of the “Million Dollar Quartet” is certainly felt in Branson, and we are so thankful that Jim Stafford, Billy Dean, New South and David Brooks have been gracious enough to not only come and sing, but to share stories of how that influence changed their lives. It is going to be a rockin’ good time and a fitting tribute to four of the greatest entertainers in history,” he added.

Running through December 31, 2016, the Million Dollar Quartet tells the story and captures the high energy spirit and rockin’ sounds of a unique moment when four of music’s most extraordinary talents, all in their creative prime, came together for one of the most memorable nights in music history” and features the greatest rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, R&B and country hits from these music legends, including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Walk The Line,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Hound Dog,” “Whole Lotta’ Shakin’ Goin’ On,” and so many more.

For more information and tickets for the Million Dollar Quartet or other great Branson shows or lodging, please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services and sellers of almost 5 million Branson show and attraction tickets by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

Six awesome reasons why you don’t want to miss Branson’s Christmas Week!

Silver Dollar City's Old Time Christmas, New Year's Eve with Legends in Concert, the Amazing Pets Show ,and Tanger Outlet.

Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas, New Year’s Eve with Legends in Concert, the Amazing Pets Show ,and Tanger Outlets are just a few of the almost infinite choices awaiting Branson visitors during Branson’s Christmas Week.

Branson’s Christmas Week, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, offers Branson visitors the same world class shopping and entertainment experience that makes Branson one of the premier vacation destinations in America,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “From tigers and butterflies, to acrobats, drive through Christmas lighting displays, museums, world class shopping, New Year’s Eve celebrations second to none, and so much more; if you’re looking for fun, entertainment, excitement and adventure as part of your Christmas vacation then Branson’s Christmas Week in Branson is the place for you!” he added.

Here’s a list of six reasons why:

1.Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas Festival: Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas Festival is one of the Nation’s top Christmas events. Its spectacular display of five million Christmas lights throughout the park, entertainment, parade, Broadway style shows, and much more has been recognized and featured nationally by USA Today, CNN Travel, The Travel Channel, Good Morning America and many others.

Although the award winning 1880s styled theme park, lit with over 5 million sparkling Christmas lights, is filled with shows; crafts; unique shopping; food; weather permitting, dozens of exciting rides and demonstrating craftsmen; and other activities, something special begins to happen each evening at dusk, in the Square on Main Street. First, the 5-Story Special Effects Christmas Tree comes to life, with its 350,000 colorful sparkling LED lights, choreographed to Christmas music, and making over 100 light changes per second. In its glow, “the most famous reindeer of all” leads Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Christmas Light Parade with its nine musical floats, illuminated with 200,000 ultra-bright LED lights; 33 colorful costumed characters, including Bumble the Abominable Snowman, 14-foot moose characters, 12-foot tall elves and 10-foot candy canes, plus penguins, elves and a troupe of marching wooden soldiers.”

2. Branson Shows: Although many of Branson’s shows are closed for the season, some of its most popular shows will be open during Branson’s Christmas Week presenting the live entertainment for which Branson is noted. This includes, in alphabetical order, The Acrobats of China, Amazing Pets, Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express, Comedy Jamboree, Dixie Stampede, Grand Jubilee, Hamner’s Unbelievable Variety, The Haygoods, Hughes Brothers Christmas Show, Legends in Concert, Million Dollar Quartet, Moses, Pierce Arrow and the Showboat Branson Belle along with many more.

3. Branson Attractions: In addition to Silver Dollar City, the majority of Branson’s other attractions will be open offering visitors a range of exciting adventures and activities. How about an up close encounter with the tigers and other big cats at the National Tiger Sanctuary; a ziplining adventure on Branson Zip Lines, or an entertaining interactive experience aboard Branson’s Titanic Museum attraction. In addition to everything else the Titanic offers its passengers on a daily basis, it’s celebrating its spectacular Christmas and Winter Celebration, as magically, inside and out, the ship “hails the sights, sounds, and joy of the season” and is aglow with glittering lights, festive decorations, and the spirit of the Holidays.

And that’s just the beginning! With museums as varied at the Branson Dinosaur Museum and the World Largest Toy Museum, the unique “White Flight” exhibit at the Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure; the Promised Land Zoo, hiking on one of our beautiful Ozark trails, golf, fishing, and so much more, it’s hard to imagine a travel destination, anywhere near Branson’s size that could offer more.

4. Spectacular Christmas Lighting Displays: Although Christmas Day is past, all the major drive through Christmas lighting displays will remain open through December 31. This includes the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights, Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights & Village, Branson’s Gift of Lights and the giant 30 foot nativity scene on top of Mount Branson overlooking Lake Taneycomo and historic downtown Branson.

5. Branson Shopping: Shopping is an important part of the Branson experience and Branson’s Christmas Week is no exception. From the quaint specialty shops offering arts and crafts and one of a kind items; to the shops of Historic Downtown Branson, featuring “Dicks 5 & 10,” the unique “Branson Landing,” with its 100 retail stores, and outlet malls such as “Tanger Outlets” and “The Meadows,” Branson’s Christmas Week shopping will satisfy the most avid shopper.

6. New Year’s Eve: From the midnight fireworks at the Chateau on the Lake to a New Year’s Eve party while cruising Lake Taneycomo aboard Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess, a 100 foot luxury yacht, or one of the unique celebrations by one of Branson’s shows, both 2016 and Branson’s Christmas Week fade away and 2017 emerges as only Branson can do it. It’s hard to imagine a more unique, entertaining or exciting New Year’s Eve than one spent with some of Branson’s most popular shows as they welcome in 2017 with their unique New Year’s Eve celebrations including:

Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve (Clay Cooper and Haygoods joint celebration)
Grand Jubilee
Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show
Hughes Brothers New Year’s Eve Show
Legends in Concert
Million Dollar Quartet
Pierce Arrow

Branson Tourism Center’s Garrison advises advanced planning and reservations for any trip to Branson during the Christmas Season because of the off season scheduling of shows, limited seating, and the fact that some Branson lodging facilities are closed. He suggests that an easy way to avoid problems, save time and, in many cases, money, is by simply calling the Branson Tourism Center, toll free at 1-800-785-1550 and talking with one of their Branson based Travel Planners who will be delighted to answer any questions and assist in making any show or lodging reservations. There is absolutely no charge for this service.

 

The Best of Branson Insider Highlights for December 2016

The Titanic Museum's "Christmas and Winter Celebration" is just one of the many inspirational and entertaining events in Branson during December.

The Titanic Museum’s “Christmas and Winter Celebration” is just one of the many inspirational and entertaining events in Branson during December.

“From the stages of its famous live shows, to the magnificently lit Silver Dollar City, and its Adoration Parade, December in Branson is filled with the special spirit of celebrating the traditional American Christmas,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Then, during the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, Branson is abuzz with fun and excitement leading up to a celebration of New Year’s Eve as only Branson can do it,” he added.

Here’s our Featured Show, Event, and Limited Engagement of the Month, along with a list of the major, special limited engagement performances and events you can enjoy in Branson during December, 2016:

Featured Show: The Grand Jubilee Christmas show has it all, including amazing vocals by Branson’s award winning quartet, New South and Female Vocalist of the Year Jackie Brown; hilarious comedy with Jamie Haage, a.k.a. “Jim Dandy,” and his sidekick Mike Patrick, who is also the show’s emcee and producer; and the “Grand Band,” one of the best bands in Branson. From the preshow to the final curtain, this awesome production will entertain and inspire you with “grand” music, comedy, and the spirit of a traditional American Christmas.

“I love the show for the fact that Christmas is built on tradition and that we sing the traditional favorite Christmas songs that people sing every year,” said Mike Patrick, the shows emcee and producer. “To me our show is like taking out your favorite Christmas ornament each year and hanging it on the tree.” When asked what his personal favorite part of the show was he said, without hesitation, “When we get to read the Christmas story from the Bible and see how it resonates with our audience.” His two favorite numbers in the show are New South’s rendition of a Gatlin Brothers’ song “Santa Are You Going To Atlanta” and Jackie Brown’s beautiful performance of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.”

 Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: No doubt about it, there’s not a more “Limited Engagement” than the spectacular unique ways available in Branson to ring in the New Year. How about  cruising Lake Taneycomo aboard Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess, a 100 foot luxury yacht, while enjoying a live DJ, dancing, games, prizes, party favors, full-service cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, a dessert bar, and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight? Cruising not your thing, how about an entertaining and exciting evening with some of Branson’s most popular shows as they welcome in 2017 with unique awesome New Year’s Eve celebrations including:

Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve (Clay Cooper and Haygoods joint celebration)
Grand Jubilee
Legends in Concert
Million Dollar Quartet
Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show
Pierce Arrow

Featured Event of the Month: The Branson Titanic Museum Attraction closes out its tenth year in Branson with its beautiful Christmas and Winter Celebration as magically, inside and out, she hails the sights, sounds and joy of the season. In addition to everything else the ship offers daily, it will be aglow with glittering lights, festive decorations, and the spirit of the Holidays, including free public access to hundreds of unique Titanic Christmas gift ideas and collectibles.

LIMITED ENGAGEMENT PERFORMANCES (Sorted by starting date)

Dec. 1:   The Urban Cowboy Reunion
Dec 1-3: Boot Daddy Presents Gene Watson
Dec 31: NEW YEAR’S EVE BRANSON Style
New Years Eve Celebration at Keeter Center
Grand Jubilee New Years Eve Show
Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve New Year’s Eve Show
Million Dollar Quartet New Year’s Eve
Legends in Concert New Year’s Eve Show
New Year’s Eve Cruise Aboard the Landing Princess
Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show
Pierce Arrow

SPECIAL EVENT HIGHLIGHTS (Sorted by starting date.)

Dec 1-30: An Old Time Christmas Festival at Silver Dollar City
Dec 4: Carols on the Belle aboard the Showboat Branson Belle
Dec 4: 68th Annual Adoration Parade and Lighting Ceremony
Dec 10: Breakfast with Santa – Branson RecPlex
Dec 11: Carols on the Belle aboard the Showboat Branson Belle
Dec 11: Tanger Club Member Exclusive Event at Tanger Mall
Dec 18: Carols on the Belle aboard the Showboat Branson Belle
Dec 18: Chateau on the Lake Breakfast with Santa
Dec 25: MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Dec 25: Christmas Day Champagne Brunch at Chateau on the Lake
Dec 31: New Years Eve Celebration at Keeter Center
Dec 31: Grand Jubilee New Years Eve Show
Dec 31: Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve New Year’s Eve Show
Dec 31: Million Dollar Quartet New Year’s Eve
Dec 31: Hamners Unbelievable Variety New Years Eve Fiesta
Dec 31: Legends in Concert New Year’s Eve Show
Dec 31: New Year’s Eve Cruise Aboard the Landing Princes
Dec 31-Jan 1, 2017 HAPPY NEW YEAR!

For additional information on these events, or any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com

 

One of a kind legendary million dollar Branson New Year’s Eve celebration

Is this a New Year's Eve celebration of legendary proportions or what?

Is this a New Year’s Eve celebration of legendary proportions or what?

“Things will really be jumping on New Year’s Eve in Branson,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “With a wonderful variety of ways to bring in the New Year including a party aboard Main Street Marina’s 100-foot luxury yacht Landing Princess, major fireworks displays, celebrations at hotels and other venues, and of course the famed Branson Show’s New Year’s Eve Celebrations, it’s hard to imagine a better way to welcome in the New Year than by celebrating its arrival in Branson,” he added.

He points out that it’s the titles of two of those shows, Legends in Concert and the Million Dollar Quartet, that provides Branson New Year’s Eve revelers with the opportunity to participate in a “legendary million dollar New Year’s Eve Celebration.” While having to pick one of the two, because they are both presented at the same time, each is a unique, extremely entertaining, and exciting way to celebrate the end of 2016 and the ringing in of 2017.

Where else would one expect the “legendary” celebration to come from, but Legends in Concert “We are so excited about our New Year’s Eve Celebration,” said Jeannie Horton, the General Manager for Branson’s Legends in Concert. “What could be a better way of ringing out the old year and ringing in the New Year than an exciting entertaining New Year’s Eve party at the iconic Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theatre in Branson with the legendary ‘Frank Sinatra,’ ‘Adele,’ ‘George Strait,’ ‘The Blues Brothers, ‘Elvis Presley,’ and special guest ‘Cher,’” she added.

The festivities start as the doors to the auditorium open at 8:30 PM and revelers receive a celebration package with party favors, hats, noise makers, beads, and more, along with a deluxe box lunch consisting of a delicious croissant sandwich, potato salad, dessert and beverage. As they enter the auditorium they may pose, decked out in their full New Year’s Eve regalia, with the stars of the show. Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase and may be taken into the auditorium to enjoy.

At 9:30 PM the party continues with a performance of the of the amazing Legends in Concert show including performances by Legends in Concert’s Frank Sinatra, Adele, George Strait, The Blues Brothers, Elvis Presley, special guest Cher, and the Legends in Concert Dancers and Band. As millions have discovered, the result is a one of a kind awesome musical production that is, in and of itself, a truly legendary entertainment experience!

The mid-night countdown, welcoming in the New Year is a spectacular event done as only Legends in Concert can do it. The show’s cast will come out on stage and countdown to the New Year with the audience amid an awesome celebration of streamers, confetti, celebratory noise makers, and join in the singing of the traditional “Auld Lang Syne.” Horton promises that it will be a wonderful memorable evening from beginning to end, and is absolutely a great way to start 2017.

How about celebrating New Year's Eve with the Miilion Dollar Quartet?

How about celebrating New Year’s Eve with the Miilion Dollar Quartet?

Although the actual 60th anniversary of the actual jam session that started it all will be celebrated on December 4th, Susan Smith, the Director of Sales & Marketing for Welk Resorts, said that the Million Dollar Quartet’s New Year’s Eve Celebration will be an entertaining, exciting, and memorable end to the 60th year of that famous jam session. She said that the evening starts off at 8:30 PM with heavy hors d’oeuvres including sliders and variety of hot dishes. Alcoholic beverages will be available for sale from the lounge and are permitted in the theatre for both the show and the midnight celebration.

At 9:45 PM the popular Million Dollar Quartet show will be presented. The show is based on the most famous impromptu jam session of all time that took place in the Memphis studios of Sun Records on December, 4, 1956. It included Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and, but for a recording that remained forgotten in the library of Sun Records for decades, would have been forgotten. The recordings were discovered by a new owner of Sun Records and released in 1981. The stage musical Million Dollar Quartet, written by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott, based on that music and what transpired at the original “Million Dollar Quartet” jam session, premiered in 2007. Since then, this smash hit musical, has played in Chicago, Broadway, Las Vegas, toured extensively in the US and internationally, and has a production in Branson, Missouri, at the Welk Resort Theatre.

Smith said that after the show the audience will come out to the lobby where they will get their sparkling grape juice for the midnight toast, some neat party favors, including glow sticks, noise makers, hats, and everything else needed to celebrate the New Year. There will also be a photo station where they “can dress up and take photos.”

“Then we’ll go back in the theatre for the New Year’s countdown on our giant screen with a huge balloon drop at midnight,” she said. “But it’s not over yet; because at 12:01 AM, on January 1, 2017, the Million Dollar Quartet will come back out on stage to start the New Year off in spectacular fashion with an energetic and exciting 20 minute after party jam session,” she added.

For more information or tickets to either Legends in Concert or the Million Dollar Quartet New Year’s Eve celebration, please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services and sellers of almost 5 million Branson show and attraction tickets by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Five special ways for kids to visit with Santa Claus in Branson

Santa waiting to talk with children in Branson about what they want for Christmas.

Santa waiting to talk with children in Branson about what they want for Christmas.

When he’s not supervising his elves at the North Pole, Santa loves to spend time in Branson where he can not only rest and be entertained, prior to his long night’s journey and work on Christmas Eve, but do what he loves to do most. That’s meeting all the children who live in Branson and those visiting, during Ozark Mountain Christmas, to find out what they want him to bring them for Christmas. Here’s a list of five places and the times* where kids can meet Santa Claus in Branson:

1. Branson Tourism Center: Give the kids a break, and help get them into the Christmas spirit, on Black Friday, November 25, 2016, with a visit to see Santa Claus at the Branson Tourism Center, one of his favorite places outside of the North Pole. After they visit with Santa, and have the chance to tell him what they would like him to bring them for Christmas, they will receive a complimentary souvenir photo of their visit. It’s all free and there are no photos to buy. It’s just the Branson Tourism Center’s way of saying, “Merry Christmas!”

2.  Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas: Santa will be in his workshop on Santa Claus Lane through Dec. 23, where he’ll be waiting for children to come and tell him what they are hoping he will bring them for Christmas this year. Santa and his elves will be there from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM on Thursday, Friday and Sunday; except for Thanksgiving Day where he will be there from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM; and Saturdays and November 25 when he will be in his shop from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM.

3. Branson Landing Town Square: Santa will be found in his “Christmas Tree House,” underneath the 50 foot Christmas Tree at the Town Square, from 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM Sunday through Thursday, except for Thanksgiving Day and from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Friday and Saturday, except for Nov. 23 and Dec. 24 when the hours will be 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Santa takes a break from 3:00 PM to 3:45 PM each day to feed his reindeer.

4. Kringles Christmas Store: Until Dec. 23 Santa is scheduled to visit Kringles in the Grand Village Shops Wednesday through Sunday from at least 11:00 AM through 4:00 PM and later some days. Please call (417) 337-5426 if there are any questions.

5. Bass Pro Shops at Branson Landing: Santa will be at “Santa’s Wonderland,” filled with free games, crafts and activities, at Bass Pro Shops until December 24. He will be available weekdays from 5:00 PM to 8 PM through December 3 and from 10:AM to 8:00 PM December 4 through December 22. On weekends, he will be available from 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM, on Saturday, and from Noon to 5:00 PM on Sundays. Thanksgiving Week he will be available from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM November 23; 10:00 AM to 5 PM Thanksgiving Day, 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM on November 26 and 27; and from Noon to 5:00 PM on November 27. As he prepares to return to the North Pole Santa will be available from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM on December 23, and from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on December 24. Each child will be given a free 4×6 studio quality portrait.

They are all free, except for Silver Dollar City where a visit with Santa is included in the price of admission as part of its  “Old Time Christmas Festival.” Ho, Ho, Ho, and a Merry Christmas to all!

* Schedules subject to change

Your ultimate year end – New Year’s Eve Branson show schedule!

Presleys' Country Jubilee concludes its 2016 season Dec. 17.

Presleys’ Country Jubilee concludes its 2016 season Dec. 17.

“It seems almost impossible that we are nearing the end of our 2016 Branson show season,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Although some of our most popular shows will be ending their season in the coming weeks, it is a gradual thing taking place between Nov. 26 and the end of the year” he added.

Garrison suggests that those wanting to see a particular show should make sure that the show is still performing when they are planning on being in Branson. He points out that an easy way to do that is to use Branson Tourism Center’s list of Branson shows. It’s Branson’s most current and up to date list of show schedules.

Here’s a list of the last date in 2016 that some of Branson’s most popular shows will be performing, sorted chronologically by week(s), starting on Nov. 26 and ending on Dec. 31, and by date within the weekly period. It is followed by a special list of some of Branson’s most popular New Year’s Eve celebrations by Branson shows:

The Million Dollar Quartet, Moses, and Acrobats of China illustrate the variety of the shows that will be performing through Dec. 31.

The Million Dollar Quartet, Moses, and Acrobats of China are among  the shows that will be performing performing through Dec. 31.

LAST 2016 PERFORMANCE BETWEEN Nov. 26 – Dec.10

Reza Edge of Illusion: Nov. 26
The Texas Tenors: Nov 30
New South Gospel: Dec. 8
Andy Williams Christmas Extravaganza: Dec. 9
Down Home Country: Dec. 9
Shoji Tabuchi: Dec. 9
Billy Dean in Concert with Jarrett: Dec. 10
The Blackwoods Morning Show: Dec. 10
The Lettermen: Dec.10

LAST 2016 PERFORMANCE BETWEEN Dec. 11 – Dec.17

Sunday Gospel Jubilee: Dec. 11
Ozark Mountain Jubilee: Dec. 11
Branson Country USA: Dec. 16
Christmas Wonderland: Dec. 17
Presleys’ Country Jubilee: Dec. 17
SIX: Dec. 17

LAST 2016 PERFORMANCE BETWEEN  Dec. 18 – Dec.24

New Jersey Nights: Dec. 18
Puttin’ on the Ritz: Dec. 18
Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies : Dec. 23

LAST 2016 PERFORMANCES BETWEEN Dec. 24 – Dec.31

The Haygoods: Dec. 29*
Clay Cooper’s Country Express: Dec. 30*
Hughes Brothers Christmas Show: Dec. 30
Acrobats of China: Dec. 31
Amazing Pets: Dec. 31
Comedy Jamboree: Dec. 31
Grand Jubilee: Dec. 31*
Legends in Concert: Dec. 31*
Million Dollar Quartet: Dec. 31*
Moses: Dec. 31

BRANSON’S MOST POPULAR NEW YEARS EVE PARTIES

Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve (Clay Cooper and Haygoods joint celebration)
Grand Jubilee
Legends in Concert
Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess
Million Dollar Quartet
Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show
Pierce Arrow

* Have New Year’s Eve celebration.

Branson Tourism Center’s Garrison points out that weather, abbreviated Christmas show schedules, and availability are excellent reasons to, not only check the schedule for the show(s) you are interested in but, make advance reservations. He suggests calling 1-800-785-1550 and talking with one of BTC’s Branson based Travel Planners where, “one call takes care of it all.”

They will be delighted to answer any questions you might have about Branson, its shows, hotels, or attractions and assist you with reservations to help ensure that you obtain the best available seating at shows and the accommodations you desire. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM. BTC may also be contacted through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com

Three special things Veterans do not want to miss while in Branson

"The Wall," Veterans Memorial Garden, and the Official Missouri Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

“The Wall,” Veterans Memorial Garden, and the Official Missouri Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

“Branson’s Veterans Homecoming Week is America’s biggest ‘Veterans’ Day’ tribute, running form November 5 through November 11 each year,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “The seven-day event is both a tribute and a celebration, filled with a variety of activities, shows, reunions, and highlighted with the Veterans Day Parade, through historic downtown Branson starting at the 11th Hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Here’s a short list of three unique stand-alone things that we believe Veterans and their families will find inspiring and should not miss while in Branson,” she added.

The Traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Nestled within the beautiful and peaceful Welk Resort Branson, the traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial, more commonly known as “The Wall,” will be on display and open to the public for public viewing at the Welk Resort Branson from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM November 7- 13th. Although the Welk Resort had hosted the traveling replica Memorial for many years, it purchased it in 2013. “It is with a sense of gratitude and honor that the Welk Family and The Welk Resort sponsor this tribute,” said Dathan Atchison, General Manager of the Welk Resort. “We cannot ever forget the incredible sacrifice of so many to insure the liberty we enjoy in this country.”

“The Wall” is the most visited memorial in Washington, D.C. The official half-scale replica spans nearly 240 feet in length and lists more than 58,000 names of the nation’s fallen heroes who fell in the Vietnam conflict. A special locator book will be available to assist visitors in finding specific names.

The Lennon Sisters will be performing at a special Opening Ceremony for The Wall that will be held at the Welk Resort on Monday, November 7, at 10:00 AM. A POW/MIA Service of Tribute and Remembrance will be held at The Wall at 8:00 AM on November 8.

Branson’s Veterans Memorial Garden

Under the guidance of Master Gardner Ben Kinel and with the considerable effort of many volunteers and benefactors who have given money, land, materials and a lot of hard work, time and effort, the beautiful garden serves as a living tribute to the sacrifices of America’s Veterans, active duty military personnel and their families. Located in the northwest corner of the intersection of Roark Valley Road and State Highway 76 at the traffic signal, the garden is very visible to all those traveling into and out of the Branson Strip on State Highway 76.

Although thousands drive by it daily, and comparatively speaking, it’s smaller than many memorial gardens, it is well worth the effort to stop and walk through it. To get to parking, turn on to Roark Valley Road at the stop light at its intersection with Highway 76, go one block to Crosby, turn left, circle around the church. Turn left at the stop sign at Main Street and proceed to the church parking lot.

Official Missouri Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Located at the entrance to the College of the Ozarks, the Official State of Missouri Vietnam Memorial honors the 1,410 servicemen and women from Missouri who gave their lives in that war. Designed by Austin Meyer, a 2014 College of the Ozarks graduate, and dedicated on April 22, 2015, every element, from its divided wall representing a divided nation to the red roses in a “V” shaped flower bed, representing valor and the blood that was spilled by Missourians on behalf of our nation, represents and honors their sacrifice. Take first Hollister exit off Highway 65, south of Branson, and follow directions to the College of the Ozarks. The Memorial and a large flat parking lot are immediately to your left as you drive up to the entrance.

In addition, the “Lest We Forget” 9/11 Memorial, containing a remnant of one of the steel columns from the World Trade Center, is located next to the C of O Fire Department on James Forsythe Drive inside the campus. The mangled steel column in the memorial was donated by retired police officer Tommy McHale to honor the 37 fallen men and women officers from the Port Authority for New York and New Jersey who perished on 9/11.

Five reasons why Thanksgiving in Branson is so fascinating!

From the splendor or millions of Christmas Lights, to a Thanksgiving meal aboard a luxury yacht, shows from our families to yours, and world class shopping Thanksgiving in Branson is fun, unique, and inspiring.

The splendor or millions of Christmas Lights, a Thanksgiving meal aboard a luxury yacht, shows from our families to yours, world class shopping, and so much more help make Thanksgiving in Branson the unique fascinating event it is.

“From feasting, to entertaining, shopping, and so much more, Branson’s Thanksgiving cornucopia is overflowing with fun, excitement, adventure, and the spirit of Christmas,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. Garrison suggests five reasons why spending Thanksgiving in Branson is a fascinating way to celebrate Thanksgiving while having fun and making special family memories that could last a lifetime:

1. Bountiful Choice of Thanksgiving Meals: From the traditional Thanksgiving fare like that served at the Welk Resort’s Stage Door Restaurant to mouthwatering Thanksgiving buffets and brunches such as those served at Grand Country, College of the Ozark’s Keeter Center, and the Chateau on the Lake, non-traditional Thanksgiving food such as the Italian cuisine at Florentina’s Italian Ristorante, and dozens more Branson diners will have a bountiful choice Thanksgiving dining options for every pallet and budget including a scrumptious traditional Thanksgiving dinner served aboard Main Street Lake Cruises’ Landing Princess, amid the luxury of a 100 foot yacht, while cruising on beautiful Lake Taneycomo.

2. Branson’s Great Shows: Although some of Branson’s shows will not be performing on Thanksgiving Day, many of its most popular shows will, including the Acrobats of China, Amazing Pets, Andy Williams Christmas Extravaganza, Grand Jubilee Hughes Brothers Christmas Show, Legends in Concert, Million Dollar Quartet, New Jersey Nights, Puttin’ on the Ritz, The Haygoods, The Lettermen, Shoji Tabuchi, and many more. The full complement of Branson shows, including Billy Dean In Concert With Jarrett, Christmas Wonderland, Clay Cooper’s Country Express, Moses, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, SIX, The Texas Tenors, will resume their normal performance schedules for the remainder of the season on November 25.

3.  Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas: Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas Festival is one of America’s top holiday events. Its spectacular display of five million Christmas lights throughout the park, entertainment, parade, Broadway style shows, and much more has been recognized and featured nationally by USA Today, CNN Travel, The Travel Channel, Good Morning America and many others. One of the many features of this festival happens each evening at dusk, in the Square on Main Street with the lighting of the 5-Story Special Effects Christmas Tree. As it sparkles to life with its 350,000 colorful sparkling LED lights, choreographed to Christmas music, and making over 100 light changes per second; it signals the beginning of Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Christmas Light Parade led by “the most famous reindeer of all.” Rudolph leads a spectacular parade of “nine musical, lighted floats, illuminated with 200,000 ultra-bright LED lights accompanied. “by 33 colorful costumed characters, including Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, 14-foot moose characters, 12-foot tall elves and 10-foot candy canes, plus penguins, elves and a troupe of marching wooden soldiers” that will amaze and delight all ages.

4. Fun, Attractions and Activities for Everyone: Many of Branson’s attractions will be open on Thanksgiving Day, and all over the weekend, including the extremely popular Branson Titanic Museum Attraction, as it celebrates its unique and beautiful Winter Celebration filled with beautiful decorations, unique shopping, and different special events, including, over Thanksgiving Weekend, 1500 luminaries casting a beautiful glow over its entrance. How about three spectacular drive through light displays including Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights, Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights and Village, and Branson Gift of Lights; a round of golf at one of Branson’s championship courses, or any one of dozens more exciting attractions and activities?

5. Shopping: Branson provides a world class shopping experience anytime of the year, and that is obvious over Thanksgiving, as Black Friday, and Christmas shopping takes center stage. Branson’s major shopping areas, such as Branson Landing, Tanger Outlets, The Shoppes at Branson Meadows, historic downtown Branson, Grand Village Shops, Branson Mill Craft Village and its more than 250 different boutiques, specialty shops, national chain stores, flea markets, craft malls, and famous-name outlet stores provide a wonderful opportunity to “shop till you drop” while making it easier to find that special gift for that special person. National chain stores in Branson will have the same Thanksgiving sale hours as elsewhere, and just about all Branson retailers and shops will be having Black Friday specials. Not surprisingly, the Friday after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year in Branson.

For additional information on Thanksgiving in Branson, Ozark Mountain Christmas or for information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website Branson Tourism Center.com.

 

Two of the most amazing ornaments on the Ozark Mountain Christmas tree!

A few scenes from Christmas At Dixie Stampede.*

Christmas At Dixie Stampede is truly a unique and inspiring  Christmas experience.*

“It would be easy to picture all of the exciting, inspirational, and entertaining events, making up Branson’s spectacular celebration of the traditional American Christmas, Ozark Mountain Christmas, as precious ornaments on a giant Christmas tree,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “From among many, two of the most amazing, unique, and spectacular ornaments on that tree would be Dixie Stampede’s Dixie Christmas and Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas,” she added.

Dixie Stampede’s Dixie Christmas (Nov. 1 – Dec. 31)

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede is one of Branson’s most popular and favorite activities, and, as Dolly Parton herself says, “It’s Branson’s most fun place to eat.” With the combination of its famous four course meal, eaten without utensils, and a constant stream of colorful, entertaining, and exciting activities including 32 magnificent horses, amazing equestrian feats, a friendly interactive competition, and much more, it’s easy to see why the whole family, from the youngest to the oldest enjoy the Dixie Stampede.

During Ozark Mountain Christmas that same fun, and excitement is transformed into a festive Christmas experience that brings the spirit of Christmas to life with an experience that is as spectacular, fun and exciting as it is inspirational. John Richardson, the Director of Sales and Marketing for Dixie Stampede said, “The holidays are a season to celebrate and each year families make Christmas At Dixie Stampede part of their tradition, returning again and again, bringing more family members each time. We are delighted to welcome those families to come and make memories with us over a good meal.”

It’s transformed into “a true fantasy land complete with twinkling lights, evergreens, poinsettias, old-fashioned holiday costumes, familiar holiday music, and fun.” From the serving of Dixie’s famous four course meal to its friendly competition between the Elves from the North Pole and South Pole and everything else, the theme is Christmas.

The real reason for the season is not forgotten, but is celebrated with a magnificent and unique live nativity scene that you will never forget. “The true meaning of Christmas comes alive right before your very eyes as three kings ride atop camels on their way to Bethlehem, stunning angels” descend from above, and the traditional music of Christmas inspires audience members of all ages” with the true message of Christmas. No traditional celebration of Christmas would be complete without Santa Claus and his arrival is another highlight to a very special Christmas experience.

Silver Dollar City's Old Time Christmas is a beautiful "centerpiece" of Ozark Mountain Christmas.**

Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas is a beautiful “centerpiece” of Ozark Mountain Christmas.**

Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas (Nov. 5 – Dec. 30)

For over two decades, Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas Festival has been not only the centerpiece of Ozark Mountain Christmas, but one of America’s top holiday events. Its spectacular display of five million Christmas lights throughout the park, entertainment, parade, Broadway style shows, and much more has been recognized and featured nationally by USA Today, CNN Travel, The Travel Channel, Good Morning America and many others.

Although the park is filled with rides, shows, crafts, food and other activities, something special begins to happen each evening at dusk, in the Square on Main Street with the lighting of the 5-Story Special Effects Christmas Tree. It comes to life with its 350,000 colorful sparkling LED lights, choreographed to Christmas music, and making over 100 light changes per second and signals the beginning of Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Christmas Light Parade. It’s led by “the most famous reindeer of all” leading “nine musical, lighted floats, illuminated with 200,000 ultra-bright LED lights accompanied. “by 33 colorful costumed characters, including Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, 14-foot moose characters, 12-foot tall elves and 10-foot candy canes, plus penguins, elves and a troupe of marching wooden soldiers.”

The Festival also features two Broadway style musical productions, It’s a Wonderful Life and A Dickens’ Christmas Carol;” the tastes of the season including a prime rib buffet and traditional favorites; and “new this year, Tinker Junior’s Toy Shop starring a 12-foot tall Christmas tree that talks, sings, and interacts with kids, accompanied by huge toy characters.”

All the activities involved in Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas are in addition to everything else the 1880’s international award winning theme park offers daily. This includes, weather permitting, 30 rides and attractions; the park’s 100 demonstrating craftsmen; and much more.

For more information and tickets for either Silver Dollar City or Dixie Stampede please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services, and sellers of almost 5 million Branson show and attraction tickets, by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Photos used in composite courtesy of Dixie Stampede *
Photo courtesy of Silver Dollar City **