“Buzzin in Branson” buzzes for December 2014

Branson “Buzz of the Month”
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Branson's 66th Adoration Parade.

                  Branson’s 66th Adoration Parade.

For those cherishing the traditional American Christmas the “Buzz of the Month” would have to be the 66th Adoration Lighting Ceremony and Parade. From an entertainment perspective, although mid-December is the end of the 2014 season for many of Branson’s live shows, an amazing number of Branson shows will be open through the end of the year and some will be having special New Year’s Eve shows.
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“Buzzin in Branson” is produced monthly by the Branson Tourism Center as a service to its customers and others interested in what’s going on in Branson. It is in a concise and easy to read format that conveniently provides pertinent and timely comments, information and a list of the major special events, shows and activities for the month being “Buzzed” which, in this case is December 2014.

66th Adoration Lighting Ceremony and Parade: “On the evening of December 7, at 5 PM, the local tradition that has been observed for far longer than Branson has been a major tourist destination, will again take place. The “Adoration Scene Lighting Ceremony,” which will light up a huge Nativity Scene on Top of Mount Branson on the east (Hollister) side of Lake Taneycomo and will immediately be followed by the ‘Adoration Parade’” which is dedicated to keeping Christ in Christmas.

The spectacular production of "Jonah" will be performing in  Branson through the end of Dec.

The spectacular production of “Jonah” will be performing in
Branson through the end of Dec.

Branson shows open through the end of December: Although many Branson shows will conclude their 2014 season by mid-December, many Branson shows, including the following, albeit on a modified schedule will be open until the end of December:

Amazing Pets
Acrobats of China
Billy Dean Live!
Grand Jubilee
Jonah
Legends in Concert
Paul Harris & The Cleverlys
Clay Cooper’s Country Express
The Haygoods
Pierce Arrow
Comedy Jamboree
Dixie Stampede
Hamners Unbelievable Variety
Showboat Branson Belle
Almost Famous Murder Mystery Dinner Show
Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai
Christmas on the Trail Chuck Wagon Dinner Show
Comedy Hypnosis Dinner Show
Motown Downtown
The Revollusionists
Red, Hot & BlueSwing Starring Kelli Grant

In addition, some of these shows are also offering special New Year’s Eve Shows. See list below for Dec. 31.

Major December Events

The following list of major December events and activities is sorted by date and contains a link or other contact for further information. Please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services for additional information by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com:

Dec 1 – Dec 31: Titanic Museum Attraction – Tribute to Musicians
Nov 1 – Dec 30: Silver Dollar City Old Time Christmas Festival
Nov 1 – Dec 30: Branson Limousine Christmas Light Tour
Nov 1 – Dec 31: Branson Area Festival of Lights
Jan 1 – Dec 31: Titanic Museum Attraction – Tribute to Musicians
Nov 1 – Dec 30: Silver Dollar City Old Time Christmas Festival
Nov 1 – Dec 30: Branson Limousine Christmas Light Tour
Nov 1 – Dec 31: Branson Area Festival of Lights
Dec 1 – Dec. 31:Trail of Lights
Nov 1 – Jan 15: White Flight at The Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure
Dec 3 – Dec 4:Yuletide Feast at Keeter Center
Dec 7: 66th Annual Adoration Parade & Lighting Ceremony
Dec 25: Chateau on the Lake – Christmas Day Brunch
Dec 31:Chateau on the Lake New Year’s Eve Celebration & Fireworks
Dec 31: New Years Eve Shows:

Clay Cooper’s Country Express (See Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve)
Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve
Grand Jubilee
Legends in Concert
Doug Gabriel’s #1 Hits Tribute Show
Pierce Arrow
The Haygoods (See Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve)
Hamners Unbelievable Variety

Five places kids can visit with Santa in Branson

Santa's special one day visit to the Branson Tourism Center on Nov. 28 is just one of five places that children can visit with Santa between now and Dec. 24

Santa’s special one day visit to the Branson Tourism Center on Nov. 28 is just one of five places that children can visit with Santa between now and Dec. 24.

Santa has a special place in his heart for children so it’s just natural that he would plan to stop by Branson where it is known, as far away as the North Pole, that he’ll find lots of children visiting with their families during “Ozark Mountain Christmas.” While in Branson Santa has been seen visiting many Branson shows and attractions, but his favorite thing to do is to visit with children to find out what they want him to bring them for Christmas.

Knowing that the Branson Tourism Center was one of the biggest providers of Branson travel services and information Santa asked them to help get the word out so that those coming to Branson with children would know where to find him. Here’s a list of five places and the times that Santa will be available. All are free except for Silver Dollar City where a visit with Santa is included in the price of admission to the park for its world class Old Time Christmas Festival:

1. Branson Landing Town Square: Until Dec 24, 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 and 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Friday and Saturday, except for Nov. 26 and Dec. 24 when the hours will be 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM, with a “reindeer break” from 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM each day, and Thanksgiving Day when Santa will not be available. While the kids are visiting with Santa there is an opportunity to have a professionally taken keepsake photo.

2. Kringles Christmas Store: Until Dec. 23 Santa will be visiting Kringles Wednesday through Sunday. He will be available onWednesdays from 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM, Thursdays from 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM, Fridays from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Saturdays from 11:00 AM to 7:30 PM and Sundays from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

3. Bass Pro Shops at Branson Landing: Santa will be available until Dec. 24, week days from 3:00 PM to 8 PM, on Saturdays from 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM and Sundays from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. In addition to meeting Santa and telling him what they want for Christmas, children will get a free photo with Santa. There are free crafts available for the kids to take part in weekdays from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM and weekends from 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

4. Branson Tourism Center: Santa will be making a special one day visit at the Branson Tourism Center on Nov. 28 from 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM so that the kids can let him know what’s on their Christmas list this year and pose with him for a free picture.

5. Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas: Through Dec. 23, in addition to millions of Christmas lights and everything else this award winning world class Christmas festival has to offer, Santa will be in his workshop at “Kringle’s Crossing” where he will be waiting for children to come and tell him what they are hoping to see under the tree this year. Santa and his elves will be there from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, on Nov. 26 and Dec. 22 through 23; 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM on Saturdays and Friday Nov. 28 and 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM Thanksgiving Day.

“White Flight” ensures a Branson “White Christmas”

Live "angel" sharing butterfly with family during "White Flight."

Live “angel” sharing butterfly with family during “White Flight.”

“‘White Flight’ at Branson’s Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure adds new meaning to the term ‘White Christmas,’” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “It’s another of those special Ozark Mountain Christmas activities that makes Christmas in Branson a special experience,” she added.

Brittney Smith, the General Manager of the Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure said that “White Flight” is a unique exhibit consisting of thousands of white butterflies flying in a “rain forest” amid sparkling lights, colorful red and white poinsettias and living angel statutes to the sounds of beautiful Christmas music. She adds that this is the sixth Christmas season for this special limited engagement which runs through January 15,  2015.

The thousands of white butterflies, along with some surprise winged Christmas colored guests this year, are comprised of more than 30 different species of tropical butterflies with the most common being the “Paper Kite Butterfly,” also referred to as the “Rice Paper Butterfly.” The majority of the butterflies used in White Flight, as is the case with the majority of the exhibits at the Butterfly Palace, live out their average three week life span in a predator free environment, after they arrive, via air express, from tropical rain forests in their chrysalis (cocoon) stage, emerge, and are released into the exhibit, aviary.

In addition to the spectacular display of butterflies, “White Flight” also includes amazing and unique performances of the centuries old art form of “living statutes” in the form of “White Angels.” “The statutes slowly and subtly come to life as people walk through the exhibit and butterflies alight on and flutter around them. It might be just a change in the position of a head or the extension of a hand, but it’s fascinating to watch as the artists playing the angels interact with the guests.

“The aviary is decorated with a number of poinsettias and other flowers and highlighted by a large poinsettia Christmas tree that provides an excellent place for picture taking. The whole ‘White Flight’ experience, from the thousands of White Butterflies to the living angel statutes and beautiful music, is a unique experience for the whole family to enjoy.”

Smith points out that “White Flight” is in addition to all the other activities that the Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure offers for the whole family to enjoy. These include “a Living Rainforest Science Center, the Emerald Forest Mirror Maze, a Rainforest Theater, the “Banyan Tree Bungee Adventure” and more.

Branson Tourism Center’s Wood reminds Branson visitors that “White Flight” is just one of the many special events that are part of “Ozark Mountain Christmas.” For additional information or tickets for “White Flight” and the Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure, “Ozark Mountain Christmas” or any of Branson’s other 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 800-785-1550.

Branson serves up a cornucopia of Thanksgiving food choices

Dick Clarks American Bandstand Grill is one of the many Branson Restaurants that will be offering  Thanksgiving fare.

Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill is one of the many Branson Restaurants that will be offering Thanksgiving fare.

“Those coming to Banson for Thanksgiving will have a wonderful choice of places to ‘feast’ and eat on Thanksgiving,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. She points out that whether it’s nontraditional Thanksgiving fare such as northern Indian cuisine at the India Clay Oven or the more traditional Thanksgiving fare served at a special Thanksgiving Day Buffett in the Stage Door Restaurant at the Welk Resort, and just about everything in-between; there is an unbelievable variety of Thanksgiving meal choices from which to choose.

Buffets are a Branson favorite and Thanksgiving is no exception offering, among others, a delightful Thanksgiving Brunch Buffet in the Keeter Center at the College of the Ozarks and special Thanksgiving buffets at the Golden Corral, Paradise Grill & Steakhouse and Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill. In addition, among others,  the following restaurants will be offering Thanksgiving fare and buffets including:

Baldknobber Restaurant
Thanksgiving Dinner-Buffet Style
7:00 AM to 8:00 PM
417-334-7202

Fall Creek Steak House
Thanksgiving Meal & Regular Menu
11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
417-336-5060

Florentina’s Italian Ristorante
Regular Menu
11:00 AM – 8:30 PM
417-337-9882

Grand Country Buffet
Thanksgiving Buffet
11:00 AM to 8:00 PM
417-335-2434

Great American Steak and Chicken House
Breakfast: 7:00 AM-11:00 AM; Lunch and Dinner after 11:00 AM-Buffet Style and Regular Menu
417-335-6699

I.H.O.P.
Thanksgiving Dinner and Regular Menu
24 Hrs.
417-339-4467

Level 2 Steakhouse
Brunch: 11:00 AM -3:00 PM
417-243-3433

Texas Land & Cattle
11:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Full Menu and also Plated Turkey Dinner
417-337-8200

White River Fish House
11:00 AM am to 5:00 PM
Plated Thanksgiving Dinner and Regular Menu
417-243-5100

“In addition to offering a wonderful Thanksgiving meal for just about every palate and budget, what’s equally exiting is that there is a similar choice of Branson’s shows, attractions and other activities including ‘Black Friday’ shopping to enjoy, not only on Thanksgiving Day, but throughout the entire Thanksgiving Weekend,” Wood added. For additional information on Thanksgiving in Branson 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.

Did you know that Branson is one of the top two value cities in America?

Branson's Raddison Hotel

                          Branson’s Radisson Hotel

On Nov. 11, Samantha Fanelli Public Relations US for trivago.com announced that, as a result of their analysis of lodging costs in cities across America, Branson is one of “the 50 Best Value Cities for the coming year.” Among other things, one of the primary areas of analysis was “the annual average price of a standard double room.”

An examination of the complete list has even better news for travelers considering Branson in their 2015 vacation or travel plans. Not only is it on the list, but it is number two out of the 50 listed. “What a great testimony as to the value Branson visitors get,” said Tammy Johnson, the General Manager for the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected providers of Branson lodging as well as show and attractions tickets. Johnson, who has over 30 years’ experience in Branson’s Tourism industry, 12 of them as the General Manager for Branson’s Radisson Hotel, went on to say that the lodging value Branson visitors get is just part of the great value Branson offers across the board.

The beautiful Welk Resort

                                The Welk Resort

Not only is Branson a great value in terms of the prices charged for its lodging, shows and attractions, but that it provides a vacation experience not available anywhere else. In addition to its world renowned live shows, it has dozens of attractions from the international award winning 1880s styled theme park Silver Dollar City to the Titanic Museum Attraction, the National Tiger Sanctuary, Hollywood Wax Museum and many more all surrounded by the beauty of the Ozark Mountains and within minutes of the 43,000 plus acre Table Rock Lake, championship golf and a proverbial “shoppers paradise.”

Johnson said that a great lodging value can become even a better value. She points out that when you buy your lodging though a travel provider such as the Branson Tourism Center, along with your show and attraction tickets, in a “bundle” or “package,” you can save even more. She adds, “The vacation time you will spend with your family is priceless, but isn’t it great to know that, in addition to its value, Branson, Missouri is a special place you can share with your family, have a great vacation and create special memories that could last a lifetime?”

For additional information about Branson, its lodging, shows, attractions and other activities, please feel free to call the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-875-1550 and talk with one of their Branson based Vacation Planners seven day a week from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM or visit its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com

Six things you should know about Branson Christmas shows

The  "Andy Williams Christmas Show" is just one of the spectacular Branson Christmas shows.

The “Andy Williams Christmas Show” is just one of the spectacular Branson Christmas shows.

“This is one of the most exciting times of the year in Branson and that is especially so for Branson Shows,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Each show is like a wrapped present under the Christmas tree waiting to be unwrapped and bring joy and happiness,” she added.

Here is a list of six things you should know about Branson Christmas shows:

1. Ozark Mountain Christmas – Branson’s live shows are an important part of all that Branson is every day, but in conjunction with Ozark Mountain Christmas, its Christmas shows share the “Christmas Spirit” and “the reason for the season” with their audiences in a very special and personal way.

2. All Christmas Shows are Limited Engagement Performances – Branson’s Christmas Shows usually start during the first week of Nov. and run to the end of their season which will typically be the first week in Dec. through Dec. 31.

SIX is one of many of Branson's performing families.

SIX performing during the Christmas portion of their show.

3. Plan because all shows are not open through Christmas – Many Branson shows end their season by the end of the second week in December. These include some of Branson’s most popular shows including Presleys’ Country Jubilee, Andy Williams Christmas Show, with the Osmonds and Lennon Sisters, Mickey Gilley, Shoji Tabuchi, Duttons and George Dyer. Other popular shows such as Billy Dean Live!, Doug Gabriel’s #1 Hits Tribute Show, Christmas Wonderland, Clay Cooper’s Country Express, Dublin Tenors and the Celtic Ladies, New Jersey Nights, Grand Jubilee, Haygoods, Hughe’s Brothers Christmas Show, Legends in Concert, SIX, Paul Harris and the Cleverlys, Christmas on the Trail, The Rankin Brothers and Dixie Stampede are open to the end of the third week in Dec. or beyond.

4. Two General Christmas Show Formats – It can generally be said that Branson’s Christmas shows follow one of two formats. The first is shows that are totally Christmas such as the Andy Williams Christmas Show, Christmas on the Trail, Christmas Wonderland and the Hughes Brothers Christmas Show. The second and by far the more prevalent is the “rest” of the Christmas shows that are a mixture of their regular season shows and Christmas. Typically one half of the show is devoted to the best of their regular season show and the other half, usually the last half, to their Christmas show.

5. Limited Seating Capacity – It’s no exaggeration to say that Ozark Mountain Christmas is not only one of the most special times of the year to visit Branson, but that it is also one of the busiest. The limited time these shows run and the demand for their tickets makes it imperative to make early reservations to not only insure availability, but to get the best seats. In this regard the Branson Tourism Center has sold over 4,000,000 million Branson show and attraction tickets and has a special relationship with its theatre partners that helps insure that their customers not only get tickets, but get the best available seats at the time they are purchased. Branson Tourism Center can be reached by phone at 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

6. OK, I know the title said “Branson Christmas shows” but I just have to mention that Branson’s most popular new show, Sight and Sound’s spectacular biblical production Jonah. It will be performing through Dec. 31 and although it’s not a Christmas show it sure would make a wonderful family Christmas memory and it is certainly related to the “reason for the season.” Come to think of it, seeing any Branson Christmas show and sharing it with your family is a wonderful way to get in the Christmas spirit, appreciate “the reason for the season” and make a special Christmas memory.

 

Blasting through the past with the Rankin Brothers is a “blast!”

Matt, left, and Mark Rankin during their inspirational performance of  "The Amnchor Holds

Matt, left, and Mark Rankin during their inspirational performance of “The Anchor Holds.”

I spent the evening of Oct. 30 “blasting through the past” at the Rankin Brothers show and, excuse the pun, had a “blast” and from the opening note of the Bob Seger hit, “Old Time Rock N Roll” to the last note of Chuck Berry’s 1958 classic, “Johnny B. Goode,” what a blast it was! Over 40 numbers from the 50′s through the 90′s, each impeccably performed and rekindling memories of some of the greatest moments in music history, presented in that special personable Rankin Brothers style.

The stars of the show are the brothers Mark and Matt Rankin, who have been performing the music they love together since they were kids. You sense their love of the music, respect for the artists who performed it and their affection for each other and their family which combines to make a special entertainment experience even more so. Joining Matt and Mark on the stage is Lori Kelley – vocalist; Paul Stephans – base, harmonica & vocals; Cody Titus – music director, keys & vocals; Josh Breedlove – drums; Jim Murphy – sax, keys & vocals and Mitch Kiersey – lead guitar, mandolin & vocals.

Time really flies by as they perform hit after hit in a manner that resonates with those who actually grew up listening to them as well as a new generation who might be hearing them for the first time. The talent of the vocalists and instrumentalists in the show, coupled with the variety of ways each different number is presented results in a wonderful entertainment experience.

"Sonnie and Cher," Mark and Lori, performing "I Got You Babe."

“Sonnie and Cher,” Mark and Lori, performing “I Got You Babe.”

One example is the classic Sonny and Cher hit, “I Got You Babe,” performed by Mark and Lori. The musical performance and costuming was spot on, but their interaction and Sonny’s hairpiece added a special dimension to the performance that had the audience in stiches. Another, entirely different example, was the John Denver classic “Annie’s Song” which was simply and eloquently sung by Mark with Mitch Kiersey featured on the mandolin; what a special moment.

It should be pointed out that although they are performing classic hits in the style, and in some cases, similar costuming to that worn by the performers who made the songs being sung famous, this is not a “recreation” show like the Legends in Concert. It is more a “Review” of the classic hits being performed and of the artists who performed them, done in that unique Rankin style. That said, I must confess that there were a number of times during the show where I could swear I was hearing and seeing the same performers who originally made the song(s) being sung famous. Matt’s Buddy Holly set of “That’ll Be The Day, Rave On and “Not Fade Away” was one of those times.

Lori Kelley, the shows female vocalist, displayed her considerable vocal talent throughout the show doing a great job on numbers such as the Petula Clark classic “Downtown,” the Connie Francis hit “Stupid Cupid,” and others as well singing backup vocals. I just loved her performance with Mark as Cher and her performance of the Anne Murray hit “Could I Have This Dance” which was simply beautiful and touched my heart.

Lori Kelley performing "Stupid Cupid."

Lori Kelley performing “Stupid Cupid.”

In every Rankin Brothers show I have seen performed, and there have been a number of them over the years, they perform the song “The Anchor Holds,” which was originally written by Lawrence Chewning and, with his permission, reworked and recorded by Ray Boltz. It is a one of kind performance of a one of a kind song that was as inspirational as it was beautifully sung.

The performance that I saw was the last of their regular season show as they, like most Branson shows, started performing their Christmas show on Nov. 1. The good news is that the format of their Christmas show is to perform some of the audience’s favorite numbers from their regular season show in the first half and Christmas music in the second half. The Christmas portion will contain “Blue Christmas,” “Mary did you Know,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “White Christmas” and many more. What a dynamite show that should be.

I can think of no better way to end this review than to reiterate that “one does not just ‘see’ the Rankin Brothers Show they experience it and what a wonderful experience it is. It will bring back memories to those who actually heard the music in real time and create new memories for a generation that was not even born when this timeless music was first performed.”

For additional information on the Rankin Brothers show or for information or tickets for 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 its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

Material Connection

One two punch provides biggest week of Branson season

Veterans Homecoming Week. America's biggest Veterans Day celebration.

Veterans Homecoming Week. America’s biggest Veterans Day celebration.

“I can safely say that, although every week in Branson is full of excitement, entertainment, natural beauty, shopping and dozens of things to see and do, it is extremely unlikely that any other week compares with the one two punch of what happens during the week of Nov. 5 through Nov. 11 each year,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center “The combination of Branson Veterans Homecoming Week with the first full week of Branson’s Ozark Mountain Christmas provide visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the heart and spirit Branson has for Veterans and the traditional American Christmas blended together in a manner that enhances the great live entertainment, attractions, shopping and the dozens of other activities that makes Branson such a great place to visit,” she added.

“Although Veterans are honored every day in Branson, Branson’s Veterans Homecoming Week is a special time, dedicated to honoring Veterans, active duty Armed Forces personnel and their families throughout the community,” Wood said. The week long celebration runs from November 5 through November 11 of each year, is America’s biggest ‘Veterans Day’ tribute and features dozens of events dedicated to remembering, thanking and honoring those who have given so much for our Country. One of the major events will be, one of America’s longest running Veterans Day parades, the 81st “Branson Veterans Day Parade,” through historic downtown Branson starting at the 11th Hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

 

Some of the over 5 million Christmas Lights at Silver Dollar City's Old Time Christmas.

Some of the over 5 million Christmas Lights at Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas.

Ozark Mountain Christmas is the annual Branson wide celebration of the traditional “American Christmas,” with literally millions of Christmas lights, many colorfully decorated businesses and the true spirit of Christmas “honored” throughout the area. The center point of Ozark Mountain Christmas is Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas Festival. With over 5 million Christmas lights, the festival has been recognized nationally by “Yahoo Travel’s Top 10 Destinations for Holiday Lights,” “MSN’s Top 10 Extreme Holiday Lights” and will premiere a new light parade the “Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade” featuring “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer & Friends” this year.”

In addition to the Christmas lights on utility poles, many Branson businesses, including Branson Landing, with its large Christmas Tree, and other decorations, there are two drive through Christmas light displays, Branson Area Festival of Lights and the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights filled with millions of colorful sparkling Christmas lights and beautiful Christmas displays.

As would be expected in a town noted for the quantity and quality of its live shows, a major component of Ozark Mountain Christmas are the Christmas Shows presented by most Branson shows. For many, the week of Nov. 5 – 11 is the first full week of these shows. In the majority, the Christmas shows are a blend of the best from their regular season show and Christmas which is generally performed during the second half of the show with each show celebrating Christmas in their own special way. Other shows such as the Andy Williams Christmas Show,” Christmas on the Trail or Christmas Wonderland and Christmas with the Hughes Brothers are totally Christmas shows.

Wood points out that although Veterans Home Coming will end on Nov. 11 the synergy and impetus of the week, coupled with the continued celebration of Ozark Mountain Christmas until Dec. 31, and everything else Branson offers makes Branson a wonderful place for families to start the celebration of their Christmas in a very special and memorable way.

Major route changes for 81st Branson Veterans Day Parade

Map of new route for the 2014  Branson Veterans Day Parade.

Map of new route for the 2014 Branson Veterans Day Parade.

“Although it’s a different route this year because of the Downtown Streetscape project in historic downtown Branson, a longstanding patriotic tradition will continue uninterrupted, when on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the ’81st Branson Veterans Day Parade starts,’” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. She points out that the new parade route will be moving in a counter clock-wise direction starting and ending at the south parking lot of the Branson Convention Center.

It will exit the convention center parking lot and turn south on Sycamore Street to intersection with Long Street where it will turn east, cross the railroad tracks and turn north onto Branson Landing Boulevard. The parade continues north on Branson Landing Boulevard, the entire length of Branson Landing, to the intersection of Commercial Street where it will turn onto Commercial Street. At the intersection of Commercial and Atlantic Streets it turns east for one block where it turns south on Sycamore Street to the south convention center parking lot where the parade ends near where it began.

Wood points out that traffic along the immediate parade route will be impacted from at least 9:00 a.m. until about 3:00 p.m. for set up, the parade and cleanup. She suggest allowing extra time to find parking and get a good spot to watch the parade. It should be pointed out that most of the better viewing areas, although on level ground themselves, are located “downhill” from the long and fairly level viewing area that was available on Commercial Street for past parades. One “level” combination would be to park in either the Bass Pro or Belk parking lot at Branson Landing and view the parade from Branson Landing Boulevard. It might involve a little walking, but it will, for the most part, be level.

Wood points out that the parade is just one of many special events and activities during America’s biggest Veterans Day tribute, “Branson Veterans Homecoming Week”, an annual event running from Nov. 5 through Nov. 11 that honors America’s Veterans, active duty personal and their families. Click here for a schedule of most major events and more information.

Two times six for SIX

SIX performing during their dynamite opening set!

SIX performing during their dynamite opening set!

In a “review” of the Branson show SIX I wrote in May of this year I said, “As many times as I have seen this amazing show…I find myself looking for the band that is not there. This, even though I know that every sound I hear comes from the six human voices of siblings, Barry, Kevin, Owen, Lynn, Curtis and Jak Knudsen who make up the entire cast of one of Branson’s hottest shows, SIX.

“If you have never seen the show it’s hard to describe because it’s much more than a vocal band. It is a total entertainment experience consisting of great vocals covering a wide variety of music performed by an amazing vocal “band” consisting of the same performers singing the vocals and doing the comedy. Their energy, familial harmonies and humor, coupled with the vocal band aspect of their show results in an awesome entertainment experience that is certainly unique in Branson if not in all the world.”

On the afternoon of Oct. 21, I went back to SIX and took some pictures to use on Branson Tourism Center’s social media sites. When we posted the picture, the same one illustrating this piece, on Facebook, the unsolicited responses from people who have seen the show provided a personal and unique perspective on SIX. As the title indicates, we picked 12 comments that we hope you will find interesting:

Ted Dede – Caught their show Sept. 10th during a live taping. They are just fabulous; didn’t have any idea that kind of sound could come out of a human’s mouth. Just amazing. Will for sure see them again.

David W. Moffitt – Always a great choice. We go again & again.

Louise Hanson – They can do it all they are fabulous. THE VERY BEST LOVE THEM

Ronald Patton – Love these guys.

Bobbie Chambers Strong – Went to see them and what a fantastic show!!! Will go back to see them again!!

John Kutys – I saw them a while ago on a vacation to Branson. Loved their performance.

Gina Obert – Six are the best vocals in Branson!!! We have seen their show multiple times!!!!!

Sherry Fiscus Brown – They r great!! Hope to come again in a few weeks…

Patricia Sterrett – Love you guys!

Ron N Barb Meyer – We’re looking forward to seeing them soon!

Debra Diane Sibley – Randall Love these guys.

Janet Blattel Verhines – This is a great show!!! Loved watching them in Branson!! Highly recommend them!!!

Click here to go to the actual post.

Please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com, for additional information or tickets for SIX.