BRANSON, Mo., August 29, 2012 “‘Sparky,’ just might be Branson’s best kept shopping secret,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Sparky, is the cute mascot representing the free trolley service that connects two of Branson’s most unique, exciting and entertaining shopping opportunities, Historic Downtown Branson and Branson Landing, into an incredible shopping experience not available anywhere else in the world.”
The 38 passenger “trolley” styled buses run about every 15 minutes, 10 AM to 6 PM daily, from March through December between Historic Downtown Branson and the Branson Landing. There is a total of seven stops with five stops, 2 through 6, in Historic Downtown Branson and two, at Branson Landing, Stop 1 at the Belk end of the promenade and Stop 7 at the Bass Pro Shop end.
Regardless of where one boards the trolley, it will take about 15 minutes to make the loop back to the initial boarding point. In addition to being a free and convenient connection between the Branson Historic District and Branson Landing, the trolley ride itself is a wonderful free attraction providing an excellent overview and perspective of the historic downtown area, the Branson Convention Center, the Lake Taneycomo Lakefront and Branson Landing. Along the way you will pass Branson’s first theatre, the Owens Theatre and the spot where the “ “Baldknobbers” performed Branson’s first live music show, Dick’s 5 & 10, the grave of the man the city of Branson is named after, Ruben S. Branson, and many other points of interest.
It makes no difference where one parks if they are just going to take a “one loop” ride on the trolley, but if one is going to spend any time at either Branson Landing or shopping in Historic Downtown Branson, it might be advisable to board at either Stop 1 or Stop 7 at Branson Landing because of parking. There is a two hour parking limit throughout the majority of Historic Downtown Branson, but no limit at Branson Landing.
Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson also points out that the 15 minute trolley schedule provides an excellent way to get from one end of Branson Landing to the other without having to retrace one’s steps for those who have parked in the Belk parking lot. After traversing Branson Landing, with its 100 retail stores; restaurants; spectacular $7.5 million water fountain show, synchronized to music, sound, light and fire; the board walk or even a cruise on one of Main Street Lake Cruises two boats, the paddle wheel river boat “Lake Queen” or the luxury yacht “Landing Princess” and ending up at Bass Pro Shops, simply board at Stop 7. Its next stop will be Stop 1 at the Belk parking lot.
Sparky, and the trolley it symbolizes, connects the shopping and entertainment of Branson Landing with the dozens of specialized shops, down home cafes, entertainment and nostalgia of Historic Downtown Branson. The result is the combination of all the excitement, fun, entertainment and shopping of each into a unique experience only available in Branson, Missouri.