How about an awesome Spring Break in Branson?

“In the middle of winter, with last weekend’s ice storm and, on many days, cold weather, the promise of Spring seems like an illusionary dream,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “For many however, that dream is tempered with the knowledge that there’s, but a few short weeks until the start of ‘Spring Break’ and all the fun and excitement that promises,” she added.

Wood points out that Branson probably isn’t the place to come for Spring Break for those looking for the alcohol dominated, scantily clad women, and raucous Spring Breaks commonly shown on TV from other destinations. “It does however, offer an amazing opportunity to have a recharging Spring Break, amid the spring beauty of the Ozarks, while enjoying all the fun and excitement that Branson is known for and the wholesome spirit of family, God, and country that defines Branson.

No matter where one is in Branson, they are virtually surrounded by the awesome natural beauty and wonder of the Ozark Mountains. That is especially so during the spring, as the Ozarks awakens to the freshness, promise, and beauty of a new year. Whether seen from the deck of the river boat replica Lake Queen while cruising on Lake Taneycomo, the top of one of Silver Dollar City’s roller coasters, or just driving around Branson, it’s a beautiful one of a kind show produced by “Mother Nature.”

And speaking of shows, even as spring blossoms throughout the Ozarks, Branson’s 2017 show schedule will come into full bloom offering over 100 live shows. From Branson’s first show on its famed “Branson Strip,” celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, to the Grand Jubilee, it starring the Hughes Brothers, and The Haygoods; pure country music shows such as Clay Cooper’s Country Express and Raiding the Country Vault, the biblical spectacular Moses, the amazing story of the most famous rock-n-roll jam session of all time, the Million Dollar Quartet; and so many more, there’s a show just right for everyone.

Fun and adventure is around every turn in Branson! There’s no better example of that than Silver Dollar City, Branson’s international award winning 1880s styled theme park. Whether it’s riding one of its over 40 exciting rides, including its world class coasters such as “Outlaw Run®” or its iconic WildFire®. Coaster; watching dozens of practicing crafters demonstrate their crafts; going hundreds of feet beneath the ground on a guided tour of Branson’s original attraction, “Marvel Cave; a day at Silver Dollar City, is pretty hard to beat for adventure, fun and excitement!

That’s just the beginning! Whether it’s the Ralph Foster Museum at College of the Ozarks, called the “Smithsonian of the Ozarks;” an exciting eco-adventure on Branson Zip Line; getting a spectacular view of the beauty of spring in the Ozarks from the deck of the river boat replica Lake Queen while cruising on Lake Taneycomo; Riding the Ducks; great golfing; hiking; fishing; boating; a “voyage aboard” the Titanic Museum Attraction; or anyone of dozens of other attractions and activities, it’s hard to imagine a Spring Break” destination that has more to offer than Branson.

Compared to other Spring Break destinations, Branson is a great value in terms of its prices for lodging, shows, attractions and other activities. Branson Tourism Center’s Wood points out that it becomes even a better value when lodging is packaged, “bundled,” with shows and attractions. For more information on saving money by “packaging” or personal assistance in planning the perfect Spring Break, please call one of BTC’s Branson based Travel Planners at 1-800-785-1550 or through their web site,

www.BransonTourismCenter.Com. They will be delighted to assist and answer any questions you might have about Branson shows, hotels, or attractions. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily from 9:00 AM to 8.00 PM.

 

Could Grand Jubilee be the best of Branson’s amazing 2016 shows?

The top six nominees, in no particular order of finish.

“Well it certainly received the most ‘nominations’ when we asked the question, ‘What 2016 Branson show would you nominate to receive the ‘Top Branson Show of 2016 Award?’ on our Facebook and Twitter social media channels earlier this week,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. Obviously, ‘nominations’ are one thing, but narrowing it down to the ‘Best Branson Show of 2016’ would require a more extensive process; not the least of which would be the establishment of such an award,” Garrison continued.

The post reached over 16.6 thousand people on Facebook and received hundreds of responses. The top nominee was the Grand Jubilee show. In alphabetical order, here are the top six nominees, along with a brief show description and a link to their 2017 scheduling, ticketing, pricing, and other information, for those shows who have furnished us their 2017 show schedules and appropriate information for publication and ticket sales:

Clay Cooper’s Country Express has everything you want in a great Branson show! With 24 veteran entertainers, there’s a variety of singing, dancing, comedy, and music. Backed by a live seven piece band, you’ll hear country and pop hits from the likes of George Jones, Hunter Hayes, the Doobie Brothers, and Bruno Mars!

Forever Young is a story of musical discovery not yet told in Branson; the tale of six young friends, the basement of a Midwest suburban home, and the joy of listening to music played on a real, old-time record player. These talented singers take you on a journey using their big voices and dynamic dance moves to perform the songs that make up the playlist of your life.

Grand Jubilee boasts tight harmonies, great vocals, a variety of musical styles, and side splitting comedy in a show custom-made for all ages! Enjoy the dynamic performance of Branson’s award winning quartet “New South,” and the vocals of Branson’s Female Vocalist of the Year, Jackie Brown as they perform it all, from country and gospel, to rock and roll favorites! Multi-talented comedian Jamie Haage, and emcee extraordinaire Mike Patrick, will keep you in stitches!

The Haygoods provide an amazing Branson experience! It’s filled with its excellent choreography, exquisite harmonies, incredible instrumentals, cutting edge state-of-the art sound and special effects, along with a delightful sense of humor and energy that never quits.

Moses spectacularly brings the Bible tale to life on Sight and Sound’s 300 foot surround stage. This epic adventure tells the powerful biblical tale of one man’s journey from being humble and broken to becoming the follower of God who delivers the children of Israel from enslavement. It’s presented by a phenomenal cast with astonishing sets, a brilliant score, live animals, and stunning costumes.

SIX is Branson’s sensational sibling singing group that quite simply defines the art of performing music without instruments! Sensational harmonizing, polished professionalism, zany on-stage antics…it’s the most talented half dozen guys you’ll ever meet! They’ll charm you right from the opening note!

For more information on these or other great Branson shows, attractions or lodging please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com

How about three of Branson’s most exclusive attractions?

White Kite and Orange Tipped Butterflies in aviary of Butterfly Palace and Rain Forest Adventure, candy aisle of Dick’s 5 & 10, and entrance to World’s Largest Toy Museum Complex.

“With the 1880s styled, award winning, Silver Dollar City, the majestic Titanic Museum Attraction, and dozens of other attractions, Branson offers a choice of exciting activities that would be the envy of any family travel destination, let alone one its size,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Although its mix of attractions contains “national brands” and others not exclusive to Branson, many Branson attractions, including The World’s Largest Toy Museum Complex, Dicks 5 & 10, and The Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure can only be seen in Branson,” she added.

The World’s Largest Toy Museum Complex is a combination of six museums and other collections, occupying two buildings, and over 26,000 square feet of exhibit space. The “World’s Largest Toy Museum,” is just one of those museums and has over 1 million toys from the 1800’s to the present, including model trains, planes, cars, dolls, superhero figures, Disney and much more.

The complexes’ other museums include “The National BB Gun Museum” containing hundreds of BB Guns; “The Harold B. Wright Museum” displaying the original manuscript of the best-selling book, “The Shepherd of the Hills,” along with his personal collection of furniture and paintings; “The Stearnsy Bear Museum;” and “The World of Checkers Museum.” Recently added is the “Paul Harvey Museum,” dedicated to the memories of the much –loved newscaster which was put together by his son, Paul Harvey, Jr. It’s contained in a replica of their 1950’s home featuring many of the actual toys, furniture, and personal items owned by the family.

Dicks 5 & 10, is like walking back in time into the old time “5 & 10” with an important difference. It’s not just the 175,000 plus items in the store and the fact that you will find things that you can’t find anywhere else. The store is set up to make a nostalgic shopping experience part of a unique, memorable, and exciting adventure not available anywhere else in the world!

Throughout the store, there are various displays and collections including among other things, the area’s largest arrowhead collection, World War II aviation prints, large scale model airplanes hanging from the ceiling, a baseball ‘Wall of Fame’ containing 60 feet of original autographed pictures of players like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Cy Young, a suspended train track with a train that is “running” around the main part of the store plus much more. It also has one of the largest assortments of “Old Time” candy in Branson including such goodies and oldies as “‘Big Hunk Candy Bars,” “Abba-Zaba,” “Rocky Road,” and novelty candies such as “Wax Lips” and “Nickle Nips,” along with a full selection of regular candy.

As its name implies, the Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure offers much more than just butterflies. Oh, its aviary is filled with thousands of beautifully colored butterflies from tropical rain forests all over the world, fluttering about in an environment of lush greenery and beautiful flower beds, but that’s just the beginning.

In the “Living Rain Forest Science Center” you will get a close-up look at some of the inhabitants of the rain forest including geckos, poison dart frogs, giant cockroaches, salamanders, chameleons, and “Harry,” the Butterfly Palace’s blue-tongued skink! The adventure continues with the twists, turns, and illusions of the “Emerald Forest Mirror Maze;” weaving through the “the tangled web of rope ‘vines’ while navigating around rocks and fallen pillars under a giant “Banyan Tree;” educational videos in the “Rain Forest Theatre,” and more.

For more information about these and other Branson Attractions, please call one of Branson Tourism Center’s Branson based Travel Planners at 1-866-593-9740. They will be delighted to answer any questions you might have about Branson as well as assisting with reservations and tickets. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day.

2017’s first concise ultimate Branson show guide!

Three of Branson’s most popular shows, Raiding the Country Vault, Ayo starring the Voices of Glory, and SIX will all have new venues for their 2017 Branson season.

“The Grand Country Music Hall kicks off the amazing 2017 Branson show season on January 12, as the Grand Jubilee opens its 2017 season,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC.) “We thought it would be timely to publish a ‘concise ultimate’ Branson Show Guide, containing links to the shows that have furnished their 2017 show schedules and appropriate information to us, for publication and ticket sales; new Branson shows that we are aware of; shows moving from one theatre to another; and the ‘limited engagement’ performances by national touring stars, as of January 7, 2017,” he added.

Garrison points out that, at this point, Branson’s 2017 Show Schedule is an evolving thing and that, although some Branson’s shows have not furnished their 2017 show schedules and other appropriate information, most of our Most Popular Shows have. Branson Tourism Center’s Show Schedule contains not only scheduling information, show descriptions, pictures, videos, and ticket pricing but, more importantly, is one of the, if not the most, current Branson Show Schedule available. It is updated immediately, as changes occur.

Here is a list of new Branson shows, and current shows, that are moving to new theatres in 2017 that we are aware of as of January 7. It includes links to those who have furnished us their 2017 show schedules and appropriate information for publication and ticket sales. It should be noted that the links refer to listings in Branson Tourism Center’s Show Schedule:

New Shows

Janice Martin’s Aerial & Musical Variety Show: Americana Theatre
Menopause the Musical: American Bandstand Theatre, May 18-21 only
Ozarks Country (Tammy and Tonya Bilyeu): Grand Country Music Hall
Ozarks Gospel (Tammy and Tonya Bilyeu): Grand Country Music Hall
Raiding the Rock Vault: Starlite Theatre, July 6-22 only

Shows Moving to New Theatres

#1 Hits of the 60s: Clay Cooper Theatre
Abba Tribute: Thank You for the Music: Hamners’ Variety Theater
Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai: Mickey Gilley Grand Shanghai Theatre
AYO staring the Voices of Glory: Starlite
Billy Dean: Jim Stafford Theatre
Beach Boys California Dreamin: Hamners’ Variety Theater
Blackwoods: Dutton Theatre
Bretts: Schedule shortened to  Sep-Dec only
Buck Trent: Baldknobbers Theatre
Forever Young: Americana
George Dyer: Americana
Raiding the Country Vault: Starlite Theatre
SIX: Hughes Brothers Theatre

Garrison said that Branson’s regular shows provide a variety and quality of entertainment easily rivaling that of any tourist destination in America. That entertainment experience is further enhanced throughout the year as nationally recognized touring stars perform limited engagements in Branson. The following list, current as of January 7, will be updated in Branson Tourism Center’s Show Schedule as new stars are added:

Branson Limited Engagements as of January 7, 2017

Bill Anderson & Moe Bandy
Charley Pride
Daniel O’Donnell
Earl Thomas Conley
John Conlee
Kris Kristofferson
Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers
Larry’s Country Diner-T. Graham Brown
Larry’s Country Diner-Gene Watson
Larry’s Country Diner-Jimmy Fortune
Larry’s Country Diner-Rhonda Vincent
Menopause The Musical
Richie McDonald
Ricky Nelson Remembered
Roots and Boots Tour starring Pam Tillis, Sammy Kershaw and Collin Raye
The Bellamy Brothers
Ultimate Elvis Tribute Contest
Vicki Lawrence and Mama

For more information on these 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.

Branson’s indoor water parks take the “Brr” out of winter

Castle Rock’s yellow multi-story waterslide and Welk’s Splash-A-Torium.

“Winter weather curtails most outdoor swimming and aquatic activities,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC). “However, Branson is blessed with not one, but three indoor water parks as well as many hotels that have heated indoor pools providing Branson visitors with a wide variety of choices to enjoy swimming and aquatic fun under ideal climate controlled conditions,” she added.

All three of the indoor water parks are directly associated with lodging facilities and offer the opportunity to enjoy swimming and other aquatic fun regardless of the temperature or weather outside. Here’s a brief description of each:

Welk Resort’s “Splash-A-Torium” is 10,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor water fun featuring “an outrageous 100 foot” plus indoor water slide, kid’s splash-zone, indoor/outdoor pool, and hot tub.” BTC’s Wood points out that the Resort has recently been redecorated and updated with deluxe and premier traditional rooms that include plush amenities, high-end finishes, and a decor reflecting the unique charm of the Ozarks with its vibrant colors and interesting textures. In room amenities include complimentary WiFi, 32-inch LCD widescreen televisions, coffee makers with high quality coffees and teas, high speed wireless internet and many other exceptional features.

The Resort even has its own theatre! The Welk Resort Theatre is not only home to one of Branson’s most popular new shows, Million Dollar Quartet, but features limited engagement performances by stars such Daniel O’Donnell, Kris Kristofferson and others throughout the year.

Castle Rock Resort and Water Park provides “a truly weather-proof vacation destination for the whole family” where they “can splash & play in the climate controlled 84 degree temperature of its indoor water park. Its 40,000 square feet of waterpark wonderland features two 500-gallon tipping buckets, indoor and outdoor kiddie pools, waterfalls, two three-story thrill slides, themed water statues, and a multi-level sun deck. The resort’s water park provides fun for everyone, from tiny tots to adults, as well as tastefully appointed comfortable rooms.

Grand Country Inn, has Missouri’s first indoor water park, “Splash Country Indoors.” Open 365 days a year, it offers 20,000 square feet “of squirting, falling and tumbling water fun, including a three-level treehouse with interactive water play features on each level, two winding tube tunnels, a 1,000 gallon tipping bucket which tips every eight minutes, doing you know what to all those below, and much more. The Grand Country Complex, includes the Inn; Grand Country Buffett; The Grand Country Music Hall, home of the Grand Jubilee, Amazing Pets, Comedy Jamboree, Down Home Country, and other great shows; indoor and outdoor mini golf courses, and the Fun Spot Arcade.

These are the indoor water parks in Branson, but many Branson Hotels and Lodging facilities such as the Barrington Hotel & Suites, Grand Plaza, Honeysuckle Inn and Conference Center, Quality Inn Branson, Quality Inn on the Strip, Radisson Hotel, Residence Inn Marriott, and others have heated indoor pools. In addition, the hotels listed above are participants in Branson Tourism Center’s (BTC) Lowest Rate Lock Guarantee Program.

Book your reservation through BTC, and subject to the programs minimal conditions, the price you pay for your lodging is guaranteed to be the lowest rate available. If you find a lower price offered for the same room on the same dates, anytime between when you book your room and when you arrive in Branson, BTC will match the lower rate.

BTC’s Wood also points out that during the winter months, especially on the weekends, the demand for rooms at these facilities often outstrips availability. She recommends advance reservations and offers the assistance of one of BTC’s locally based Travel Planners to assist in helping to find the ideal facility to fit your family’s wants and budget and make reservations. There is no charge for this service and they may be reached by calling 1-800-785-1550.

DOMC

“Branson – Up Close and Personal” with George Strait Tribute Artist Larry Turner

George Strait tribute artist Larry Turner

A comment made to gospel music singer Larry Turner, by George Strait’s father, during a chance meeting, planted the seed that eventually led Turner into country music and a career as a George Strait Tribute Artist. Starting at smaller venues, and working other gigs in between, he had spent almost a decade perfecting his Strait tribute. In 2008, he reached the pinnacle of most Tribute Artist’s careers when he started performing his Strait tribute in the world’s greatest tribute show, Legends in Concert.

“Branson – Up Close and Personal,” is a service of the Branson Tourism Center and is intended to provide readers with an up close and personal look at a Branson star or personality. The format will be “Question and Answer” with Larry Turner (LT) being interviewed   for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC) by Gary J. Groman, a 31 year resident of the Branson area, local columnist and freelance writer.

BTC: If you could perform or meet with any entertainer/person (living or deceased) who would it be and why?
LT: The Oak Ridge Boys. Although they have played in Branson several times, I have never gotten to meet them.

BTC: In terms of your performance as George Strait, what term do you prefer people use when they describe what it is you do, “Tribute Artist” or something else?
LT: Tribute Artist.

BTC: Where were you born?
LT: In Carthage, Missouri, about 100 miles from here.

BTC: When?
LT: 1953. I’m one year younger than George [Strait].

BTC: How old were you when you first started singing?
LT: I was a Junior in high school.

BTC: What were the circumstances?
LT: I was playing football, had to stop because of asthma, and started singing in the high school choir because of the encouragement of the Music Director.

BTC: When did you first realize that you wanted to make a living singing?
LT: Probably, when I was a Senior in high school.

BTC: Where was your first professional gig?
LT: Don’t know exactly, but it would have been some church in southwest Missouri because I traveled around leading the music for revivals.

BTC: What is your favorite genre of music?
LT: Gospel and second would be country.

BTC: When did you first perform in Branson?
LT: I came here in 2004 with Presleys’ Country Jubilee.

BTC: Had you ever been to Branson before that?
LT: Many times as a tourist and to see shows..

BTC: Where did you work prior to coming to Branson?

LT: I was at Precious Moments in Carthage, Missouri for 12 years as the entertainment director and performer.

BTC: Did something happen while you were there that steered you toward your current role as a George Strait Tribute Artist?
LT: George’s dad came to one of our shows around 1992, when the movie “Pure Country” had just come out. Afterwards he came up and told me that I looked a lot like his son, that got me thinking.

BTC: When did it start to become a reality?
LT: In the late 90’s my wife and I were on vacation in Las Vegas. We saw the ads for the Legends in Concert tribute show, and went to see it. As we walked out of there, I recalled what Georges father had said and I thought, “Hmm, there might be a possibility for something like this.”

BTC: When did you first perform as a George Strait tribute artist?
LT: I started doing some small gigs right about that time and did some George Strait during the Precious Moments Show.

BTC: When did you start as a George Strait Tribute Artist with Legends in Concert?
LT: In about 2008.

BTC: What do you like best about performing in Branson?
LT: The people, the way we honor our Veterans, and the fact that you can be a Christian here.

BTC: What’s your favorite thing to do in Branson when you are not performing?
LT: Work in the yard, play with the dog, and just enjoy my family.

BTC: What specific efforts do you go through to recreate George Strait’s mannerisms, style, and vocal characteristics to provide as authentic a George Strait as possible.
LT: Although at first glance his style is primarily stand and sing, I have studied his videos and You Tubes to incorporate his nuances such as his stance, the way he accentuates his words the way he holds his mike, and other mannerisms into my performance.

BTC: Whether it’s currently in the show or not what is your personal favorite George Strait song?
LT: No question about it, “The Chair.”

BTC: Based on your feel of the audience reactions to your performances, which George Strait song is the audiences favorite?
LT: “Cross My Heart” from the movie “Pure Country.”

BTC: George Strait or not, what is your personal favorite song?
LT: We are standing on “Holy Ground.” I just love that song.

BTC: In your career, of all the performances you have made and you have been in, no matter how big or small, which one personally meant the most to you and why?
LT: Well, there’s really two that are kind of special; performing at the Dove Awards as a member of the “Gospel Lads,” and performing for President George H.W. Bush at Precious Moments.

BTC:  Do you have a favorite hobby or activity and what is it?
LT: Love to play golf at Thousand Hills.

BTC: Do you have a “little known” fact about yourself that you think our readers would enjoy?
LT: I always have a lemon drop in my mouth when I perform.

BTC: What brand and why?
LT: It doesn’t matter, whatever brand I can find. It keeps saliva in my mouth.

BTC: How do you feel about performing in Legends in Concert?
LT: I love it; I’m living a dream.

BTC: Anything else you want our readers to know?
LT: I’m a diehard Royals and Chiefs’ fan, have seven grandchildren, three sons, three of the greatest daughter-in- laws you could ever ask for, and have been married to my beautiful wife, Beverly, for 40 years.

When Legends in Concert kicks off its legendary 2017 Branson season on February 3, Turner’s George Strait will joined by Dusty Springfield, The Temptations, The Blues Brothers™ and Elvis Presley in its spring lineup with Guest Artist Prince joining them starting on February 16. Additional information or tickets for the Legends in Concert or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or lodging can be obtained through the Branson Tourism Center by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website  www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

No matter how cold, there’s always hot fun, adventure, and entertainment in Branson!

The adventure of the National Tiger Sanctuary, the exciting Titanic Museum Attraction, nostalgia of the candy aisle in Dicks 5& 10 and the delicate beauty of the Butterfly Palace and Rain Forest Adventure.

The adventure of the National Tiger Sanctuary, the exciting Titanic Museum Attraction, nostalgia of the candy aisle in Dicks 5& 10, and the delicate beauty of the Butterfly Palace and Rain Forest Adventure.

“OK, so it’s winter and it’s cold, but Branson is always filled with hot fun, adventure and entertainment,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Sure, some of Branson’s shows take a respite to freshen up and get ready for the new season, and Silver Dollar City is closed during January and February but, starting with the Grand Jubilee and the other shows at the Grand Country Music Hall, beginning January 12, the shows gradually begin reopening; the  majority of major attractions, including the Titanic Museum Attraction, remain open; as does the majority of Branson’s famed shopping, museums, movies, restaurants, and a broad selection of lodging, including the Welk Resort with its fantastic 10,000 square foot Splash-A-Torium.”

Branson is noted for its world class shopping experience and that doesn’t change because its winter. From the quaint shops of Historic Downtown Branson, and its famed Dicks 5 & 10, to Branson’s premier shopping destination, Branson Landing, with its 100 plus shopping and restaurant venues; dozens of craft, specialty shops and galleries; other major shopping destinations, such as Tanger Outlet, The Shoppes at Branson Meadows, and the Imax Shopping Complex and so much more, Branson provides an unrivaled shopping whether it’s winter, spring, summer, or fall!

From the Titanic Museum Attraction to the World’s Largest Toy Museum Complex and the National Tiger Sanctuary, the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure, and so much more, Branson offers an exciting choice of attractions and activities for every member of the family regardless of the weather. Although certainly weather dependent to a certain extent, the opportunities for outdoor activities from hiking, golfing, kayaking, fishing, and boating, just to mention a few, abound. A simple walk on the boardwalk at Branson Landing, along Lake Taneycomo’s shoreline, provides the unique opportunity to see a Bald Eagle or Great Blue Heron in flight, and can provide special memories that could last a life time.”

“When it comes to golf in Branson, two things are just about certain,” said Branson Tourism Center’s Garrison, “A choice of great golf courses that provide a great golfing experience just about any time of the year and changing weather conditions.” He points out that even in the winter, subject to weather fluctuations, Branson offers golfers a great experience.

Beginning in early February, with the 2017 opening of Legends in Concert, followed shortly thereafter by The Haygoods, Branson shows start opening on a regular basis. The Branson Tourism Center’s Show Schedule is one of the most current of all Branson Show schedules, is updated, as needed, on an almost daily basis, and should be consulted for the very latest ticketing and scheduling information for Branson shows.

Garrison reminds prospective Branson visitors that weather and interim scheduling of shows and attractions might require some advanced planning and offers the assistance of one of Branson Tourism Center’s Branson based Travel Planners at 1-866-593-9740. They would be delighted to assist with weather information, ticketing, and lodging reservations, as well as answering any questions about Branson shows, hotels, or attractions. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM.

An old Branson tradition just keeps shuffling on

Two popular Branson shows, AYO starring the Voices of Glory and SIX will be shuffling off to new theaters for the 2017 season.

Two popular Branson shows, AYO starring the Voices of Glory and SIX will be shuffling off to new theaters for the 2017 season.

Not to be confused with the “Shindig Shuffle,” that’s part of Branson’s unique fun filled Ozark Ozark Mountain Shindig, the traditional, “Branson shuffle” is well underway. Ever since The Baldknobbers started it all and Presleys’ Country Jubilee opened the first show on what is now the famed “Branson Strip,” decades ago, the Branson Shuffle has been a part of Branson’s live entertainment.

The Baldknobbers, “shuffled” from their original location in historic downtown Branson before settling into their current location on the Branson Strip in 1969. Ironically, Branson’s iconic first show on the Branson Strip, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, has never been involved in the Branson Shuffle, and will be celebrating their 50th year in their original location during 2017.

It’s uncertain whether the “shuffle” more relates to the shuffling of cards or a dance, but one thing is certain, it does involve movement and change. Each year, there is a “shuffle” as some shows move from one theatre to another and  others decide they have made their final Branson curtain call. Here’s the current status of the Branson Shuffle, sorted alphabetically, as of December 14, 2016:

#1 Hits of the 60s: Clay Cooper Theatre
Abba Tribute – Thank You for the Music: Hamner Variety Theater
Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai: Mickey Gilley Grand Shanghai Theatre*
AYO starring the Voices of Glory: Starlite
Billy Dean: Jim Stafford Theatre
Beach Boys California Dreamin: Hamners Variety Theater
Blackwoods: Dutton Theatre
Bretts: Same theatre. Major schedule change just performing  Sep 5-Dec.15
Forever Young: Americana
George Dyer: Americana
Janice Martin: Americana
Menopause the Musical: American Bandstand Theatre
Raiding the Country Vault: Starlite Theatre
SIX: Hughes Brothers Theatre

The result of the Branson Shuffle is a constant excitement and anticipation as Branson shows move into the locations and timeslots that they believe will best enable them to develop and entertain Branson visitors and new shows are added to the almost 100 shows that make Branson the special wonderful entertainment destination it is.

The Branson Tourism Center’s Branson Show List, updated on a daily basis as information becomes available, is Branson’s most current list of shows, schedules, ticketing and other information. If more information on the current status of the Branson Shuffle for Branson’s 2017 shows is desired, please call one of Branson Tourism Center’s Branson based Travel Planners at 1-866-593-9740. They will be delighted to answer any questions you might have about Branson shows, hotels, or attractions and assist you in planning your Branson trip. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM.

Branson’s powerful 2017 show season off to a Grand start!

Grand Jubilee's New South Quartet; Jim Dandee with straight-man, MC, and producer Mike Patrick; and the lovely Jackie Brown.

Grand Jubilee’s New South Quartet; Jim Dandy with straight-man, MC, and producer Mike Patrick; and the lovely Jackie Brown.

Branson’s exciting 2017 show season starts with the Grand Jubilee show, premiering its 2017 production during their New Year’s Eve celebration on December 31, 2016. Continuing a long-standing tradition, the next year’s show is produced and rehearsed simultaneously with the performance of their Christmas show and premiered as part of their New Year’s Eve celebration.

“This will be the 15th year of the show and I’m just as excited as the first year we started,” said Mike Patrick, the show’s producer and MC. “It continues to be extremely fast moving, showcasing great music, performed by a talented cast that has never been better, and I’m taking full advantage of it.

In developing the 2017 show, Patrick says that the challenge is to keep the things that their audiences like and expect as they work new elements and numbers into the show to keep it fresh. He said that two, of many, show stopping moments will be the quartet “New South” singing the late Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” a song most people wouldn’t expect them to perform, and Jackie Brown singing, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” He said, “We combined several popular recordings of ‘Hallelujah’, taking the best parts of each, to create our own version which I know audiences will absolutely love and, Jackie Brown is guaranteed to bring the house down with her powerful rendition of this historical Hank Williams country classic.”

The considerable vocal talents of New South and Jackie Brown are enhanced and supported by one of the best bands in Branson, “The Grand Band,” or as its fans refer to it “The Rhinestone Mafia.” This includes some of the most talented musicians in Branson: Michael W. Davis, Piano/Keyboard & Vocals; Wayne Massengale, Fiddle and Acoustic Guitar; Larry Allred, Bass Guitar; Rob Blackburn, Drums; Chad Cathell, Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar and Gene Mulvaney, Steel Guitar, Electric Guitar, Banjo and Band Director.

Add the comedic talents of the multi-talented Jamie Haage, as “Jim Dandy”, and you have a total entertainment experience that is hard to beat. Patrick says that he keeps the audience in stitches with his comedy and funny characters during the course of the show, and then surprises the audience with his wide range of musical abilities at the end of the show, demonstrating why he’s the current “Entertainer of the Year” for Branson.

Based on my experience I can say that Patrick is a master at taking all these talented elements and producing a show that seamlessly mixes them together, at just the right time to keep things exciting, people laughing, and everyone enjoying a wonderful entertainment experience that passes all too quickly. From the intimacy of the Grand Country Music Hall, the entire cast coming out during intermission to meet the audience, talk, and sign autographs, and the way the cast relates to the audience during the show, this is a “close up” entertainment experience where it is obvious that both the audience and the entertainers are having fun!

For more information on the Grand Jubilee 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.

 

 

Have you thought about giving the special Christmas gift of Branson memories?

What a fantastic way to give someone the Christmas gift of Branson and memories that could last a lifetime!

What a fantastic way to give someone the Christmas gift of Branson and memories that could last a lifetime!

As it gets closer to Christmas, it seemingly becomes harder to find that perfect gift for everyone,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center.  “Most who have been to Branson have wonderful fun filled memories of their experience so, why not share the gift of Branson with employees, associates, friends, and others on your Christmas List?”

Garrison points out that the Branson Tourism Center not only makes it easy to give the gift of wonderful Branson memories this Christmas season, but provides added value with a special bonus! Purchase a Branson Tourism Center Gift Card* of at least $100 and get a separate $25 Bonus Card**, free-of-charge, with each card purchased on or before December 22, 2016! Buy one $100.00 Branson Tourism Center Gift Card and get a $25.00 Bonus Card, buy five individual $100.00 Gift Cards and receive five $25.00 Bonus Cards.

Gift Cards and Bonus Cards are redeemable for show tickets, admission to attractions, lodging, vacation packages, and other services offered by Branson Tourism Center with only airline tickets, golf, and car rentals excluded. The Branson Tourism Center, established in 2003, is one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services; has sold well over 4.5 million show and attraction tickets and hundreds of thousands of room nights to Branson visitors; enjoys an A+ rating with the BBB, with which it has been an accredited member since 2003; and can reserve nearly any Branson Show, Attraction, or Lodging for you.

*** This offer has expired ***

Whether you give it to yourself or someone else, it’s hard to imagine a better value on giving the gift of Branson this Christmas or a more convenient way to do it! Shop from the comfort and convenience of your home by either calling 1-800-493-4584 or click here  to shop through Branson Tourism Center’s web site www.BransonTourismCenter.Com.

*Note: Gift cards are only redeemable for show tickets, admission to attractions, lodging, vacation packages, and other services offered by Branson Tourism Center. The only exclusions are airline tickets, golf, and car rentals.
**Note: Bonus cards will be emailed and become valid January 1, 2017 and can only be used for orders placed between the dates of January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017, and are only redeemable for show tickets, admission to attractions, lodging, vacation packages, and other services offered by Branson Tourism Center. The only exclusions are airline tickets, golf, and car rental.