Category Archives: Branson Events

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.

 

9th Annual Branson.Com Honors Purple Heart Recipients April 20 – 22

Purple Heart Recipients at weigh in for Trout Tournament astScotty's Tout Dock

Purple Heart Recipients at weigh-in for Trout Tournament at Scotty’s Trout Dock on Lake Taneycomo.

Purple Heart Recipients from all around the country will gather in Branson, Missouri for the 9th Annual Branson.Com Honors Purple Heart Recipients, April 20 – 22, 2017. Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center, the parent company of Branson.Com said, “This event is unique and special in that it is dedicated solely to honoring, remembering, serving, and entertaining those who have received the ‘Purple Heart’ for combat wounds received while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. It has been our privilege and honor to have hosted and sponsored this event since its inception.” she added.

Wood points, out that with the active support and assistance of the “Military Order of the Purple Heart” (MOPH), the event started about nine years ago, and has steadily grown in attendance since. The three-day event is a variety of activities, all free to the Purple Heart Attendees, designed to share the excitement and entertainment that Branson offers, while providing plenty of opportunity for them to enjoy and interact with their fellow Veterans. Here’s the preliminary list of scheduled activities as of December 9, 2016.*:

DAY 1
Thursday, April 20, 2017

10:00 Motorcycle Run:
16:30 Starlite Dinner for Food & Beverages
17:30 Opening Ceremony, Starlite Theatre
19:30 The Texas Tenors Show, Starlite Theatre

DAY 2
Friday, April 21, 2017

08:30 Fishing Tournament, Scotty’s Trout Dock
09:00 Event for Non Fishermen, TBA
18:00 Dinner & Dancing, Radisson Hotel

DAY 3
Saturday, April 22, 2017

11:30 Purple Heart Closing Ceremony, Starlite Theatre
14:00 Raiding the Country Vault, Starlite Theatre

* This schedule will be revised. For the most current and complete schedule of activities please go to:
http://veterans.branson.com/events/info/branson-com-honors-purple-heart-recipients.

Although early registration is encouraged, Wood points out that there is no closing time for the registration of Purple Hear Recipients. “If you are a Purple Heart Recipient, this is your event and we want you there whenever you register,” she said. For further information on the 9th Annual Branson.Com Honors Purple Heart Recipients please call 1-800-268-4014 or go to the Branson.Com Honors Purple Heart Recipients website.

 

Branson Entertainers Unite to Create a “Showstopping” Mannequin Challenge

BTC Videographer, Chris Canote, shooting Shoji Tabuchi during Mannequin Challengee.

BTC Videographer, Chris Canote, “shooting” Shoji Tabuchi during Mannequin Challenge.

Over 40 entertainers from some of Branson’s most popular and iconic live shows gathered at the Yakov Theater to create a truly showstopping Mannequin Challenge video that embodies the immense talent that graces the Branson stage on a daily basis.

The Mannequin Challenge is a viral internet trend that attempts to mimic the dynamic sequences in movies like “The Matrix” with individuals frozen in place throughout the entire filming process.

“Branson’s filled with unparalleled performers,” says Tammy Johnson, Vice President and General Manager of Branson Tourism Center. “We have world-class dancers, aerial acrobats, comedians, beautiful costuming, the greatest musicians and attractions…what could possibly make a more engaging video?”

Entertainers from Branson shows,  attractions, and theaters participating in the Mannequin Challenge included Shoji Tabuchi, The Baldknobbers, The Acrobats of China at the Yakov Theater, “it” starring The Hughes Brothers, Branson Zipline, The Duttons, Patsy Cline Remembered at the Americana Theatre, Down Home Country at Grand Country, Dublin’s Irish Tenors & Celtic Ladies at King’s Castle Theatre, Parakeet Pete’s Steampunk Balloon, Legends in Concert and The Bretts at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, and The Petersen’s at the Little Opry Theatre.

Branson’s Showstopping Mannequin Challenge, created by Branson Tourism Center and the Branson Show League, can be found on:

FACEBOOK

YOUTUBE

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

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.

 

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

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.

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 **

The Best of Branson Insider Highlights for November 2016

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

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

“November is one of Branson’s most inspirational and exciting months of the year,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Starting with the nation’s largest Veteran’s Day Celebration, to one of the biggest celebrations of the traditional American Christmas, and much more, the month of November in Branson is bursting with special events and other activities,” 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 November, 2016:

Featured Show: Andy Williams Christmas Extravaganza continues the tradition of “Mr. Christmas” and the “Andy Williams Christmas Show” with its variety, color, and excitement and showing why It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! The vocal stars of the show, the Osmonds and Lennon Sisters, present the music of Christmas as only they can! That would be enough for most shows but, in keeping the Andy Williams tradition of variety, there’s more, a lot more! When you add the amazing magic of illusionist Rick Thomas and his lovely wife Tara, with elements of their magical “Let It Snow” act, the adagio dancing and quick change artistry of Pasha & Aliona, and other surprises, the result is like opening Christmas presents under the tree on Christmas morning. You don’t know what it is, but what a wonderful surprise it is when you get the wrapping off and open the package.”

Daniel O'Donnell, left, Osmonds and Lennon Sisters, from the Andy Williams Christmas Extravaganza, Titanic Dance, and the Armed Forces Flags in honor of Veterans Week

Daniel O’Donnell, left, Osmonds and Lennon Sisters, from the Andy Williams Christmas Extravaganza, Titanic Dance, and the Armed Forces Flags in honor of Veterans Week

Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: A favorite of Branson visitors and residents alike, the incomparable Daniel O’Donnell returns to Branson, after a year’s absence, for a very limited engagement of 2:00 PM shows, running from October 31 through November 19 in the Welk Theatre at the beautiful Branson Welk Resorts. Incorporating his charismatic and engaging style, he will present a blend of traditional Irish ballads, country favorites, and traditional gospel with an Irish twist that shows why he has sold millions of records and has been “a household name across Ireland and Great Britain for decades.”

In 2016, O’Donnell became the first artist to have a new album in the UK charts, each year, for 28 consecutive years. In the United States, O’Donnell has starred in several Public Broadcasting Network Specials as well as charting 18 albums in the Top 20 of Billboard’s World Music Album Chart.

Featured Events of the Month: Normally, for each month we have just one, but for the month of November there must be two:

Branson Veterans Homecoming Week is one of the biggest, Veterans Day tributes in America, and is celebrated from November 5 through November 11. It features dozens of events all keyed toward honoring those who have served our nation and sacrificed so much.

Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas celebrates the true meaning of this special magical season amidst the glow of over 5 million dazzling lights. Proclaimed as “The Most Illuminated Park on Earth” by the Travel Channel and “One of the most sparkly, lively holiday celebrations anywhere” by Midwest Living, “you’ll take home beautiful holiday memories destined to last a lifetime!”

 LIMITED ENGAGEMENT PERFORMANCES (Sorted by starting date)

Nov. 1-19: Daniel O’Donnell
Nov. 1-17: Oak Ridge Boys
Nov. 1-29: The Urban Cowboy Reunion
Nov. 2-17: Neal McCoy
Nov. 2: Gary Lewis & the Playboys
Nov. 4: Charlie Daniels Band
Nov. 9-20: Titanic Dance
Nov. 9: Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers
Nov. 11-12: Johnny Mathis with Gary Mule Deer
Nov. 14-15: Boot Daddy Presents Jimmy Fortune
Nov 16: Chubby Checker
Nov.26: Kenny Rogers
Nov. 27-29: Boot Daddy Presents Dailey & Vincent

SPECIAL EVENT HIGHLIGHTS (Sorted by starting date.)

Nov 5-Dec 30: An Old Time Christmas Festival at Silver Dollar City
Nov 6: Veterans’ Spouses Luncheon*
Nov 6: Sunday November 6-WWII Veterans Recognition*
Nov 6: Sunday November 6-Tribute to Veterans Sunday Worship Service*
Nov 7-Nov 11: Veterans Week-Branson IMAX Military Film Festival*
Nov 7: Monday November 7-Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Opening*
Nov 7: Monday November 7-Persian Gulf War Veterans Mini Reunion*
Nov 7: Monday November 7-Vietnam Veterans Mini Reunion*
Nov 7: Monday November 7-Sandbox Party*
Nov 7: Monday November 7-Medics, Nurses, and Combat Vets Mini Reunion*
Nov 8: Tuesday November 8-POW/MIA Service of Remembrance*
Nov 8: Tuesday November 8-Women Veterans Mini Reunion*
Nov 8: Tuesday November 8-Annual Tribute to Women Veterans & Rose Petal Ceremony*
Nov 8-Nov 13: Railway to Heaven*
Nov 9: Blue Star Mothers Afternoon Dessert*
Nov 9: Korean War Veterans Mini Reunion*
Nov. 9: P.O.W. Network 20th Annual Military Gala & Banquet*
Nov 10: Veterans Grove Tree Dedication*
Nov 10: 4th Infantry Division*
Nov 10: Wal-Mart Tribute to Veterans*
Nov 10-11: 6th Annual Indoor Open Car Show
Nov 11: Morning Flag Raising/Wreath Laying Ceremony*
Nov 11: WWII Mini Reunion*
Nov 11: Annual Branson Veterans Day Parade*
Nov 14: Free Golden Corral Dinner for Veterans
Nov 19: Most Wonderful Time of Year Holiday Parade
Nov 21-Nov 27: Thanksgiving Week in Branson
Nov 24: Thanksgiving Day Cruise on Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess
Nov 24: Thanksgiving Day
Nov 24: Moonlight Madness & After Thanksgiving Sales at Tanger Mall Outlet
Nov 24: 5th Annual Branson 5K Turkey Trot
Nov 24: Golden Corral Thanksgiving Day Buffet
Nov 24: Osage Restaurants at Top of the Rock Thanksgiving Brunch
Nov 24: Arnie’s Barn at Top of the Rock Thanksgiving Brunch
Nov 24: Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks Thanksgiving Day Brunch
Nov 24: Chateau on the Lake Thanksgiving Brunch
Nov 25: Branson Landing’s Black Friday Blowout!
Nov 27: Carols on the Belle on the Showboat Branson Belle Nov. 27

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.

* Branson Veterans Week Event
** Photo furnished courtesy of Silver Dollar City