Category Archives: Branson Events

Five reasons Branson will get you in the Christmas Spirit

The Light Parade winds its way through Silver Dollar City's Town Square.

The Light Parade winds its way through Silver Dollar City’s Town Square.

“Although it might seem a bit early to be talking about Christmas,” said Tammy Johnson, the General Manager for the Branson Tourism Center, “the start of ‘Ozark Mountain Christmas,’ one of the most festive and, without a doubt the busiest time of the year in Branson, is just over a month away.” She advises those planning on coming to Branson for Ozark Mountain Christmas to make advanced reservations as soon as possible to insure not only the availability of lodging and show seats, but increasing the chances of getting the best show seats, choice of accommodations, and prices.

Johnson said that Branson is always a great place for families to visit, have fun and create memories that can last for a lifetime. “Even by Branson standards however, its celebration of Ozark Mountain Christmas is special and is a wonderful way for families to get in the Christmas spirit,” she added.

Ozark Mountain Christmas, running from November 1 through December 31, is a wonderful unique Christmas experience combining the very best of what Branson has to offer into a community wide traditional American Christmas celebration that is not available anywhere else. It is easily Branson’s biggest and most popular event every year.

Johnson attributes the success of the event to what it celebrates and how that resonates in the hearts of those wanting to experience the joy of the traditional American Christmas. From Silver Dollar City’s “An Old Time Christmas Festival” to the lit “Adoration Scene” on top of Mount Branson, Branson glows not only in the color and beauty of millions of lights, entertainment, shopping and fun but in the true spirit of Christmas.

Here’s five great ways that a visit to Branson will help get you in the Christmas spirit:

1. The Celebration of Traditional American Christmas Spirit: The spirit of the traditional American Christmas is prevalent during of Ozarks Mountain Christmas in most shows, attractions and businesses. It’s OK to say “Merry Christmas” and socially acceptable to acknowledge that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. One of the major annual highlights of Ozark Mountain Christmas is the annual Adoration Lighting Ceremony and Parade dedicated to “Keeping Christ in Christmas. The 66th annual lighting of the huge Nativity Scene on top of “Mount Branson” and night “light parade” will be held on December 7 in historic downtown Branson.

2. Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas Festival: Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas Festival with its over 5 million Christmas lights and shows has been recognized nationally by “Yahoo Travel’s Top 10 Destinations for Holiday Lights,” “MSN’s Top 10 Extreme Holiday Lights” and Mainstreet.com’s “10 Best Holiday Light Displays in the U.S.” One of the major features of this event, weather permitting, is the Light Parade. This year there will be a new parade the “Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade” featuring “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer & Friends.” The activities for “Old Time Christmas” are in addition to the parks other activities including, weather permitting, its 30 plus rides and attractions.

3. Millions of Christmas Lights: The Branson Area Festival of Lights and the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights provide separate drive through lighting displays with millions of colorful sparkling Christmas lights and numerous beautiful displays. In addition, Silver Dollar City is aglow with over 5 million beautiful Christmas lights as part of its “Old Time Christmas” celebration. That strong Christmas lighting theme is continued throughout Branson and Branson Landing with Christmas decorations and lights on utility poles and in many Branson businesses.

One of the colorful and exciting production numbers from the Andy Williams Christmas Show.

One of the colorful and exciting production numbers from the Andy Williams Christmas Show.

4. Branson’s Christmas shows: Generally, starting with their first performance in November Branson shows will start performing their Christmas shows. For the majority of Branson’s regular shows that is a blend of the best from their regular season show and Christmas which is generally performed during the second half of the show. Each show’s Christmas segment is presented in their own unique way and is a special Christmas blessing. Other shows such as the Andy Williams Christmas Show,” Christmas on the Trail or Christmas Wonderland, Christmas with the Hughes Brothers or the Shoji Tabuchi Christmas Show are totally Christmas shows.

5. Shopping: Branson is known for its great variety of shopping. From its huge variety of unique boutiques, specialty shops, and craftsmen making one of a kind items to its factory outlet malls and Branson Landing, Branson is a shopper’s paradise and the perfect place to pick up that one of a kind gift for that special person.

For additional information about Ozark Mountain Christmas or any of Branson’s shows, attractions or lodging facilities please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 and talking with one of their Branson based Travel Planning Specialists. There is no charge for this service and there is never a service fee of any kind when purchasing tickets or lodging through the Branson Tourism Center.

 

Five answers to questions about viewing Branson’s Fall Foliage

Late October shot of foliage on campus of College of the Ozarks.

Late October shot of foliage on campus of College of the Ozarks.

“For about four to six weeks in the fall of every year, ‘Mother Nature’ provides the greatest show in Branson as the foliage covering its surrounding, hills, valleys and lakeshores turns into a kaleidoscope of beautiful colors,” said Tammy Johnson, the General Manager for the Branson Tourism Center. Johnson points out that precisely when the leaves turn, how fast and how long the season lasts is based on the weather, but, based on the average year, here are five answers to common questions our customers commonly ask about viewing Branson’s Fall foliage:

1. When does the Fall foliage season start and end? In southwestern Missouri it generally starts around the third week of September and runs for four to six weeks depending on the weather.

2. What are the first and last trees to start changing color? According to the Missouri Department of Conservation “sassafras, sumac, and Virginia Creeper” are the first to start changing color followed by “black gum, bittersweet, and dogwood” and “maples, ashes, oaks, and hickories” later in the season.

3. What is the “peak” time to view the most colorful foliage in Branson? That is difficult to predict, but typically the peak for Fall color, again depending on the weather, is around mid-October when maples, ashes, oaks, and hickories are displaying their most vivid colors.

4. What is the best way to view the Fall foliage in Branson? Just get outdoors and enjoy all that Branson has to offer. From Silver Dollar City to the Lake Taneycomo bluffs that are readily visible from Branson Landing and just about anywhere else you would travel in and about Branson you will be surrounded by the beauty of the Ozark Mountains dressed in their Fall colors.

5. Do you have any recommendations on the best spots to view the Fall colors? Yes, here are a few of our favorites:

Shepherd of the Hills Inspiration Tower – The 230 foot tall tower located at The Shepherd of the Hills Homestead on top of Inspiration Point, one of the highest points in southwest Missouri, provides an unparalleled panoramic view of the Ozark’s foliage. Glass elevators transport guests up to the enclosed Observation Deck from which, on a clear day, they can see over 90 miles and hundreds of square miles of foliage presenting a spectacular panoramic view of the Branson’s Fall foliage that is not available anywhere else.

Scenic Lookouts – A number of “Scenic Lookouts” provide a superb panoramic view of the Ozark’s Fall foliage. These include the Lookouts on State Route 165, about a mile south of its intersection with State Route 265; the Table Rock Dam Overlook, located on the south end of Table Rock Dam across the road from the Visitors Center and the Henning Conservation Area Lookout located about a mile west of the junction of State Route 76 and State Route 376 on the north side of the road.

“Point Lookout – ” Located on the Campus of the College of the Ozarks on top of a bluff overlooking Lake Taneycomo, it provides a breath taking and unique view of Branson’s Fall foliage not available anywhere else.While at the college you might want to plan to eat at the Keeter Center and visit the “Edwards Grist Mill” and the Ralph Foster Museum.

Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson also points out that a cruise on the Showboat Branson Belle, on Table Rock Lake, or a ride on the Branson Scenic Railway also provide unique views of Branson’s Fall foliage. She says that the Fall foliage season, coupled with Silver Dollar City’s National Craft Festival, is a busy time and recommends that advanced reservations be made for shows, attractions and lodging. For more information on the Fall foliage in Branson or assistance with 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, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

6th Annual Branson Gospel Sing Off sparkles with talent

George Dyer and lead guitarist Bogie Bhoinc seen here performing a duet during the "George Dyer" show, are two the celebrity judges.

George Dyer and lead guitarist Bogie Bhoinc seen here performing a duet during the “George Dyer” show, are two the celebrity judges.

Branson’s Sight & Sound Theatre, the home of the spectacular biblical production, and one of Branson’s most popular new shows, Jonah, will host the 6th Annual Christian Action Ministries (CAM) Gospel Sing Off (Sing Off) at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday Aug. 31. Ten finalists, selected from over 80 entrants, will compete in the Sing Off for $3,000 in cash, trophies and the chance to sing at Silver Dollar City during the last day of its “Southern Gospel Music Picnic,” September 1.

The ten finalists will be judged by a panel of six Branson celebrity judges. The panel will include Benjamin Dutton, singer, dancer, and versatile musician with The Duttons; Bogie Bohinc, currently the guitarist in the George Dyer show who has been the lead guitarist for such other stars such as Andy Williams and Tony Orlando; George Dyer, Branson’s premier tenor from The George Dyer Show; Jak Knudsen of another of Branson’s most popular shows, SIX; Joshua Clark, the Entertainment Editor for the Branson Tri-Lakes News and Sarah Fair, who, along with her brothers, won the 2012 Gospel Sing Off and have since opened The Fair Family Show at the Hamner Theater in Branson

AM Board Chairman Jack Burke said, “Over 80 very talented entrants vied to get in the finals and we are very excited about the ten finalists in the Sing Off. It will be a wonderful afternoon of amazing gospel music with all the proceeds going to benefit Christian Action Ministries, whose food pantry distributes hundreds of thousands of pounds of food and grocery products to hungry aCnd needy people in our community.” The Gospel Sing Off finalists, in alphabetical order are:

4 Christ:  A male gospel quartet from Galena, Missouri that loves to carry the gospel message and spread the Good Word with their unique vocal harmonizing.

DC-3 Trio (Daughters of Christ): The DC-3 Trio, based in the greater Chicago area, has been singing together for 18 years at various church and community events.  Mary Kirby, Lorraine Malone, and Dani Martinez make up this talented trio.

Faith’s Journey: Faith’s Journey is a Branson-based trio with a passionate commitment to spreading the Word of the Lord through their skillful vocal harmonies.

Margo Rodewald: Margo is a solo singer who moved to Branson from Paola, Kansas after graduating from Baker University with a degree in music.  Hoping to turn her musical passion into a career, Margo has an affinity for gospel music.

My Brother’s Sister: This brother/sister duet from Coldwater, Mississippi, Taylor and Bethany Pope, have already developed a large fan base over the past two years with their strong vocals and mastery of string instruments.

Peggy Neely Harris: Peggy is a Lincoln Center Institute/Juilliard School trained soloist from St. Louis, who loves to share her passion for Christ with others through her music.

Peter Mauriello: Peter is a worship leader from the greater Chicago area.  With his 4 member Christian rock band, Peter loves to use music to facilitate meaningful experiences for people of all ages.

Rebecca White: Rebecca is a degreed musician from Raymondville, Missouri, who has taught music in public schools and has been continually involved with worship teams at churches and summer camps.

The Full Quiver: The Full Quiver is comprised of the Grubb Family from Collinsville, Texas.  These eight talented musicians and singers carry the gospel message through their versatile mastery of instruments and vocal harmonies.

Troy Johanson: Troy Johanson’s Sacred Fire Ministries from Buffalo, Missouri combines the gospel message in the spirit of traditional native American dance and song.

For the 6th consecutive year, Bob Hubbard of the “Foggy River Boys” and “The Jordanaires,” will emcee the Sing Off. Guest appearances will include Christy Sutherland as the opening act, The Fair Family, saxophonist Gary Dooms, ventriloquist Kerry Miller, and last year’s winner “Changed.”

Reserved seat tickets are a $12 donation for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. For further information or tickets please feel free to contact either the Sight and Sound Theatre or the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-785-1550.

 

Limited time left to Cruise With Branson Stars

The Duttons performing their finale, "Boil Them Cabbage Down."

The Duttons performing their finale, “Boil Them Cabbage Down.”

“We have loved the chance to offer our clients the unique opportunity to cruise with Branson stars on an exclusive luncheon cruise aboard the 100 foot luxury yacht, Landing Princess,” said Tammy Johnson, the General Manager for the Branson Tourism Center, “but, like many good things, the time do so is coming to an end and Cruise With the Stars will no longer be available after Sep. 30.” Johnson goes on to point out that the remaining cruises includes an all-star lineup with The Duttons on Sep.12, Grand Jubilee onSep.13 and The Texas Tenors on Sep. 18.

Cruise With the Stars has actually been called a “Showtraction” because it combines two different activities, an exclusive luncheon and sightseeing cruise on Lake Taneycomo with the stars and actually attending the “show” of the star(s) with whom you will be cruising. With the package you get choice seats to see the star(s) perform at their Branson theatres and then meet and interact with them in a more informal setting as you enjoy lunch and a sightseeing cruise together. The Cruise provides a rare and unique opportunity to meet and interact with the stars outside of the typical formal theatre environment and offers an unparalleled opportunity for photos, autographs and an “up close and personal” experience as you interact with them while on the cruise.

The Texas Tenors,

The Texas Tenors,

The Cruise With the Stars experience is exclusive for Branson Tourism Center customers. As Branson’s biggest seller of attraction and show tickets with over 4,000,000 tickets sold they work very closely with Branson’s shows and attractions and have developed a wonderful relationship with them. It is that relationship, on a day to day basis, that gets Branson Tourism Center’s customers the best seats and accommodations available, but in combination with the special relationship it has with “Main Street Lake Cruises,” enables them to provide this exclusive opportunity.

Suggesting advance reservations, Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson points out that each separate cruise is a onetime event; there is limited seating available on the “Landing Princess” and that once the seats are gone for a particular cruise so is the opportunity to cruise with the star(s) featured on that cruise. For additional information or tickets for Cruise With the Stars 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 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com .

Super Summer/Midnight Cruise weekend in Branson

Ready for "Vehicle Show and Shine."

Ready for “Vehicle Show and Shine.”

“The ‘Midnight Summer Cruise’ down Shepherd of the Hills Expressway is one of the most popular events of the summer,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing, Branson Tourism Center. “It is the final event in the three day “Shepherd of the Hills Super Summer Cruise” being held at the “Shepherd of the Hill Homestead” from Aug. 7 through Aug. 9, 2014,”she added.

During the event, hundreds of beautifully maintained and presented “Modified and “Stock” trucks and cars will be on display at the Homestead for the daily “Vehicle Show & Shine” from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. each day. Simultaneously, they will also be judged for awards in over 19 “Classes” such as “1900 – 1934 Stock & Street Rod Autos,” “1963 – 1968 Modified Muscle Cars,” “Corvettes All Years,” “Stock Trucks All Years,” and others; “Special Awards” including “Most Unusual Paint Job,” “Best Use of Color,” “Most Radical Engine,” to name a few, and of course, the awards for “Best of Show,” “First Runner Up” and “Second Runner Up.” The Best of Show Awards will take place starting at 4:00 p.m. on Aug. 9 along with the “Drivers Briefing for the Cruise.”

There is a maximum of 105 points available, 20 points for each of the five categories Exterior, Drive Train, Interior, Engine, and Customization plus an extra 5 Bonus Points for Safety, Hazard and emergency supplies. The “Best of Show Awards” are scheduled to be presented at the Shepherd of Hills’ Pavilion Theatre starting at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday August 9.

The “Midnight Cruise” on Aug. 9 is a major highlight of the event and its concluding activity. Vehicles will enter the “Cruise Route” at the western end of Shepherd of the Hills Expressway and proceed down the expressway, past the Shoji Tabuchi and Pierce Arrow Theatres to its conclusion at Roark Valley Road. Branson Tourism Center’s Wood points out that the event is so popular that it is not unusual to see chairs lined up along the parade route hours before it begins.

She also reminds those planning on attending the “Super Summer Cruise” at the Homestead or going to Silver Dollar City during Aug. 7 through Aug. 9 to allow a little extra time because of the increased traffic that is anticipated on Highway 76 near the Shepherd of the Hills. She also suggests that those planning on riding The Vigilante Ziprider stay on Highway 76 past the Homestead’s main entrance and turn in and park at Inspiration Tower.

For additional information on “Super Summer Cruise” or any of Branson’s shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

 

25 Special July – August Branson Events

Great Southern Gospel Music and food at Silver Dollar City;s "Southern Gospel Picnic."

Great Southern Gospel Music and food at Silver Dollar City;s “Southern Gospel Picnic.”

With its shows, attractions, lakes, shopping and other activities, there is always something that is fun, interesting and exciting to do in Branson. When you factor in the additional special events taking place throughout the year it become sever more so.

Here is a list of some special Branson events, including, among others, two festivals at Silver Dollar City; the Titanic Museum Attraction’s Tribute to the Titanic Musicians; Annual Downtown Branson Fiddle Festival, which will be held indoors at the Owens Theatre in historic downtown Branson; the Super Summer Cruise; Branson Balloon Festival and the CAM Gospel Sing-Off:

July 2014

Jul 1 – July 31:  Titanic’s Tribute to the Musicians
Jul 1 – Jul 30:  Summer Concert Series at Branson Landing
Jul 3 – Jul 31:  Night Water at White Water (Select Dates)
Jul 3 – Jul 31:  Free Ice Cream For Kids I Pledge Program (Select Dates)
Jul 10 – 20:  Star Spangled Summer Silver Dollar City
Jul 11 – Jul 13:  Show-Me F100’s Ozark Run
Jul 19:  Branson Tourism Center Preferred Event with The Haygoods
|Jul 19:  Boys & Girls Club Annual Golf Tournament (Holiday Hills at 7am to 4pm)
Jul 19 – Jul 31:  Moonlight Madness at Silver Dollar City
Jul 25 – Jul 26:  Rockaway Beach Bikers & Babes at the Beach

August 2014

Aug 1 – Aug 31:  Titanic’s Tribute to the Musicians
Aug 1 – Aug 31:  Summer Concert Series at Branson Landing
Aug 1- Aug 3:  Moonlight Madness at Silver Dollar City
Aug 1 – Aug 30:  Night Water at White Water (Select Dates)
Aug 1 – Aug 3:  Missouri State Tax Free Holiday Sale at Tanger Outlets Center
Aug 2 – Aug 3:  26th Annual Downtown Branson Fiddle Festival
Aug 7 – Aug 9:  Super Summer Cruise at Shepherd of the Hills
Aug 19:  Branson Tourism Center Preferred Event with Adventures of Marco Polo
Aug 22 – Aug 24:  Branson Balloon Festival
Aug 22 – Sep 1:  Southern Gospel Picnic at Silver Dollar City.
Aug 22 – Aug 24:  Sleds Midwest Car Show
Aug 29 – Sep 1:  Labor Day Weekend Sale at Tanger Outlets Center
Aug 31:  CAM Gospel Sing Off Sight & Sound Theatre
Aug 31:  Labor Day Fireworks at Big Cedar Lodge
Aug 31:  Labor Day Celebration at Chateau on the Lake

For additional information on any of these events 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 .

 

Initial 2014 Cruise With The Stars experience with Billy Dean & Paul Harris

Billy Dean, right, and Paul Harris on the bridge of the "Landing Princess" during the cruise.

Billy Dean, right, and Paul Harris on the bridge of the “Landing Princess” during the cruise.

“What a pleasure it was to see the excitement and fun that both the passengers and Branson stars, Billy Dean and Paul Harris, had as they cruised together on an exclusive luncheon cruise aboard the 100 foot luxury yacht Landing Princess on May 23,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing, for the Branson Tourism Center. “It was a super way to start off a great Memorial Day weekend in Branson and our 2014 Cruise With The Stars season,” she continued.

Wood pointed out that, in addition to having lunch with Billy and Paul and the chance to interact with them in a less formal and time controlled environment than is normally available during the of the typical theatre “meet and greet” that it was a picture book day to cruise on beautiful Lake Taneycomo. In between talking with Billy and Paul, posing for pictures and getting autographs, the passengers had a chance to experience the beauty of Lake Taneycomo, scenic vistas, a unique view of Branson Landing and its $7.5 million synchronized fire, water and music fountain show, Bald Eagles and more as they leisurely cruised.

The cruise was part of the innovative “Cruise With The Stars” experience available exclusively through the Branson Tourism Center because of the special relationship it has with Branson’s shows, entertainers and Main Street Lake Cruises. The value added experience consists of choice seats at the show of the star(s) featured on the cruise and the exclusive luncheon cruise itself; providing an unparalleled Branson entertainment opportunity combining the chance to see the star(s) perform coupled with the opportunity to meet them up close and personal.

Wood reminds those who might be interested in a similar experience that this cruise was just the first of those that will be offered during the 2014 season and suggests that they check the following schedule to see if it fits in with their Branson travel plans:

Legends in Concert Show – June 19
SIX – July 17
The Duttons – Sep.12
Grand Jubilee – Sep.13
The Texas Tenors – Sep. 18
John and Ambrus Presley from Presleys’ Country Jubilee – Oct. 7
The Osmonds, American Jukebox & the Andy Williams Christmas Show – Nov. 18

Advanced reservations are recommended because each separate “Cruise With The Stars” experience is a onetime per season event controlled by the seating available on the “Landing Princess.” To get additional information or to make reservations for any of the Cruise With the Stars experiences please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550.

Exclusive Cruise With The Stars traditional Branson meet and greet on steroids

Branson stars such as SIX and ...

Branson stars such as SIX and …

“We truly believe that with the Branson Tourism Center, you don’t pay more, you just get more and our exclusive Cruise with the Stars event is just one example of how that happens,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing, for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC). “As Branson’s biggest ticket seller, with over 3,800,000 tickets sold, BTC has worked very closely with Branson shows and attractions for over ten years developing a special relationship with them that insures that its customers get the best seats and accommodations available and the opportunity to enhance their Branson experience by participating in exclusive events such as Cruise With the Stars, and other special events,” she added.

Billy Dean will be cruising with their fans.

“Branson stars are known for their willingness to meet and greet their audiences and interact with them in signing autographs, posing for pictures etc., but the exclusive Cruise With the Stars enables their fans to interact on a whole new level,” Wood said. She points out that Cruise With The Stars is an experience actually consisting of two separate Branson entertainment activities which have been uniquely combined into one exclusive “event.”

The first activity is experiencing the performance of the Branson show of the star or stars being featured on the cruise sitting in the best available seats in the house. The second activity, is going on an exclusive VIP luncheon cruise with the star(s) aboard Main Street Cruise Lines 100 foot luxury yacht, Landing Princess.

Along with a unique view of beautiful Lake Taneycomo, Branson Landing and spectacular Ozark vistas each VIP cruise will include lunch and an unparalleled chance to interact with the star(s) on the cruise. This includes opportunities for photos, autographs and a unique up close and personal experience that is available only to those who have taken advantage of the exclusive offer and purchased Cruise With The Stars tickets. While subject to change, here is the list of the stars cruising during 2014:

Billy Dean with Paul Harris & The Cleverlys – May 23
Legends in Concert Show – June 19
SIX – July 17
Grand Jubilee – Sep.13
The Texas Tenors – Sep. 18
John and Ambrus Presley, Presleys’ Country Jubilee – Oct. 7
The Osmonds, American Jukebox & the Andy Williams Christmas Show – Nov. 18

Wood reminds those interested that there is only one cruise for each of the stars scheduled, there truly is a limited number of seats for each Cruise With The Stars and suggests making advance reservations as soon as possible. For tickets or information on the exclusive Cruise With The Stars event please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-875-1550.

 

Seven Branson Insider Tips for May 2014

Launch capsule being lifted into place on top of White Water's "KaPau Plummet."

Launch capsule being lifted into place on top of White Water’s “KaPau Plummet.”

“Branson Insider Tips” is based on information gathered personally from local Branson contacts, the “Branson experts” at the Branson Tourism Center, the Branson CVB, social media sites and other sources. They are offered in the spirit of providing Branson visitors with some tips and highlights of what will be happening in Branson during the month of May that they can use in planning a trip to Branson.

1. Featured Show: Clay Cooper’s Country Express is perennially one of Branson’s most popular shows. “This show is chock full of variety, including New York’s number one cowboy, the trick roping and gun slinging Johnny Lonestar, and a fantastic live, seven piece band. Clay’s multi-talented wife, Tina, leads a dazzling group of dancers, and other featured performers including Colt Cooper, and Oklahoma’s little sweetheart, Ezrah Noell. Of course the show stars and is hosted by one of Branson’s most talented and engaging performers, the incomparable Clay Cooper!”

2. Special Dining Tips: Recently, on their Facebook Page, the Branson Tourism Center asked the question, “Where is the one restaurant / cafe you have to eat at when you come to Branson?” With 95 people responding “Danna’s BBQ” was recommended the most, but the majority of comments provide some neat information on a variety of Branson’s top restaurants not available anywhere else. Click here to view the post and comments.

3. Limited Engagement Performances:

Gene Watson Appearing At Larry’s Country Diner

Jimmy Fortune Appearing At Larry’s Country Diner

4. White Water debuts its new $1.7 million KaPau Plummet thrill ride: When White water opens for its 2014 season on May 17, it will debut its new four story high thrill ride KaPau Plummet. It starts with you standing on a clear acrylic floor looking down at where you are about to fall, waiting, anticipating the time at which that floor drops out underneath you and you fall at an angle of 70 degrees, reaching speeds of 26 feet per second as you traverse the 240 feet of the slide down four stories through a translucent tube.

5. Unique Mother’s Day Dinner Cruise: Treat Mom to a very special and unique Mother’s Day Dinner by taking her on a special dinner cruise aboard Main Street Lakes Cruises’ 100 foot luxury yacht the Landing Princess. In addition to a special Mother’s Day Menu and complimentary Champagne, Mom can relax while leisurely cruising on beautiful Lake Taneycomo amid the beauty of the Ozarks with those she cherishes.

6. Silver Dollar City Bluegrass & Barbeque Festival: This festival, held from May 8 through June 1, features some of the top names in Bluegrass music such as Rhonda Vincent and Rage, the James King Band and dozens more along with mouthwatering BBQ. Of course all this is in addition to everything else the international award winning theme park offers on a daily basis.

7. The Shindig Shuffle: As part of the Ozark Mountain Shindig, Branson shows and entertainers, with the cooperation of Branson visitors, will attempt to perform the world’s longest line dance on Saturday, May 31, 2014 between 10:30 PM and 11:30 PM.

For information on these and the many other shows, attractions, events and shopping that Branson has to offer please feel free to contact the “Branson experts” at the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-875-1550 daily from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM CST.

“Cruise With The Stars” ends season in Legendary fashion

Dean Z, the winner of the 2013 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, is just one of the "stars" on the cruise.

BRANSON, MO, November 30, 2013 —  “The extremely successful 2013 Cruise With the Stars entertainment experience concludes in ‘legendary’ fashion on December 5th,” said Annette Wood, Director of Group Sales for the Branson Tourism Center. “Those participating in this unique entertainment experience will join the stars of Branson’s Legends in Concert for an exclusive luncheon cruise at 12:15 PM on December 5 aboard Main Street Lake Cruises’ 100 foot climate controlled luxury yacht, the Landing Princess,” she added. During the cruise they will get to meet and interact with the stars performing in the Legends in Concert Show “Stevie Wonder,” “Alan Jackson,” “Cher,” “The Blues Brothers” and “Elvis.”

“Cruise With the Stars” provides the ultimate complete entertainment experience combining two activities, the unique VIP luncheon cruise and the opportunity to see these amazing performers perform live in the Legends of Concert Show. While on the cruise guests will have an unparalleled opportunity for personal interaction with these amazing performers, get autographs and take pictures while enjoying the beautiful view of Lake Taneycomo and its environs including the opportunity to see Bald Eagles and the Great Blue Heron.

Then, either before or after the cruise, those participating in the event will have the opportunity to see these “universally-renowned performers,” who transform themselves through hours of practice at their craft, using their own natural voices, to not only look and sound like the stars they portray, but incorporate their mannerisms into their tribute performances. How good are they?

Dean Z, who does the Elvis tribute in the show, won the 2013 national “Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest,” in front of a full house at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in Memphis, TN earlier this year. Sanctioned by Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. the Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ involved hundreds of Elvis tribute artists competing in 28 preliminary Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ events all over the United States for cash and an invitation to the Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ Finals in Memphis during Elvis Week.

Jeannie Horton, the General Manager of “Branson’s Legends In Concert” said that although the Legends in Concert is presenting “a Christmas show you won’t want to miss, each performer will sing the songs that made their character the ‘Legend’ they are today.” She also points out that the performers for the Christmas show have been hand-picked because they also have a great Christmas hit which will be performed during each performers set as “Dean Z performs BLUE CHRISTMAS which was Elvis’s signature holiday song, Alan Jackson performs LET IT BE CHRISTMAS, Cher sings PLEASE COME HOME, Stevie Wonder performs THIS CHRISTMAS and The Blues Brothers perform a Grinch Medley that is truly one of a kind. The show finishes with a beautiful finale sure to give you goose bumps as Bucky Heard (Jake Blues) and Kelly Smith (Cher) perform a special rendition of MARY DID YOU KNOW. In addition, there’s an appearance from Santa and snow in the auditorium.”

Branson Tourism Center’s Wood advises that there are only a limited number of seats left for the December 5th Legends Cruise With The Stars and recommends making advance reservation as soon as possible. For tickets or information on the exclusive event please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-875-1550.