Category Archives: Branson Events

4th Annual CAM Gospel Sing-Off competition benefits area food pantries

CAM Christian Action Ministries

BRANSON, Mo., August 20, 2012 — The 4th Annual CAM Christian Action Ministries’ Gospel Sing-Off will be held on Sunday September 2nd at the spectacular Sight & Sound Theatre, the home of the spectacular production of “Joseph,” from 2 PM to 5 PM. The ten finalists will be competing for over $3,000 in prizes and the opportunity to sing at Silver Dollar City during the last day of its “Southern Gospel Music Picnic,” September 3, in this fundraiser for CAM’s mobile outreach and food pantries in Branson and Forsyth.

Jack Burke, CAM Board Chairman said, “The level of entry talent just keeps getting higher every year. Groups that would have made it to the finals in past years, didn’t make it this year. Our preliminary judges had an extremely difficult time arriving at a decision on the final 10 contestants to perform. This year’s show should truly be awesome”

For the 4th consecutive year, Bob Hubbard of the “Foggy River Boys” and “The Jordanaires,” will emcee the Sing Off. Guest appearances will also be made by the “Voices of Glory,” who finished in the Top Five of the NBC prime time hit show, “Americas Got Talent,” and last year’s winner “Southern Raised” as well as saxophonist Gary Dooms. The celebrity judges will include the “Voices of Glory,” Jak Knudsen from the show SIX, world class tenor George Dyer from the George Dyer show, Ronnie Page, Monte Schisler, and Ben Dutton from the Duttons show.

Tickets for the Gospel Sing-Off are available through the Sight & Sound Theatre’s reservations at 1-800-377-1277, at the Sight & Sound Theatre’s lobby box office or through the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-785-1550. Reserved seat tickets are a $12 donation for adults and $6 for children 12 and under.

Information provided by CAM lists the following information on the Finalists:

Heart to Heart is the Branson-based duo of Sharon and Jerry Mays. Winners of numerous awards, this couple brings an energetic blend of Southern and Country gospel with a touch of R&B and Southern Pop. Heart to Heart appears regularly at the Night Light in Branson.

Rachel Parker is a 16 year old junior at Branson High School who has won the high school talent contest and 1st place at the Dallas Expo. Rachel loves to sing for the Lord and performs at any church or venue that presents an opportunity.

Master’s Praise Vocal Group is an all-male acapella Christian gospel group from St. James, Missouri. Singing praises of God is an avocation, as each member has regular jobs and are active in their respective churches.

The Tiptons are a family-based group consisting of mother Virginia Tipton, daughter Lesa Tipton, son Dan Tipton, and friends Jamie and Dennis Esteb. Based in Evening Shade, Arkansas, the Tipton musical ministry has been celebrating the Lord in song for over 50 years.

Aleah Ziegelbauer is a contemporary Christian soloist from Nixa, Missouri, who loves to carry Christ’s loving message through song.

The Barnettes of Branson, Missouri are an award-winning duo known for their tight harmonies in both original and traditional gospel music. Larry and Sandra Barnette are strongly involved with Cape Fair’s Christian Senior Ministries.

The Fair Family of Rogers, Arkansas includes Jacob, Jonathan, Sarah, Daniel, and Nathaniel, ranging in age from 14 to 22. Instrumentalists, singers, and dancers, the Fair siblings love to celebrate Christ’s message.

The Believers Trio of Springfield, Missouri specialize in Southern Gospel. Charlie Norman, Jaimee Brummett, and Julie Renee’ Fergerson strive to see people come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through song.

The Kings are a family band from Monticello, Illinois consisting of seven siblings. Individually award-winning instrumentalists in banjo and fiddle competitions, this lively family loves to entertain audiences with Christian messages of love.

Wendell Johnson has won many Christian vocalist awards over the years and loves to touch the hearts of others with his testimony of faith.

A Southern Gospel Picnic Silver Dollar City Style

Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic.

BRANSON, Mo., July 30, 2012 — “Fun, adventure and excitement are a normal part of a day at Branson’s most popular paid attraction,” said Annette Wood, Director of Group Sales for the Branson Tourism Center. “Add in the soul stirring inspirational sound of some of the finest Southern Gospel Music in the land and a picnic, Silver Dollar City style, and the result is ‘America’s biggest Southern Gospel Picnic,’” she continued.

Silver Dollar City‘s Southern Gospel Picnic is the shortest of Silver Dollar City’s seven world class festivals, running just 11 days, from August 24 through September 3. Yet, it is an event eagerly anticipated by Southern Gospel music fans and is a great opportunity, for those who have not had the opportunity to hear it before, to experience it at its “uplifting soul-stirring” best performed by some of the finest Southern Gospel performers and groups in the Nation.

During the Southern Gospel Picnic in excess of 40 of the top Southern Gospel performers and groups will perform hundreds of performances throughout the park. Although subject to change these include, among others, Jason Crabb, 2012 Dove Award Male Vocalist of the Year & Artist of the Year; The Perrys, winners of a 2012 Dove Award for the Southern Gospel Song of the Year “Celebrate Me Home;” The Isaacs, winners of a 2012 Dove Award for the Bluegrass Song of the Year “Momma’s Teaching the Angels How to Sin;” Karen Peck & New River winners of 2012 Dove Awards for Country Song of the Year “Good Things Are Happening” & Southern Gospel Album of the Year “Reach Out” and dozens more.  Although not a musical performance, it should be noted that Christian speaker and humorist Dennis Swanberg will be appearing on September 1.

The Southern Gospel Nights concert series will be held each evening, weather permitting, at the park’s 4,000 seat Echo Hollow Amphitheater® starting at 6 PM each night, except for September 1st and 2nd when the starting time is 7 PM. Although each concert will feature a different Southern Gospel group each of the Southern Gospel Nights concerts will be hosted by KWFC-FM radio personality Dave Taylor.

On Sunday August 26 and September 2, special Sunday worship services will be presented featuring guest speakers and performers. David Ring, motivational speaker and pastor will speak on August 26 and Hosea Bilyeu, pastor and performer along with the “Hosea Bilyeu Family” will be featured on September 2.

“And what would a picnic be without food?” Branson Tourism Center‘s Wood rhetorically asks. In addition to all the delicious food normally available throughout the park the Southern Gospel Picnic will feature “The House of Chicken & Fixin’s,” located inside the parks “Reunion Hall.” The “picnic menu” features Silver Dollar City’s “famous golden Southern Fried Chicken” and other items including “succulent Apple Butter Glazed Chicken, delicious Orange Glazed Chicken, Hickory – Smoked Chicken, moist and tender Slow Smoked Pulled Pork all served with all of your favorite picnic fixins.”

As is the case with all of Silver Dollar City’s world class festivals, all of  the special activities, music and events of the Southern Gospel Picnic, are in addition to all the adventure and excitement that the international award winning 1880′s’ styled theme park offers on a daily basis. This includes two dozen rides and attractions including “Half Dollar Holler,” the million dollar play area for kids; 100 resident craftsmen, its shops and other unique activities.

Wood points out that each Silver Dollar City admission sold by Branson Tourism Center includes two days admission for the price of one and suggests advance reservations for lodging and shows, particularly over the long Labor Day weekend. For additional information on Silver Dollar City, the Southern Gospel Picnic or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550.

Missouri’s Back to School Tax Free Weekend amid all that is Branson

A small section of Tanger Outlets, Branson's biggest outlet mall.

BRANSON, Mo., July 20, 2012 –What could be better than visiting Branson just before school begins to experience its attractions, shows, excitement and shopping? How about being able to buy school clothing, school supplies, computer software and computers with no 4.225 % Missouri State Sales Tax? Well, that’s exactly what happens during Missouri’s Tax Free Weekend running from 12:01 AM on Friday, August. 3 through Midnight on Sunday, August 5.

During that period, certain “back-to-school” purchases such as any article of school clothing under $100, school supplies under $50, computer software under $350 and computers and computer peripheral equipment under $3,500 each are free from Missouri State Sales Tax. Items such as watches, jewelry, phones, “handkerchiefs, umbrellas, scarves, ties, headbands or belt buckles” are exempted from the Tax Holiday.

As permitted by state law, the City of Branson, Taney County, Branson Landing Transportation Development District, Branson/Lakes Area Tourism Community Enhancement District and Taney County Ambulance District have elected not to participate. Although Missouri State Sales Tax will not be collected, all sales tax in these locations and districts “will still be collected on the sale of qualifying holiday items.”

All of Branson’s retail merchants will be participating in the Sales Tax Holiday including its major outlet and shopping malls. “Branson Landing” will be open Friday and Saturday from 10 AM – 10 PM and on Sunday from Sunday 11 AM – 8 PM; subject to individual store variations, “The Shoppes at Branson Meadows” will be open from 10 AM to 7 PM on Friday and Saturday and 10 AM to 6 PM on Sunday with Tanger Mall being open from 8 AM to 10 PM on Friday and Saturday and 9 AM to 7 PM on Sunday.

“The sales tax reductions coupled with other savings from ‘back to school’ or other sales that individual stores may be running and the opportunity to experience Branson prior to starting back to school are opportune,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. She also points out that there is a wide choice of hotel and lodging establishments located in close proximity to Branson’s major shopping venues.

Silver Dollar City’s KidsFest to end in Moonlight Madness

"Moonlight Madness" adds an entirely different perspective to the fun and adventure of Silver Dollar City.

BRANSON, Mo., July 11, 2012 — KidsFest at Silver Dollar City running through July 22 will end in the fun and excitement of “Moonlight Madness.” KidsFest, one of the parks major world class festivals  is “America’s largest KidsFest” combining the 30 attractions and rides the 1880′s style theme park offers on a daily basis with special events and activities associated with KidsFest.

This year KidsFest is again featuring The “Fabulous Wallendas! Famous Family Circus,” staring members of the legendary high wire “Wellenda” family including Guinness World Record high-wire walker and international newsmaker Nik Wallenda, who has recently completed a record breaking 1,800 foot walk across Niagara Falls. In addition to many other events, KidsFest will also feature the “‘Gazillion Bubbles,” an interactive show taking bubble artistry to amazing levels, with lasers, lighting effects and a new three-dimensional light show LUMA. It brings to life an original story centered on the park’s famed Marvel Cave through the use of “high-tech illumination techniques creating a dazzling and exciting show of light, color and motion.”

Silver Dollar City’s Moonlight Madness starts on July 21 and runs through August 5. As the park remains open until 10:00 PM, it provides its guests with an opportunity to experience “more” of what the park offers as well as a whole new perspective. “It’s one thing riding ‘Wildfire,’ Silver Dollar City’s world class multi-looping roller coaster, reaching speeds up to 66 miles per hour during the day, it’s an entirely new and unique experience riding it after dark,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center.

Enjoy “GAC Country Nights in Echo Hollow® ,Wednesday through Monday at 7:00 pm and then dance The Chicken Dance, The Electric Slide and The Cotton Eyed Joe with Silver Dollar City’s Street Dance at 9:00 pm. Moonlight Madness will also feature special food and merchandise offers with the Hospitality House, Ozark Marketplace, the Moonlight Madness Tent on the Square, Eva & Delilah’s, Fanny’s Funnel Cakes, Flossie’s Fried Fancies, Hannah’s Ice Cream Parlor, Wagon Works Grill and Wilson’s Farmers’ Market remaining open until 10:00 PM.

Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson reminds those planning on going to Silver Dollar City that all tickets for Silver Dollar City, purchased  through Branson Tourism Center (BTC), provides two days of admission for the price of one day. For additional information on Silver Dollar City, KidsFest or Moonlight Madness please feel to contact BTC by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Branson Centennial Museum shares 100 years of Branson history

This display emphasizes that the outdoors has been a part of Branson tourism since its earliest days.

BRANSON, Mo., June 28, 2012 — “The ‘Branson Centennial Museum’ offers a unique glimpse into Branson’s past,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. The Museum, located on the corner of State Highway 76 and Business Route 65 in historic downtown Branson was established as part of the celebration of Branson’s Centennial, is free to the public and open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Saturday and from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Sunday.

During a visit to the Museum today, Mary Ann Sharp, Museum Manger, said that its exhibits are themed to include many different aspects of Branson’s History from “School Days,” “The White River/ Flooding,” “The Branson Fire,” “Conflict” and its current exhibit, “The Roots of Tourism” which will be on display until the latter part of July when “Fire and Flood” will replace it. The current exhibit has displays relating to early figures involved with the development of tourism in Branson such as Harold Bell Wright, Lizzie McDaniel, Jim Owen, the Baldknobbers, Presleys and others. It includes pictures and memorabilia and items from Branson’s early tourist activity involving shows, float trips, attractions, nightclubbing and fishing including the 1970s era costume of Steve Presley.

Steve Presley's 1970 era show costume.

Although the vast majority of the displays will change with the next exhibit. Sharp said that a constant is the six minute historical CD, produced and provided courtesy of Branson Visitor TV that is continually “looping” and may be watched while sitting on a wooden pew from the “Old Stone Church” that predates the incorporation of Branson on April 1, 1912. I would estimate that a trip through the Museum would take an average of 20 minutes to an hour, including watching the CD, depending on how much time one spends reading documents and looking at pictures.

The Museum is extremely accessible, on the Highway 76 Main Street route to Branson Landing; is conveniently located on the ground floor of the multi story building, is air conditioned and has parking located just outside its main entrance. It may be contacted directly by calling.at 417-239-1912,

Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson points out that the Museum is only one of many interesting things to see while in historic downtown Branson including Dick’s 5 & 10, the grave of the man Branson is named after, Ruben S. Branson, the historic Owen Theatre, riding the free Downtown Trolley and much more. “And that’s just one small part of all that Branson has to offer,” she continued. For more information on the Museum, historic downtown Branson or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center through their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 to talk with one of their Branson located full service Vacation Planners.
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Branson, families, fun and KidsFest – a perfect combination

Just one of the many ways KidsFest helps families create special memories.

BRANSON, Mo., June 12, 2012 –  Families having fun is a given during any visit to Branson’s oldest and most popular attraction, the award winning 1880s styled theme park, Silver Dollar City. During the park’s “National KidsFest,” “America’s largest KidsFest,” running through July 22 the park combines the additional excitement and events of KidsFest, with the 30 attractions, rides and the other activities it offers on a daily basis, to provide an unrivaled exciting and fun filled adventure for the whole family.

On a daily basis Silver Dollar City’s exciting rides and attractions are an exciting part of any  day at Silver Dollar City. They  provide something for every member of the family from the exhilarating adventure of “Wildfire,” a world class multi-looping roller coaster that reaches speeds up to 66 miles per hour to the more sedate and relaxing “Grand Exposition,” where all the members of the family, from the youngest to the oldest, can share a fun filled ride together or relief from the Summer heat with water rides such as RiverBlast, Lost River of the Ozarks and many other exciting rides and attractions. They just seem to naturally fit into the other activities, fun and excitment of KidsFest.

KidsFest is again featuring The “Fabulous Wallendas! Famous Family Circus,” staring members of the legendary high wire “Wellenda” family including Guinness World Record high-wire walker and international newsmaker Nik Wallenda. Nik will be away from the show for a couple of days around June 15 while he attempts to walk across Niagara Falls on a custom made, two inch wire stretching 1,800 feet across the Falls. It will be the first time such an attempt has been made in over 100 years and required the approval of both Ontario and state of New York authorities.

New this year will be the “‘Gazillion Bubbles,” an interactive show taking bubble artistry to amazing levels, with lasers, lighting effects and sheer bubble mastery — producing giant bubbles and colorful bubble effects.” Also new this year “is the three-dimensional light show LUMA, bringing to life an original story centered on the park’s famed Marvel Cave through the use of “high-tech illumination techniques creating a dazzling and exciting show of light, color and motion.”

KidsFest includes many other activities such as an opportunity “for meet-and-greets with cartoon
superstars, including SpongeBob & Patrick, Dexter & Deedee, Tom & Jerry, the Backyardigans and more, with character breakfasts” on select days and a special Independence Day Celebration on July 4th. There will be a “special opening ceremony, an old-fashioned ice cream social and a fireworks show finale” as Silver Dollar City stays open until 10:00 PM.

Silver Dollar City is legendary for being a place that creates “memories worth repeating.”  KidsFest adds to that legend by providing additional ways for families to create those memories together.

For additional information or tickets for Silver Dollar City and KidsFest or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center (BTC), one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services. Every purchase of a Silver Dollar City ticket BTC provides two days admission to the park for the price of one. BTC can be reached by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Fireworks soar as Branson celebrates 4th of July

Fireworks soar and burst over Branson.

BRANSON, Mo., June 6, 2012 –  From picnics and BBQ, to concerts with fireworks and other magnificent firework displays, fireworks will be soaring into the skies around Branson in celebration of America’s Birthday. Stephanie Milton, Director of Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center points out that although the majority of the firework displays will be on the 4th of July that Branson’s celebration of America’s Independence will start with a picnic, concert and an exciting fireworks display with the College of the Ozark’s “Honor America” celebration on June 26 and continue with events through July 4.”

Listed below, sorted by date, is a list of the major Branson area events celebrating America’s Independence and the 4th of July. Each also includes a contact number for the event:

Name: Honor America
Place: College of the Ozarks by Lake Honor
Phone: College of the Ozarks – 417-690-2212
Date/Time(s)/Comment(s): June 24, Picnic 4:30 p.m., Entertainment 5:00 p.m., Patriotic Program & Concert 8:00 p.m. with entertainment provided by the cast of Red, Hot and Blue and others. The program and concert will be followed by Fireworks. Please bring your own chairs and come early.

Name: 25th Annual Fireburst Fireworks Display
Place: Kimberling City
Phone: Kimberling City Table Rock Chamber of Commerce – 1-800-595-0393 or 417-739-2564
Date/Time/Comment(s): June 30 at dusk. Good Viewing Area: Right on Route 13 in downtown Kimberling City, near Kimberling City Shopping Mall, about 6 miles south of Branson West. It can also be viewed very well from Table Rock Lake near the north end of the bridge.

Name: Treasure Lake Resort
Place: Treasure Lake Resort behind the IMAX
Phone: Treasure Lake Resort 417-334-1040
Date/Time/Comment(s): June 30 at dusk. Advice is come early and bring a chair.

Name: Branson Landing 5th Annual Liberty Light Up
Place: Branson Landing Town Square by Fountains
Phone: Branson Landing – 417-239-3002
Date/Time(s) /Comment(s):July 3, Concert featuring “CHAIN REACTION A Tribute to Journey,” at 8:00 p.m. followed by an “amazing choreographed Fireworks Display Show, produced by Gateway Fireworks Displays, over lake Taneycomo.

Aerial burst from previous Branson fireworks display.

Name: Main Street Cruises’ Lake Queen or Landing Princess
Place: Branson Landing
Phone: Tickets and info through Branson Tourism Center 800-785-1550
Date/Time(s) /Comment(s): This is a unique and exciting way to see the Branson Landing fireworks display while cruising on either the Lake Queen or Landing Princess on Lake Taneycomo. On July 3rd these cruises will depart at 9:00 PM and be positioned to provide a spectacular and unique view of the Branson Landing fireworks display. Both cruises will offer snack refreshments(available for purchase). A Cash bar will be available on these memorable cruises. Although there is still availability, it is advisable to make reservations as early as possible in advance by calling the Branson Tourism Center at 800-785-1550. (It should be noted that the 4th of July Cruises to the Rockaway Beach Fireworks display on the 4th is sold out.)

Name: Silver Dollar City’s Independence Day Celebration
Place: Silver Dollar City
Phone: Branson Tourism Center 1-800-785-1550
Date and Time: July 4, 9:30 AM to 10:00 PM. From a special ceremony at its opening to an ice cream social, fireworks display and street dance, in addition to everything else one would expect from an award winning theme park, the park will celebrate our Nation’s Birthday in spectacular Silver Dollar City style. Silver Dollar City requires a paid admission. Those purchasing their tickets through the Branson Tourism Center will get two days admission to the park for the price of one.

Name: Hollister’s 59th Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration
Place: Historic Downing Street in Hollister
Phone: Hollister Chamber of Commerce – 417-334-3050
Date/Time/Comment(s): July 4 at dusk. Good Viewing Area: Along Business Hwy 65 in Historic downtown Hollister.

Name: BBQ and Fireworks at Chateau on the Lake
Place: Chateau on the Lake – North of Table Rock Dam on State Highway 165/265
Phone: Call the Branson Tourism Center at 800-785-1550 for information on the fireworks or to make reservations at the Chateau on the Lake for the Fourth of July Weekend.
Date/Time/Comment(s): July 4 at dusk. A paid BBQ event, complete with live music will be followed by the fireworks display which is free to the public and easily viewed from Table Rock Lake via boat, the “park in loop” just south of new overrun floodgates on Table Rock Dam or the Chateau’s public areas.

Name: Showboat Branson Belle
Place: Showboat Branson Belle
Contact: Tickets and information through Branson Tourism Center 800-785-1550
Date /Time/Comment(s): July 3, 8:00 p.m. dinner cruise. There are no guarantees and you take your chances, but the 8:00 PM Dinner Cruise on the night of the Chateau on the Lake’s Fireworks display has been known to stop and provide passengers with a spectacular view of this fireworks display as part of the cruise. This cruise is generally sold out so the further in advance reservations are made the better.

Name: Shepherd of the Hills
Place: Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Theatre
Phone: Tickets and info through Branson Tourism Center 800-785-1550
Date/Time/Comment(s): July 4th immediately after the presentation of the outdoor drama “Shepherd of the Hills.” It will be only for those who viewed the outdoor drama. Milton advises that tickets for “Shepherd of the Hills” are available through the Branson Tourism Center.

Name: Big Cedar Fireworks Display
Place: Big Cedar Lodge
Location: Off State Highway 86 in Ridgedale, MO
Phone: Big Cedar – 417-335-2777
Date/Time/Comment(s): Following a paid “picnic,” there will be entertainment starting at 7:00 PM with the fireworks display starting at dusk. There is good viewing from the area in front of Registration Building or from Table Rock Lake.

Name: Rockaway Beach 4th of July Celebration and Fireworks Display
Place: Downtown Rockaway Beach
Contact: – Rockaway Beach Chamber of Commerce – 417-561-4280
Date/Time/Comment(s): July 4 at dusk. Entertainment, games and, kids activities start at 3:00 PM with the Fireworks starting at dusk.

BTC’s Milton said, “One thing’s for sure, in addition to all the other shows, attractions, shopping and other things there are to do in Branson on a daily basis, those wanting to see exciting spectacular firework displays will not be disappointed.” She advises those planning on attending these events to allow plenty of travel time, arrive as early as possible and, except for paid events, to bring their own chairs etc. It should be remembered that the period around the Fourth of July is one of the busiest of the year in Branson and that advance reservations are advisable to ensure not only availability, but the best choice of seats and accommodations.

Branson Tourism Center celebrates 3 million ticket milestone

Peggy and Eddie Barthel, purchasers of BTC's 3 millionth ticket, just after hundreds of balloons fell and they discovered that they were the center of the celebration,

BRANSON, Mo., May 24, 2012 — When Eddie and Peggy Barthel of Florence, MS walked up to check in for their five night six day Branson vacation in the lobby of the Branson Tourism Center on the afternoon of May 24 they knew something special was going on when hundreds of blue and white balloons cascaded down from the ceiling around them and everyone in the lobby started applauding and celebrating. As they were greeted by Lianne Milton, the owner of BTC and the cast of one of the most popular shows in Branson and the first show on their itinerary, SIX, the Barthels discovered that they had purchased the 3 millionth Branson show and attraction ticket sold by the Branson Tourism Center (BTC).

BTC typically sells tickets, lodging and other Branson travel services and makes customers reservations well in advance of their actual arrival in Branson. “The Barthels became the lucky 3 millionth ticket customer when they placed their order on May 8, but it had been a closely guarded secret until their check in at BTC today,” said Brian Milton, the CFO of BTC.

When asked if they were surprised, Peggy said, “Absolutely…it was awesome” while Eddie said, “Most definitely.” It became even a bigger surprise for them when they found out that in celebration of their being the 3 millionth BTC ticket purchaser that, among other prizes, their entire six day, five night Branson vacation was being paid for by BTC as well as a two hour private charter on Main Street Lake Cruises’ “Branson Princess,” luxury yacht, for them and 100 of their friends and guests, on a future trip to Branson. While in Branson on this trip, the Barthels are staying at the LaQuinta Inn – Music City Centre and, among other things, their itinerary includes SIX, The Showboat Branson Belle, Branson Scenic Railway, and Silver Dollar City.

Eddie and Peggy Barthel, purchasers of BTC's 3 millionth ticket, center, with BTC owners Lianne and Larry Milton on either side,

Lianne Milton, the owners of BTC said, “The sale of our 3 millionth ticket means a lot to me personally because it represents the achievement of a milestone in our efforts to market the shows, attractions, lodging and other activities of our vendors and in sharing the Branson experience with over 940,000 people.” She attributes the success of BTC to the commitment and passion of its employees to sharing Branson and all that it has to offer with prospective visitors and in following the simple concept of , “If it’s important to you, it’s important to me” in making sure that every Branson Tourism Center customer has a great Branson experience and will want to return.

She continues by pointing out that the vast majority of the 3 million tickets that BTC has sold, as was the case with the Barthels, were marketed and sold to people, “out of market,” before they came to Branson; not through intercept marketing once they arrived in Branson. Based on figures furnished by the Branson Lakes Area CVB, the 3 million tickets sold by BTC represents a potential influx of revenues to its vendors, the city of Branson, and other Branson area businesses of over $233 million.

When asked how they liked dealing with the Branson Tourism Center, Peggy said, ” Everybody’s been so wonderful.” The follow-up question was “Would you have felt the same way even if you had not purchased the 3 millionth ticket? Peggy replied, “Absolutely. It started off real cool that day, I spoke with Lynn [Crissmon, one of BTC's full service vacation planners.] He was so kind and very informative and helpful to me in getting this together.”

Prior to discovering the Branson Tourism Center on the internet, calling and speaking with Lynn she said, “I had spent most of that day spinning my wheels trying to decide where to go, what we were going to do and that kind of thing.” In summing up her Branson vacation planning experience with BTC she said, “One call that’s all, they just took care of everything. We’re just going to go up there and have fun.”

Little did she know just how much fun they would have!

Bluegrass and BBQ Festival adds to Silver Dollar City fun and entertainment

There will be Bluegrass and BBQ aplenty at Silver Dollar City's Bluegrass and BBQ Festival.

BRANSON, Mo., May 14, 2012 — The sounds of people laughing and having fun at Silver Dollar City in Branson will be mingled with the sounds of Bluegrass music and the aroma of BBQ throughout the park as SDC celebrates its Bluegrass & BBQ Festival through June 3. “It’s the best of all worlds,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center, Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning service, ” all the rides and excitement of a world class theme park; lots of Bluegrass music performed by some of the finest Bluegrass artists in the country and a cornucopia of just about every style of BBQ there is accompanied by over 100 different sauces..”

Recognized by the “International Bluegrass Music Association,” the festival will feature two national Bluegrass competitions,” The National Single Mic Championship” May 19 – 20, “The Youth In Bluegrass Band Contest” May 26 – 27, and dozens of some of the finest Bluegrass performers in the Nation. These include some of “Bluegrass music’s top artists and award-winning performers such as  the “Bluegrass Brigade,” “Gibson Brothers, “Grascals,” “Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver,” the “Kruger Brothers” and many others.”

The “BBQ” part of the festival includes the cooking and serving of over 40,000 pounds of mouth watering BBQ prepared on “large outdoor charcoal grills and a custom-made 9-foot smoker.” From “Memphis dry rubs” to “Carolina vinegars,” “smoky Texas,” “KC-style” and others, there will be a style of BBQ for the most discriminating BBQ connoisseur, plus a hundred different sauces to sample. The variety and flavor of the BBQ will be expanded this year with the addition of two award winning BBQs, ” Hawgwild BBQ” out of Aurora, Missouri and “Dickey’s Barbecue Pit” from Texas.

In addition to the excellent food service normally available throughout the park, “The House of BBQ” will be serving up BBQ galore. From Silver Dollar City’s famous flavor feast with “St. Louis ribs and smoked chicken to Texas brisket and sweet roasted corn on the cob” to the all you-can-eat BBQ rib feast each afternoon” and lots in between, it is hard to imagine a wider choice of BBQ styles flavors and sauces available in one place.

As is the case with all of Silver Dollar City’s world class festivals, all of the activities involved with the festival are in addition to everything else the 1880′s styled theme park offers on a daily basis. The park features 30 rides and attractions from “Wildfire,” a world class multi-looping roller coaster that reaches speeds up to 66 miles per hour to the $1 million “Half Dollar Holler” designed for kids through age 7; unique shopping; some of the best live shows and entertainment available in Branson and dozens of demonstrating craftsmen all integrated into the natural wonder and beauty of the surrounding Ozark Hills. Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson also reminds prospective Silver Dollar City visitors that when they purchase their Silver Dollar City Tickets through Branson Tourism Center they get two full days for the price of one.

For additional information or tickets for Silver Dollar City, any of its festivals or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please contact the Branson Tourism Center by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Track Family Fun Parks Gift of Hope Benefit this Saturday

Gift of Hope benefit.

BRANSON, Mo (04/25/12) The Track Family Fun Park #3, located at 2505 W. Hwy 76, Branson, directly across Highway 76 from the Andy Williams Moon River Grill, will host a benefit  for the Gift of Hope and its Backpack Club and Christmas Share programs on Saturday, April 28, 2012 between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Those attending will enjoy reduced rates with “$5.00 per 1 pass ride including Classic go-karts, bumper boats and mini golf.

The Gift of Hope’s mission is “Providing essentials and pathways to independence for Taney County Families.” One of the ways it does that is through “The Backpack Club” which provides a backpack of nutritious food for children who have shown signs of hunger outside of the school meal program.  Children receive the food each weekend during the school year. The Christmas Share program will provide customized assistance to approximately 30 families in need during the winter months.

“Branson visitors as well as locals can have a great afternoon of fun, save money and help a great cause,” said Stephanie Milton, Director of Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. For information on the Benefit or the Gift of Hope please call 417-546-8062.For information on the Benefit or the Gift of Hope please call 417-546-8062.