Category Archives: Branson Shows

Nadia Cole A Voice of Glory

 

Nadia Cole

Nadia Cole

Millions have seen the Voices of Glory, Nadia, Avery and Michael Cole they become finalists on the hit NBC prime time show “America’s Got Talent” and were touched not only by the inspiring story of how they started singing together, but the beauty of their voices. Now Branson visitors have the opportunity to hear them sing in their own Branson show, Ayo Starring the Voices of Glory.

Recently BTC had an opportunity to interview the youngest member of the group, Nadia Cole, about their career, how they came to Branson and what the future may hold for her and the “Voices of Glory.” Having heard her sing I was already impressed by her voice, but her poise, obvious love of family and God, professionalism and friendliness was just as impressive and far beyond her 14 years.

The following piece is in Q & A format with the Branson Tourism Center (BTC) asking questions that we hope the reader will find informative and entertaining and Nadia’s answers indicated by (NC):

BTC: When and where were you born?
NC: Newburg, New York on Oct. 26, 1999

BTC: How did you get started singing?
NC: In 2005 our mother, Felicia Cole, was involved in a head on collision with a drunk driver and was in a coma for eight months. We [Nadia with brothers Avery and Michael] started singing by her bedside just to get her to respond and from there we went from hospital room to hospital room, nursing home to nursing home and eventually ended up on a show called “America’s Got Talent.”

BTC: What year were you on America’s Got Talent?
NC: 2009.

BTC: How did you do?
NC: We took 5th Place.

BTC: What did you enjoy most about your appearance on America’s Got Talent?
NC: The total experience; being on national TV and getting to know everybody around us.

BTC: Did you go on the America’s Got Talent Road Tour?
NC: No we did not. I believe we were too young at the time.

BTC: How old are you, Michael and Avery?
NC: Michael is 21, Avery just turned 18 and I am 14.

BTC: How long has Voices of Glory been singing?
NC: We have been singing professionally for about 8 years.

BTC: How long have you been performing in Branson?
NC: About four years.

BTC: What brought you to Branson?
NC: In 2010 we got a call from a promoter who brought us to Branson. Things did not work out as promised, but our dad said, “God did not bring us down here for nothing.” We stayed and God has blessed our career tremendously with awards, international tours, TBN, church and other performances as well as performing in the “Andy Williams Christmas Show” in 2012 and now we are performing our own show “Ayo” at the Hughes Brothers Theatre in Branson.

BTC: What do you like best about performing in Branson?
NC: I like the audiences.

BTC: What you enjoy the most about living in Branson?
NC: I love Branson. The Christian environment just gives me peace inside and the people are just so nice to each other.

BTC: What is your all-time favorite song to sing?
NC: That’s hard. I can’t pick just one. My favorites are “Open My Heart,” a gospel song by Yolonda Adams, “Blue Skies” by Ella Fitzgerald and “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston.

BTC: When you’re not working what do you enjoy doing most?
NC: I love spending time with family and friends, go to movies and the landing.

BTC: Do you have a favorite hobby or activity?
NC: I like to dance.

BTC: What do you look forward to the most as you start each new day?
NC: I look for a brand new start. You make a mistake one day, but the next day you get a chance to start fresh.

BTC: What are you the most thankful for?
NC: My family.

BTC: If you could perform with anyone on stage, whether they are alive now or not, who would it be?
NC: Whitney Houston, Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin.

BTC: Do you have a little known fact about yourself that you think your fans are audience would enjoy hearing about?
NC: Don’t get between me a pepperoni pizza and a mug of root beer.

BTC: Have you ever thought about going back to “America’s Got Talent,” or a competition like “The Voice” or “American Idol” as a solo act?
NC: Not really because I am performing with my brothers. When you are with family you really don’t want to separate what you have between us singing wise.

BTC: That aside, did something recently happen that might cause you to consider trying out for “American Idol?”
NC: Yes, it did. I went to the “Disney American Idol Experience in Florida at Disney World Hollywood Studios. The experience gave me the opportunity to go through the American Idol experience from hair and makeup to judging, coaching and competition. At the final competition I sang “Listen” by “Beyonce” and won. As the winner of the day’s competition I received a “Dream Pass” that entitles me to be escorted to the front of the line of prospective “American Idol” television show contestants and have the opportunity to audition for the producers of the “American Idol.”

BTC: Has a book about the story of the “Voices of Glory” been released recently?
NC: Yes, we are really excited that our book, “Higher Than Me, the story of the Voices of Glory” has just been released.

BTC: Do you have personal goals for yourself and Voices of Glory?
NC: I would love to travel with Voices of Glory on mission trips using our voices to help make this world a better place and change people’s lives.

Nadia, Michael and Avery, “The Voices of Glory” are currently appearing in their own show, Ayo Staring the Voices of Glory in Branson. For additional information on Ayo please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.

 

10 People Share Favorite Things to Do While in Branson

The Titanic Museum Attraction pictured amid the beauty of spring which can't come soon enough this year.

The Titanic Museum Attraction pictured amid the beauty of spring which can’t come soon enough this year.

“There is so much to see and do in Branson that it is often hard to decide what to do,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing, Branson Tourism Center. This week on the Branson Tourism Facebook page, in conjunction with announcing our first ever contest giving away a Branson Spring Break Family package, we asked people if they would comment on their “favorite thing to do or see in Branson.” From the many received, we picked ten in the hopes that the “favorite things to do” from people who have actually been to Branson” might be of benefit to those trying to decide what to see and do while in Branson.

The comments are listed in no particular order, and include the Facebook name of the commenter, the total comment and links to additional information:

 

Shoji Tabuchi and his daughter Christina.

Shoji Tabuchi and his daughter Christina.

Geneva Madding Vance: My favorite thing in Branson is the Christmas Lights and I love to watch the Branson Landing water fountain. I love to walk downtown and shop in the quaint stores. Really enjoy Six and Shoji.

Genevieve Rose: I have been to Branson four times…I could go every year if I could afford it. I love it, but the last time in 2013, at 63 yrs of age, I went Zip-lining…OHHHH…that was the most fun ever…I love the shows especially at the Sight and Sound Theatre…[Biblical spectacular Jonah premieres March 22.]

Natasha Morris: My favorite thing to do is ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING! WHATS NOT TO LOVE? I FEEL PEACE WHEN I’M THERE…THE ATMOSPHERE IS JUST AMAZING!

Linda Hale: I love everything about Branson. We see the shows Presleys, SIX, Clay Cooper, Gilleys, Dixie Stampede. We also love The Sight & Sound Theatre, Ride The ducks, seeing the lake [Branson has two lakes the 22 mile long cold water Lake Taneycomo and the 43,000 surface acre warm water Table Rock Lake], shopping & all the good places to eat, but what we really like is how great the people are in Branson.

Alan Mears: Branson has so much going for it! Have vacationed there for the last 19 years & consider it like my second home. It has a Christian spirit, is family friendly & family oriented with a good, honest fun attitude-filled with museums, a variety of shows, theme parks, great dining, shopping, outdoor activities, delicious food & an amazing blend of old & new talent. It has an atmosphere of hospitality & patriotism, with many different things to do for all ages-can even be a romantic getaway since it is one of the most beautiful places in America with a wide array of things to see & do throughout all the seasons. The memories are awesome, especially bringing someone to Branson for the first time. My Favorite thing is- all the above & so much more!

Pam Hook: RELAX, golf, and shows!!!!

 

Innovations like its new world breaking "Outlaw Run" wooden coaster have helped Silver Dollar City "Create memories worth repeating" for over 50 years.

Innovations like its new world breaking “Outlaw Run” wooden coaster have helped Silver Dollar City “Create memories worth repeating” for over 50 years.

Ashley Fuller: There’s so much to choose from! It would be nice if we had more vacation time and hours in the day to do it all! I would have to say Silver Dollar City, Branson Landing Shopping, Dixie Stampede, Sight and Sound Theater, Titanic, mini golf, Segways and Grand Country.

Joyce Soule Stump: So many things to do. It is hard to pick one or two. Love the Baldknobbers, great restaurants, great motels [Lodging], Dick’s 5 & 10, Flea markets etc.

Dee-Dee Saluppo Baker: Titanic

Deborah Gander Smith: The shows, the lake and the new riverfront [Branson Landing].

We noticed too; most had a tough time picking just one favorite thing, but isn’t that a wonderful memory to have, a vacation with so many favorite things that you couldn’t pick just one.

Rankin Brothers illustrate annual revitalization of Branson shows

 

Matt, Left and Mark Rankin discussing number with Band Director Cody Titus.

Three questions that come up a lot, particularly at this time of the year are “How do Branson shows keep their material fresh and exciting from year to year?” “How much of their material changes from year to year?” “Will I see the same show this year that I saw last year?” Based on my personal experience over the last 28 years, in the majority of cases, the short answers to those questions, in order are, “Hard work and effort,” “lots” and “No.”

Over the years it has been my privilege to talk about this subject with a number of different long time Branson shows including Presleys’ Country Jubilee, Clay Cooper’ Country Express, Shoji Tabuchi, Duttons, Haygoods and many more. Without exception, each spends a large part of the “off season” developing routines, numbers, costuming, special effects, lighting and other things that they believe will make their shows relevant, fresh, exciting and new while retaining those elements that their audiences like the most and look forward to them performing.

I caught up with the Rankin Brothers, Mark and Matt, the stars of one of Branson’s most entertaining shows and their dad, Larry, who is also their manager, as they were rehearsing for their 2014 show opening March 5 in the Yakov Smirnoff Theatre. These early season rehearsals are a far cry from the full scale production Branson visitors see in the actual show. No sets, special effects or costuming just the grinding work of slowly working out and putting together each element of the show.

The Rankin rehearsal was no exception. Mark and Matt were on a bare stage with their band informally working through some of the numbers that will be in the show. It’s a very informal, but purposeful process with a lot of repetitiveness to get it just the way they want it. As I watched Matt going through the dance steps and singing for just one part of one piece, time after time while interfacing with Mark and the band to make adjustments, I could not help, but have a renewed appreciation for the dedication that the Rankins, as well as the majority of other Branson performers, have for their craft and giving their audiences the very best experience they can.

As Mark took a quick break I asked him how much of the show would be changed this year. He replied, “About 70-80 percent. Among lots of others, we are adding 30 new songs including ‘I Get Around’ by the Beach Boys; a new Frankie Valli segment including ‘Let’s Hang On’ and ‘Ragdoll;’ a Shania Twain segment; as well as bringing back the ‘American Trilogy’ and ‘How Great Thou Art.’ In the Elvis segment.”

After Mark went back on stage to continue the rehearsal, Larry Rankin pointed out that the nature of their show and the hits associated music of the 50’s through the 90’s gives them a lot of flexibility to continually add new material to the show. He said, “Although we have a lot of new material in the show this year we have been very careful to keep those numbers and segments that our audiences have come to love and look forward to such as ‘The Anchor Holds.’ Our feeling is that if it is memorable enough to be a favorite of those who have seen the show before it’s a great number to share with new guests coming to the show.

Having seen the Rankin Brothers show a number of times I can truly say it is a wonderful feel good show presented by one of the most talented casts in Branson who take their audiences on “a wonderful musical journey through the classic music hits and super stars of the 50s through the 90s bringing back memories of this this timeless music performed as only they can do it.” The Rankin Brothers start their 2014 Branson shows on March 5.

For additional information on the Rankin Brothers show, 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.

What you should know about the opening of Branson’s 2014 Show Season

 

The premier of Sight and Sounds spectacular production of "Jonah" is a highlight of Branson's 2014 show season.

Just as the Ozark hills will soon burst forth with the beauty and freshness of a new spring so too do the stages of many of Branson’s shows explode with the excitement and freshness of a new season as Branson’s live shows begin to open and present their new shows for 2014. Still others such as Sight and Sound’s biblical spectacular Jonah, opening on March 22; Hamner’s Unbelievable Variety Show on March 11 and Billy Dean Live!, staring country music star Billy Dean on March 19 will be premiering new Branson shows.

Led into the 2014 season by the show that started it all, The Baldknobbers Country Jamboree and the shows at Grand Country, Grand Jubilee the Comedy Jamboree, and Amazing Pets, many of Branson’s shows have already begun their 2014 season. Mike Patrick, General Manager & Producer of Grand Country’s shows and the MC of the Grand Jubilee said that they begin rehearsing for their new shows in November, while doing their Christmas show, to be ready for a January opening of their 2014 shows.

In addition, a wide selection of some of Branson’s most popular shows opened their 2014 Branson Season during the first two months of the year. These include shows such as Acrobats of China, Clay Coopers Country Express in the theatre’s newly remodeled auditorium; Dancing Queen ABBA’s Greatest Hits; Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede; The Haygoods, who have moved to the Clay Cooper Theatre for the 2014 season; it at the Hughes Brothers Theatre; Legends in Concert; New Jersey Nights; Pierce Arrow and others.

As the season moves into March, just in time for Spring Break, many of Branson’s other shows will also open for their 2014 season. These include some of Branson’s favorite shows such as SIX, one of the hottest shows in Branson, on March 1; Dublin’s Irish Tenors and the Celtic Ladies; March 1, Rankin Brothers, March 5 at Yakov’s Theatre; the first show on the “Branson Strip” Presleys’ Country Jubilee, March 7; Mickey Gilley; March 30, Adventures of Marco Polo, April 20; Shoji Tabuchi, April 22 and many others as the 2014 Branson season gets into full swing.

Although it’s been mentioned previously, the premier of Jonah is worth mentioning again because of the grandeur and spectacle of its presentation on Sight and Sounds 300 foot surround stage. Perhaps the words of Dan Deal, the shows Director and Associate Producer sum it up best when he said that Jonah, “Is probably the most high energy vibrant and pretty show that we have ever done. It is a nonstop energy packed powerful story that takes off and keeps running just like Jonah himself does the whole way through. You will be surrounded by the show and engulfed by the underwater experience. From start to finish the show is jammed packed. It is fun, it’s funny, it’s endearing, it’s powerful and its life changing.”

Of course, with nearly 100 live entertainment shows, only a small sample of Branson shows are mentioned in this article and even then only briefly. For complete information on Branson shows, including schedules, descriptions, pictures, prices and, in most cases, videos, please see the Branson Tourism Center Show Schedule which can be sorted by the dates you will be in Branson with a couple of “mouse clicks.” For information or tickets on any Branson show or attaction or for Branson lodging please feel free to call Branson Tourism Center toll free at 1-800-785-1550.

3 Sure Signs of Spring in Branson

 

The Presley Family is ready for the 2014 Branson season.

After this winter we are all ready for spring. Here in Branson our Ozark Spring, for as long as I can remember, has been signaled by three things that generally happen before the official first day of spring. They happen pretty close together and two out of the three are not weather related, but it is generally considered spring in Branson when these three things have happened:

1. Presleys’ Country Music Jubilee has its first performance of the year – This pioneering Branson paradigm show has been a harbinger of spring in the Ozarks for over 45 years ever since the Presley family built the very first theatre on what is now the “Branson Strip.” Presleys’ is a wonderful blend of “patented comedy” and music that has been entertaining Branson audiences every season since 1967 with new comedy, music and costuming that brings the same excitement and freshness to the Branson show scene as Mother Nature brings to our beautiful Ozark Mountains each spring. Their first performance for the 2014 season is on March 7.

2. Silver Dollar City’s Opening – The opening of Branson’s oldest and most popular paid attraction, the award winning 1880s styled theme park, Silver Dollar City each year is not only a sure sign that it’s Spring has come to the Ozarks, but that Branson’s tourist season is getting ready to blossom. In addition to its six world class festivals, starting with World-Fest, Apr.6 through May 5, the park has a wide selection of rides the whole family can enjoy such as Powder Keg, Fire in the Hole, The Giant Swing, Wildfire, and Outlaw Run as well as the “Grand Exposition” with family friendly rides like the Magnificent Wave Carousel, Mighty Galleon, Electro Spin Royal Tea Party, Wings of Wonder, The Ladybugs and Happy Frogs. As great and exciting as the rides and festivals are, they are just part of the Silver Dollar City experience. There are shows and activities, many festival specific, throughout the whole park and dozens of practicing craftsmen from wood carvers to candle makers and glass blowers demonstrating their craft. Silver Dollar City starts its 2014 season on March 14.

3. Budding of the Redbuds – As I have fished Lake Taneycomo each year over the past three decades an early and sure sign of spring is the beautiful sight of the Redbuds breaking out along the banks. They were soon followed in concert by a spring palette of color as the Dogwoods and others burst forth, but always it seems the Redbuds lead the way with their simple elegance signaling the freshness and excitement of another Ozark Spring.

“The Spring colors along Lake Taneycomo and over our Ozark Hills is a beautiful once a year show that proclaims in elegant style the uniqueness of spring in the Ozarks and Branson,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing, Branson Tourism Center. “Why not plan to experience it yourself while on Spring Break? There is absolutely nothing in the world like spring in Branson,” she added.

It Takes More Than Magic to Produce a New Unbelievable Show

 

The excitement and action of the show as reflected in its poster.

“No pun intended, but the talent and variety in this show is simply ‘unbelievable,'” said internationally famous illusionist Dave Hamner recently during a break from the exhausting grind of producing one of Branson’s newest shows, the Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show, which will premiere at the “Hamner Variety Theatre,” in Branson, Missouri on March 11, 2014. “This show presents Branson audiences with a unique blend of acts, color and excitement they have never seen in Branson before where ‘birds appear, people fly, and voices soar’ in a truly magical combination of entertainment from beginning to end,” he added.

Denise Hamner, the other half of the incredible magical duo known as “The Hamners,” could scarce contain her excitement when talking about the various elements and acts in the show and how they will all flow together providing audiences of all ages with an equally entertaining experience from the opening to the final curtain. She said, “Our goal is to have the audience sitting on the edge of their seats anticipating what is coming next as the show seamlessly transitions from one exciting act to another and, when it’s all over, wanting to come back because they want to make sure they haven’t missed anything.

The interview was taking place while the work in getting the show produced continued around us. Noted Branson dancer, AJ Heard, the shows choreographer and one of the dancers in the show said, “I’m super excited about all the talent and variety that will be blended together in this amazing new multidimensional experience.” What was really neat was that when she asked her young daughter, Cydney, who was there keeping an eye on mom, based on what she knew about the show so far, what she thought about it; she immediately responded, “Awesome!”

The featured acts in the show include world renowned illusionists Dave & Denise Hamner who will perform a variety of illusions including “their one of a kind act” in which they produce several beautiful Macaws and Cockatoos that appear amid flying cards, flaming swords, falling coins and jewels along with an incredible flight out over the audience and other original illusions such as “Stargate,” “The Lightning Levitation,” “Vertigo: The Fall of Death” and an absolutely magical “Veterans Finale.”

As exciting and unbelievable as the Hamner’s magic is on hits own, the show will become”unbelievably” magical when that magic is seamlessly blended in and highlighted with the other amazing acts in the show. This includes impressionist Jeff Brandt, considered one of the top singing impressionists in the country; Vadim & Mariya Serykh, a Russian father and daughter adagio team performing hand balancing, acrobatics, and high flying aerial acrobatics; the vocal talents of Tamra Tinoco who has performed all over the world and in 45 different states with artists such as Lee Greenwood, Vince Gill and others as well as producing and staring in Branson’s Magnificent Seven show and the ventriloquism of Brenda Hahne and her cast of characters who have been entertaining hundreds of family audiences across the country and on cruise ships for over 15 years.

In the final weeks of preparing for their premier Denise said that things are hectic and the weather sure isn’t helping, but that they are excited about the new show and eagerly anticipating opening night. Based on what I have seen the Hamners do in the past, what I have heard and seen so far about the show and its acts and, of course, with Cydney’s “Awesome,” I can’t wait to see the Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show.

Ambrus Presley devoted to family, Branson, and singing

Ambrus Presley singing "Jolene."

Branson has an overwhelming number of female vocalists, but anyone who has ever seen and heard Ambrus Presley perform can appreciate it when I express my belief that she is one of Branson’s premier vocalists. Whether she is singing a standard such as “Over the Rainbow” or a song that is not as well-known such as “Travelin’ Soldier,” the beauty, clarity and strength of her voice; obvious passion for singing and her sweet spirit and sincerity results in a performance that is not only a joy to hear, but touches the heart.

The following piece is in Q & A format with the Branson Tourism Center (BTC) asking questions that we hope the reader will find informative and entertaining and Ambrus’s answer indicated by (AP):

BTC: How long have you been performing in Branson?
AP: We moved to Branson when I was eight in 1998 after I auditioned for and got a job in “Positive Country.” Initially, while we saw how things were going to go, Mom and I moved to Branson and dad stayed in Hot Springs. It was quite a change going zero shows a day to two shows a day, but I just loved it.

BTC: Was the move to Branson prompted by your parents or you?
AP: It was all me.

BTC: What shows have you performed with during your Branson career?
AP: “Positive Country,” “Starlite Kids Show,” “Country Tonite” and Presleys’ Country Jubilee.

BTC: When did you start with Presleys’ Country Jubilee?
AP: In 2004.

BTC: How did you get started singing?
AP: From my family. I come from a really religious Christian family. My Grandpa is a lover of music. Since an early age I have had a passion for singing. I can remember riding in his tractor singing “Jesus Love Me” when I was two or three, started singing in church when I was four or so and I just loved it. My family started me on voice lessons when I was five and it went from there.

BTC: When did you discover that you had the “gift” of singing?
AP: I was always taught that it was a gift from the get go. It wasn’t something that was mine to begin with, it was something that was given to me and that it was my job to nurture that gift and let it grow. So that’s what we have done.

BTC: What is your all-time favorite song to sing?
AP: I love them all for different reasons. Having said that, my favorite types of music are classic jazz, country and the American standard type of music. I love to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

BTC: Did you ever think about pursuing a national career after your win on Ed McMahons “The Next Big Star?” (Click here to see that performance.)
AP: Although there was some interest and excitement from producers in big cities calling, I have always loved Branson. I just never had big stars in my eyes. I knew what I wanted. I wanted a family and I wanted to get to sing every day and it didn’t matter if there was a whole lot of fame or money tied to that so long as I was just doing it and happy.

BTC: If you could perform with anyone on your stage who would it be and why?
AP: I’m a huge James Taylor Fan and would love to sing with him. One of my favorite singers of all time was Etta James. She’s deceased, but I would have loved to have sung with her.

BTC: What do you enjoy the most about living in Branson?
AP: There’s just something magical about this place to me, it’s gorgeous. I love our seasons with their changes and that it’s a wonderful safe place for our family and for our son to grow up in and go to school. For me, professionally, this is my “heaven”. I’m a singer and Branson is a place that’s all about that.

BTC: When you’re not working what do you enjoy doing most?
AP: Just being with my husband, John and son Henry.

BTC: Do you have a favorite hobby or activity?
AP: I love anything that has to do with fashion or home decor.

BTC: What do you look forward to the most as you start each new day?
AP: Growing, learning and getting better; a better mom, better wife, better singer.

BTC: How long have you and John been married?
AP: Five years.

BTC: Do you have a little known fact about yourself that you think your fans are audience would enjoy hearing about?
AP: I love pickled Okra.

Ambrus and Presleys’ Country Jubilee will be starting their 2014 Branson Season on Friday, March 7.

Branson “believes” that your vacation should be special

Silver Dollar City, Branson's first and largest attraction, is filled with people dedicated to helping your family create "Memories worth repeating."

It has been my personal experience that most people planning a vacation or getaway to Branson do so with the expectation of having fun and creating special memories by experiencing everything Branson has to offer family entertainment, shows, attractions, shopping, lakes, natural beauty, a slice of Americana and more. They will get that “and then some” because of Branson’s commitment to the total vacation experience of its guests by adding to each guest’s experience, one personal interaction at a time, the fulfillment of the following 10 elements of the “Branson Promise:”

1.  “We believe that a vacation is not an escape from reality but a connection to what is real, you, your family, laughter, music, pure fun, and doing the things you really want to do, together.

2.  We believe you deserve to take a break from your regular life while preserving the security and comfort that comes from feeling ‘right at home.’

3.  We believe the best experiences are live and personal. They affect you – and you affect them. The most memorable experiences have always been personal and unique spontaneous and unexpected – not planned or manufactured.

4.  We believe in families, and that vacations can belong to everybody in the family.

5.  We believe in our American values and celebrate them every day, respect for God, the individual, patriotism, faith, hope, optimism, family, courage, generosity, and opportunity for all.

6.  We believe in the home.

7.  We believe that new people aren’t strangers, just friends who haven’t visited.

8.  We believe that every guest can be a part of our Branson family. From headline performers to the folks who sell the tickets, we invite you to become part of the fun we create every day as the families who built this community.

9.  We believe that world-class entertainment doesn’t need to cost a world-class fortune!

10.  We believe that money is hard earned, and respect the work that sits behind every dollar spent by our guests. We still think it’s possible to be surprised about how much money can buy, especially in Branson.”

So many times Branson visitors have said that what brings them back again and again is the comfortable genuine down home spirit and friendliness of the people they interact with while in Branson. Wouldn’t you like your family to spend its vacation with a community that has all the fun and excitement that Branson offers provided by people who “Believe that new people aren’t strangers, just friends who haven’t visited?”

3 great reasons for a 2014 vacation in Branson

The Titanic Museum Attraction, just one of Branson's many attractions, takes passengers on an exciting "voyage" .

Before I moved to Branson over 28 years ago, our family had vacationed in Branson for ten years. Interestingly, although these reasons are presented for your consideration in 2014 they were the primary reasons our family started vacationing in Branson in 1975, fun, lakes and natural beauty and live entertainment our whole family could enjoy:

1. Fun – Simply put, Branson has been providing unique memorable fun filled vacations to families for decades. Whether it’s attractions such as its award winning 1880s styled world class theme park, Silver Dollar City, an exciting “voyage” back in history aboard the Titanic Museum Attraction, a Lake Taneycomo sightseeing or dinner cruise aboard the boats of Main Street Lake Cruises or any one of dozens of attractions and activities all within minutes of each other Branson visitors can expect opportunities for fun just about everywhere they turn.

2. Live Entertainment – Branson is well known for the variety and quality of live entertainment its shows provide. No matter what type of live family show you and your family might like, the chances are that Branson has a show for you. Whether it’s the incredible skill of the Acrobats of China,  the amazing feats performed by the pets, most of which were rescued from animal shelters, in Amazing Pets, Presleys Country Jubilee, Branson’s first show on the famed Branson Strip or anyone of almost 100 other shows. Branson offers a variety and quality of live family entertainment that is unrivaled by any other family vacation destination. Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center points out that many Branson shows offer Family Passes which results in considerable savings for families.

3. Lakes and the Naturual Beauty of the Ozarks – The Branson area is sometimes referred to as the “Branson Tri Lakes Area” because of its three lakes, Table Rock and Bull Shoals Lakes and Lake Taneycomo. Although both Table Rock and Bull Shoals are “warm water” lakes with world class bass fishing, it is the 43,000 plus surface acres of aquatic fun provided by Table Rock Lake that most Branson visitors experience because it is so close to Branson. The cold waters of the 23 mile long Lake Taneycomo, flowing through Table Rock Dam, makes it one of the finest Rainbow and Brown Trout fisheries in the mid-west. It flows right by Branson’s historic downtown district with its unique shops and local restaurants. It also provides a unique and beautiful water element to Branson Landing, Branson’s major shopping attractions, with over 100 retail shops and its $7M Fire, Water and Music fountain show.

The natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains resonates throughout Branson. Whether it’s the unique way Silver Dollar City has incorporated it into the fun and excitement it provides, looking across Lake Taneycomo while sitting on the floating patio of  The Paddlewheel at Branson Landing or just driving around, the natural beauty of the Ozarks is an inherent part of any Branson vacation.

A great argument could be made for a fourth reason. Although more than one of these things can be found at other vacation destinations however, in no other, can they be found so conveniently and close together.

 

 

Material Connection

“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.