Category Archives: Branson Shows

9th Annual Elvis Festival will positively rock Branson with amazing entertainment

Finalists gather at 2014 "Branson Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest."

Finalists gather at 2014 “Branson Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest.”

“The annual ‘Branson Elvis® Festival’ offers another unique and exciting activity for all Branson visitors, but especially for Elvis fans,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. The 9th Annual Branson Elvis® Festival will take place March 27 – 29, 2015, at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, the home of Branson’s Legends in Concert Show on the world famous “Branson Strip.”

The highlight of the Festival is the Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ which will be held on the Legends in Concert stage, Saturday, March 28 starting at 7:00 PM. The winner of the Branson contest receives a prize package and the opportunity to compete in the “2015 Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ Finals” presented by Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. which will be held August 8  -16 in Memphis, Tennessee during Elvis Week.

Legends in Concert’s General Manager, Jeannie Horton said that the Branson Contest will be hosted by “Dean Z,” who won the “2013 Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ Final.” in Memphis. “We are really excited about the quality of the 16 contestants and the fact that it’s the most contestants that we have ever had. It’s going to be a great evening of entertainment!” she added.

In addition, to the Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ the Branson Elvis Festival includes several other exciting events including:

Friday, March 27 – 5 PM: Elvis Meet & Greet Dinner at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill. Call the box office (417-339-3003) for reservations as “family style seating” is limited.

Friday, March 27 & 28 –  10:15 PM: Elvis Contestant Karaoke at Club 57. Tickets for both nights are available at the Legends box office and are $5 plus tax. Limited space available!

Saturday, March 28 9 AM to 4 PM: The Elvis Vendor Village will be open in Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater lobby.  Vendors from across the country will be selling unique Elvis merchandise.”

Saturday, March 28 – 10 AM: A new event, the Junior and Senior Youth Division Contest, for kids (ages 5-18). It will be held on the Legends in Concert stage and a $25 entry fee and registration is required. Call 417-339-3003 x 3015 to request more information on this event, or email tbailey@legendsinconcert.com.

Saturday, March 28 7:00PM: The Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest

Sunday, March 29 – 10 AM: Free Branson Gospel Sunday Service will be held at the Hamner Variety Theater featuring some of Elvis’ favorite gospel numbers.

Sunday, March 29 – 8 PM: Guest appearance of the 2015 Branson Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ winner during the 8 PM performance of Legends in Concert Show.

For additional information or tickets for the Legends in Concert Show, The Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest,™ 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 by calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their web site www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Mickey Gilley gives Branson 26 years of amazing memories

Music legend Mickey Gilley.

Music legend Mickey Gilley.

“Bob Hope’s theme song, ‘Thanks for the Memories,’ comes to mind when one thinks of all that Mickey Gilley has meant to Branson and its visitors over the past 25 years,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. Wood made the comment in connection with Gilley’s recent announcement that 2015 will be his last season performing at his Branson theatre. Gilley indicated that he plans to continue doing road shows and will maintain his Branson residence.

In connection with his 25th year in Branson Gilley sat down for an exclusive interview with the Branson Tourism Center and shared an up close and personal interview about his career and his first 25 years in Branson. The interview was conducted on Aug. 16, 2014 and used a “Question and Answer” format with Branson Tourism Center’s questions preceded by “BTC” and Gilley’s responses preceded by “MG:”

BTC: What is your favorite childhood memory?
MG: Telling my sister that I was not going to go to the back of the house while she was sweeping and cleaning the front room floors. I grabbed the door and shook it and she ran after me. The race was on, and I outran her.

BTC: Of all the professional moments and performances you have had, which has meant the most to you?
MG: When I met Conway Twitty in 1974 and opened a show for him in my night club in Pasadena, TX.

BTC: What was one of the “highs” of your life and one of the “lows?”
MG: High in my life was in 1974 when “Room Full of Roses” hit and went to Number 1 for me. The “low” [with a grin] was trying to follow my cousin Jerry Lee Lewis for 17 years before I had the hit.

BTC: Of all the hits you have had which one is your personal favorite and why?
MG: That’s a hard one to answer because my fans have given me 17 top ten songs. I will say that “Room Full of Roses” has a special place in my heart, “Don’t The Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time” was the best song ever given to me and that my favorite recording and one of my favorite records is “That’s All That Matters To Me.”

BTC: What one song do you enjoy performing the most?
MG: “Stand By Me,” a beautiful song, from the soundtrack of “The Urban Cowboy.” I am using to close my show this year.

BTC: Do you have a little known fact about yourself that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?
MG: In 1959 I had a chart record, “Is It Wrong For Loving You,” that Kenny Rogers played the base on. Also, probably a lot of people don’t know that I had a Commercial Pilot and Instrument Ratings and have flown my airplane for over 8,000 hours. I am also in the process of bringing Gilley’s Beer back on the market.

BTC: If you could perform on stage with any other performer, living or dead, who would it be?
MG: Elvis Presley because he was always one of my favorites.

BTC: What is your favorite part in your current Branson show?
MG: When we do the music from the soundtrack of “Urban Cowboy” because it has some great music in it.

BTC: Was your first trip to Branson, business or pleasure?
MG: My first trip to Branson was in 1987 when I played for Mr. Jim Thomas at the Roy Clark Celebrity Theatre.

BTC: What was your first impression of Branson?
MG: Was wondering what was going on in this little town that I had never heard of.

BTC: In what year did you open your own theatre?
MG: Jim Thomas opened the “Mickey Gilley Theatre” in 1989 and in 1990 I it took over.

BTC: Where and when were you born?
MG: I was born in Natchez, MS on March 9, 1936.

BTC: What relationship is Jerry Lee Lewis to you?
MG: First Cousin.

BTC: What relationship is Jimmy Swaggart?
MG: Second Cousin.

BTC: Did either, separately or together, have any influence on your decision to become an entertainer?
MG: Jerry Lee Lewis.

BTC: How?
MG: He played piano, sang and had “hits” in the 50’s. I was making $1.25 per hour doing construction work and when I saw the kind of money he was making I thought, “If he can do it I can too” and decided to jump in. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that everyone was going to compare me to my cousin Jerry Lee Lewis. Actually, although I didn’t think about it at the time, in essence, what I was doing was performing a tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis and I was successful because I could do his music.

BTC: How long have you been performing professionally?
MG: Since 1957.

BTC: Where and when did you make your first professional appearance?
MG: That’s hard to pinpoint, but the first successful run I had in a “nightclub” was at The “Nesadel Club”, located on Spencer Highway in Pasadena Texas from 1960 to 1970. I worked six nights a week, did four sets a night and played piano, organ and sang along with a little three piece band.

BTC: When did “Gilley’s open?
MG: In 1971. I had decided to throw in the towel as far as recording goes and a partner and I started “Gilley’s,” a honkytonk bar located on Spencer Highway not too far from the “Nesadel Club.” In the first month in business with him I made more money than I had made since I had been in the music business period.

BTC: How did you get back in the recording business?
MG: In 1973 the lady who had the juke boxes in the club wanted me to record the song, “She Called Me Baby All-Night Long.” I told her I had not made a record in three and a half to four years, but I went in and made the recording for her putting “Room Full of Roses” on the flip, “B,” side. It took off locally in the Houston area in 1973 and became my first national hit in 1974.

BTC: What made you decide to open a theatre in Branson?
MG: My friend Jim Thomas thought it would be a good mix with those who were already performing here and I was ready to get off the road.

BTC: Anything else you want our readers to know?
MG: I would like them to know that Branson has some great entertainers and shows, we have a lot of wonderful people who are trying very hard to please the people who come to Branson and with all the great things it has to offer is a great place to come to vacation. I would like to invite everyone, “To come and see us.”

Click here for information, scheduling, pricing and tickets for Mickey Gilley’s 2015 Branson show or call 1-800-785-1550. Branson Tourism Center’s Wood suggests advance reservations to ensure availability and the best seats for the final Branson performances of the Mickey Gilley show.

 

Shoji Tabuchi fiddling around with Bigfoot?

The incredible Shoji Tabuchi during a non Bigfoot moment.

The incredible Shoji Tabuchi during a non Bigfoot moment.

If you asked ten people in Branson the question, “Of all the Branson entertainers which, group or entertainer, is least likely to be involved with the Animal Planet TV show Finding Bigfoot?” I’m betting it would be Branson’s master violinist and fiddle player, “Shoji Tabuchi.” Yet, earlier this week when I talked with him about a rumor that he was going to be a guest on the show, he confirmed the rumor, but said he could not discuss any of the specific details.

Tabuchi said that he is excited about being on the show and is really looking forward to it. He explained that he has an open mind about the existence of a “Sasquatch” or “Bigfoot” as well as UFOs and the Loch Ness Monster and, with a twinkle in his eye, asked, “Who knows?”

What skill set does Shoji have that could be of interest to Bigfoot’s investigative Team? Don’t know for sure, but one of the cast members and founders of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization is a recognized authority on “Bigfoot” and is noted for his innovative use of sound “as a technique for locating Bigfoots.”

On March 6, there was a “Finding Bigfoot” meeting at the White House Theatre in Branson, which it could be presumed, was as a preamble to the Ozark’s area filming of material for Finding Bigfoot. Cliff Barackman, one of the co-hosts of the show was present as people shared information about seeing what they believed were sasquatch foot prints, an actual Bigfoot or other evidence that could assist the Investigative Team in deciding what areas to look for a potential Ozark’s Bigfoot. Could it be that the “Blue Man of Spring Creek” actually existed?”

The team consists of James “BoBo” Fray, a commercial fisherman by trade, who says he saw his first sasquatch in 2001; Cliff Barackman who analyses and interprets data, especially those related to Bigfoot footprints and owns one of the largest Bigfoot cast collection in the country; Matt Moneymaker who has been involved actively in Bigfoot research since the 1990s, launched the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization website as well as being a very respected Bigfoot Researcher and Ranae Holland, a research biologist who, although she does not believe in Bigfoot, co-hosts of the show and is “fascinated by the phenomenon and excited to have found a way to combine her scientific knowledge, fieldwork skills, and love of the wilderness to investigate alleged sightings.”

Although there has been no announced date as to when the episode with Shoji will air on Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot, Sasquatches aside, we do know one thing for sure; the 2015 season for the Shoji Tabuchi Show in Branson kicks off on April 17.

Six reasons making Branson absolutely the place for your family’s amazing Spring Break

The green of spring and Table Rock Lake provide a magnificent sight  for riders on Silver Dollar City's "WidFire" coaster.

The fresh green of an Ozarks spring and Table Rock Lake provide a magnificent sight for riders on Silver Dollar City’s “WidFire” coaster.

“With six inches of snow on the ground and temperatures ranging from a low in the teens to a high in the lower 30s, spring seems kind of distant,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Yet, in reality, it and “spring breaks” are just around the corner,” she added.

Wood points out that Branson is a great place for families to shake the “winter blues” and share an amazing and memorable “spring break” together and from many, she suggests the following six reasons she believes that is so:

1.  Silver Dollar City and its new $8 million Fireman’s Landing – Silver Dollar City, the international award winning 1880s styled theme park, is Branson’s oldest and most popular paid attraction. In addition to its shows and practicing crafters Silver Dollar City offers over 40 exciting rides from world class coasters such as its new Outlaw Run® wood coaster to the thrills of its iconic WildFire® coaster to milder rides the family can share together such as the rides in the “Grand Exposition.” New this year is the $8 million “Fireman’s Landing” with ten new rides and attractions featuring “FireFall,” an exciting 8 story fire tower free fall and rides and attractions for the smaller members of the family.

2. There are “spring breaks” and there is a “Branson spring break” – When some think of “spring break,” the thing that they envision is the raucous, alcohol filled, thinly clad body situations normally shown on TV in association with college students celebrating spring breaks at other destinations. Interestingly, although a lot of college students do celebrate spring break in Branson, it is for the same reason that families celebrate spring break in Branson, to enjoy the wholesome family atmosphere that permeates Branson’ shows, attractions and activities and defines what Branson is.

3. The Natural Beauty of Spring in the Ozarks – Everywhere one turns in Branson they are surrounded by the unique magnificent beauty of the Ozark Mountains that surround it as they awaken to the freshness of a new year amid a beautiful show produced by “Mother Nature.”

4. Branson’s Spectacular Live Shows – The majority of Branson’s shows will be open with their new 2015 shows providing the quality and breadth of live entertainment for which Branson is noted. From the Branson’s first show on its famed “Branson Strip,” Presleys’ Country Jubilee to the Grand Jubilee; it starring the Hughes Brothers; SIX, Acrobats of China, The Haygoods and dozens more, Branson is unrivaled in the variety of live entertainment it offers with something for everyone and, perhaps, more importantly, something that the whole family can enjoy together.

5. Attractions and Activities Galore – From the excitement of a “voyage aboard” the Titanic Museum Attraction, to the magnificence of the great cats at the National Tiger Sanctuary; Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Dicks 5 & 10; the Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery, College of the “Ozarks Ralph Foster Museum,” called the Smithsonian of the Ozarks; Ride the Ducks, great golf and many more, Branson has a remarkable choice of attractions and activities. When that is combined with great shopping and everything else Branson has to offer it’s hard to imagine a “spring break” destination that has more to offer than Branson.

6. Value – Compared to other destinations Branson is a great value in terms of the prices for lodging, shows, attractions and other activities. Recently Trivago.com announced Branson as the number two city among “the 50 Best Value Cities for the coming year.” Wood points that it becomes even a better value when lodging is “bundled,” packaged, with shows and attractions and offers the assistance of the Branson Tourism Center in that regard by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com

In addition, Branson offers an intangible that very few, if any travel destination can offer. It has been Branson’s privilege to entertain tourists for over a century. Spring break or any other time of the year, it is a community dedicated to serving its visitors with an attitude and spirit of appreciation, service and “what can we do to make sure you have a great Branson experience.” Why not shake the winter blues and celebrate spring break with our family in Branson this year?

 

How many of these 12 plus events on this exclusive March 2015 Buzzing in Branson List do you know about?

The "Bell Tower: being lifted atop Station #3" at "Fireman's Landing in January of this year.

The “Bell Tower: being lifted atop “Station #3” at “Fireman’s Landing in January of this year.

“Buzzin in Branson” is a concise and easy to read list of the major events taking place in Branson, Missouri during the month being “Buzzed,” which is March of 2015 for this issue. Each issue of “Buzzin in Branson” contains the “Branson Buzz of the Month” and a list the major special events, shows and activities for that month,

Branson “Buzz of the Month for March 2015

The opening of “Fireman’s Landing.” When Silver Dollar City opens its 2015 season on March 14 it will premiere of its $8 million dollar Fireman’s Landing, with its ten new family rides featuring “Fire Fall,” an 8-story fire tower free-fall drop ride.

The following list of special events, shows and activities in March is sorted by event date and contains pertinent and timely comments and contact information, through either a link or phone number, that can be used to obtain additional information:

Feb 27 – Mar 1: Edgewater USAG Woman’s Artistic Gymnastics Classic
Mar 1 – Mar 31: Annual Irish Celebration Month at Titanic Museum Attraction
Mar 1Puttin On The Ritz premiers in Branson
Mar 1 – Following shows start first full month of 2015 season: Dublin’s Irish Tenors and the         Celtic Ladies, Haygoods, Legends in Concert, New Jersey Nights and SIX.
Mar 4Acrobats of China start 2015 season in new venue, the Yakov Smirnoff Theatre
Mar 7 – Presleys Country Jubilee, Branson’s 1st show on the Branson Strip opens its 2015 Season.
Mar 11 – Mar 17: NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship
Mar 13 – Jonah starts final Branson season.
Mar 13 – Billy Dean Live starts 2015 season.
Mar 13 – Clay Cooper’s Country Express opens its 2015 Season
Mar 14 – Silver DollarCity starts its 2015 season and premiers Fireman’s Landing
Mar 14 – Spirit of the Dance The Encore Tour premiers in Branson.
Mar 17 – St Patrick’s Day
Mar 19 – Branson Praisefest 2015
Mar 20 – Mar 22: Marriage Getaway Weekend
Mar 24 – Crossing Over With John Edward
Mar 27 – Mar 29: 9th Branson Elvis Festival and Branson Ultimate Elvis Tribute Contest
Mar 28 – Junior Auxiliary of Taney County 2015 Trivia Challenge
Mar 28 – Mar 29: Young Christians Weekend at Silver Dollar City

“Buzzin in Branson” is produced monthly by the Branson Tourism Center as a service to its customers and others interested in what’s going on in Branson. If you have any further questions about these events or want information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions or lodging 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 .

“Buzzin in Branson” buzzes for February 2015

Dublin's Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies open their 2015 Branson season on February 12.

Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies open their 2015 Branson season on February 12.

Branson “Buzz of the Month:” Branson’s 21st Annual Hot Winter Fun Big Show on February 2. This fabulous one night only show features music, entertainment and comedy acts from some of Branson’s best shows, all of which are open for Branson’s Hot Winter including Clay Cooper’s Country Express, Grand Jubilee; Legends In Concert; “it” from the Hughes Brothers Theater; Paul Harris & The Cleverlys; Acrobats of China featuring New Shanghai Circus; AYO – starring Voices of Glory and SIX to name just a few. While we’re at it, we are going to highlight another special day in February for many people by asking this question, “Could Branson be the perfect Valentine for your sweetheart?” “Buzzin in Branson” is produced monthly by the Branson Tourism Center as a service to its customers and others interested in what’s going on in Branson. It is in a concise and easy to read format that conveniently provides pertinent and timely comments, information and a list of the major special events, shows and activities for the month being “Buzzed” which, in this case is February 2015.

February 2015 Buzzes

Feb. 1 – Feb. 28: Sweetheart Month at Titanic Feb. 2: 21st Annual Hot Winter Fun Big Show Feb. 13: Tri Lakes Building & Home Show Feb.13 – Feb. 16: Presidents Day Weekend: Just have to believe that there will Presidents Day Sales galore in Branson Outlet Malls, Branson Landing and many other places. Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day Feb. 14: 2015 Polar Bear Plunge Feb. 20 – Feb 22: VisionCon Anime, Gaming, Sci-Fi Convention Feb. 22: 2015 Branson Bridal Show Feb. 26 – Feb 28: 2015 Kenneth Copeland Branson Victory Campaign Feb. 27 – Mar 1: Edgewater USAG Woman’s Artistic Gymnastics Classic Feb 28: Vince Elfrink Memorial Fishing Tournament at Lilley’s Landing Feb. 28: World Sword Swallower’s Day Events at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Many of Branson’s shows close for a period during the winter months. Although it should be pointed out that there are shows re-opening on a regular basis, here is a non-inclusive list of the shows that will be performing during February as of January 8:

Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies Grand Jubilee Haygoods Legends in Concert New Jersey Nights Pierce Arrow Absolutely Patsy Amazing Pets Bon Jovi Tribute Comedy Jamboree Creedence Clearwater Revival Tribute Show Dixie Stampede Doowop Pop and Soul Tribute Show Eagles Tribute Concert Hot Winter Fun Big Show it at the Hughes Brothers Theatre Journey Tribute Ozark Mountain Jubilee Sunday Gospel Jubilee The Big Show

With winter weather and, the reopening of shows things can change. Please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services, for additional information, tickets or hotel reservations by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Could Branson be the perfect Valentine for your sweetheart?

Valentine's DayWhen Thomas Hood wrote the words, “Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine, love, thou art every day my Valentine” he just might have had Branson, Missouri in mind as the place to show that someone special that they “Art every day my Valentine!” “Valentine’s Day Falls on a four day weekend because Monday, February 16 is “Presidents Day,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center, “and that, coupled with Branson’s shows, attractions, restaurants, shopping and everything else there is to do in Branson provides a unique opportunity to show your Valentine just how special they are.” Since the movie “Titanic,” with its beautiful love story and theme song “My Heart Will Go On” sung by Celine Dion, romance has had a resurgence as part of the Titanic lore. The celebration, memory and history of the Titanic, her crew and passengers is a daily privilege for those working aboard the Branson Titanic Museum Attraction and February is “Sweetheart Month.” How special would it be to your Valentine to renew your vows or receive a proposal on the steps of the Titanic’s magnificent “Grand Staircase” that is an “exact full sized replica of the original and just like the one Rose and Jack ascended in the movie?” In addition, on Valentine’s Day, February 14, meet Helen Benziger, the Great Granddaughter of Margaret “Unsinkable Molly” Brown and see, for a limited time only, the display of her family’s prized possession, the LOVING CUP. For most, Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without a special meal. From the simple down home cooking of the “Branson Café” in historic downtown Branson, to the elegant cuisine of the “Level 2 Steak House” or the “Chateau on the Lake,” and many in between, Branson offers a variety of choices for every budget to help you and your Valentine have that memorable Valentine’s Day dining experience. A number of Branson’s shows will be offering a wide variety of live entertainment to share with your Valentine including: Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies Grand Jubilee The Haygoods Legends in Concert Absolutely Patsy Amazing Pets Bon Jovi Tribute Comedy Jamboree it at the Hughes Brothers Theatre Eagles Tribute Concert Pierce Arrow In addition to the Titanic Museum Attraction, many of Branson’s other attractions will be open for Valentine’s Day weekend. These include attractions such at Branson’s Promised Land Zoo, National Tiger Sanctuary, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum and, weather permitting, the Thousand Hills Golf. Why not plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, with your special Valentine, in Branson? For additional information on celebrating Valentine’s Day in Branson or tickets for 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 their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Special preview on what’s new in Branson for 2015

Spirit of the Dance will again be performing in Branson as part of its encore tour.

Spirit of the Dance will again be performing in Branson as part of its encore tour.

“From a unique cave tour evolving into what is today, the international award winning 1880’s styled theme park, “Silver Dollar City” to “Branson Landing,” one of Missouri’s most unique shopping venues with over 100 specialty stores, restaurants and its free spectacular $7.5 million water attraction, Branson is constantly evolving and changing to provide its visitors with a fresh, new and exciting experience while maintaining its small town heart, spirit and visitor experience,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Here’s a list of some of the changes we are aware of for the 2015 Branson season that we believe Branson visitors might find interesting,” she added.

ATTRACTIONS

Fireman’s Landing (Silver Dollar City) – Its new $8 million “Fireman’s Landing, “containing 10 new family adventures,” will continue the parks 1880s theme and is themed and as an 1880’s volunteer recruitment fair with rides and attractions for ages 3 to 93. Brad Thomas, the General Manager of the park, said that one of the things he likes best about “Fireman’s Landing” is that “families will be able to have fun together and we love it when we can bring families together and allow them to have fun as a family unit.”

One of the featured rides will be “Fireman’s Firefall” rising 80 feet into the air for a beautiful view of the Ozark Mountains; “but,” says Thomas, “You’ve got to keep your eyes open because in a second you go from 80 feet in the air all the way to the ground.” Lisa Rau, said, “Construction is right on target for its April 2015 Grand Opening.”

Harlem Globetrotters (Silver Dollar City) – The “Harlem Globetrotters will perform three times a day during Silver Dollar City’s “Star-Spangled Summer, a family-focused festival, running from June 6 through July 19. This exciting and entertaining 30 minute show will feature “highlights from the Globetrotters’ one-of-a-kind touring show.”

Parakeet Pete’s Balloon Rides (Branson Landing) – When completed by next spring, the “tethered” balloon ride will tower 180 feet above Branson Landing. Its unique construction permits its riders to experience the thrill of a hot air balloon ride without the weather restrictions that hamper the operation of the typical tethered balloon ride operating outside of a tower. The ride will be handicap accessible and there will be no age requirements so virtually anyone will be able to experience the thrill and enjoyment of the ride.

SHOWS

Million Dollar Quartet _ “The Welk Resort Theatre is proud to present an all-new production of the “Million Dollar Quartet.” The Tony Award winning Broadway musical is inspired by the electrifying true story of one of the most famed recording sessions of all time, where Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll” brought together icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for one unforgettable night. Featuring a treasure trove of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, R&B and country hits from these music legends, including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Ghost Riders,” and “Whole Lotta’ Shakin’ Goin’ On,” Million Dollar Quartet captures the infectious spirit and thrilling sounds of a singular moment when four of the music industry’s most extraordinary talents, all in their creative prime, came together for one of the most memorable nights in music history. Million Dollar Quartet opens June 2015 and runs through December at Welk Resort Theatre.”

Spirit of the Dance the Encore Tour – Branson’s most popular dance production, “Spirit of the Dance,” is returning to Branson, after its “its International record breaking “Dream Tour.” to delight and captivate Branson audiences for the 2015 season. “Spirit of the Dance” is one of the most successful shows ever to come out of Ireland, has been seen by more than thirty million people around the world and “has won nine Global Awards, including ‘Best Choreography’ and ‘Best International Production.'”

Puttin’ on the Ritz – “Puttin’on the Ritz,” currently appearing to sold out venues worldwide on its current tour with “Spirit Productions,” will be performing at the King’s Palace Theatre in Branson for the 2015 season. It features the most innovative song and dance routines from major musical films over the last 50 years of the golden age of Hollywood and a dazzling tribute to the Award Winning Fred Astaire recreated live on stage. The elegance, grace, originality and precision of tap, ballet, and ballroom dancing is promised to be “one of Branson’s most thrilling experience in 2015!”

Twice Adopted – Although this amazing group of adopted children has performed in Branson before, they did not perform in 2014. The sudden tragic death of the “mother” last year has inspired the kids and has resulted in a unique, inspirational show filled with absolutely beautiful music that will not only entertain the whole family, but touch your heart in a special way.

Terry Fator – The “America’s Got Talent” winner returns to Branson for two nights only on April 18 and 19 at the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre.

Moon River and Me – New show at the Andy Williams Moon River Theater

The Hits Starring the Osmonds – Andy Williams Moon River Theatre

Branson Landing Fountain Show – (Branson Landing) There will be three new “Fountain Shows added to the 2015 schedule including “Carol of the Bells” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a the unforgettable “Hoe-Down Rodeo Ballet” by Aaron Copland – London Symphony Orchestra and “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi.

Wake Up With Yakov – Brand new morning show with one of Americas most beloved comedians, Yakov Smirnoff.

Buckets N Boards – This comedy percussion show that’s chock-full of precise percussion, ridiculous songs, spectacular tap dancing, inventive instrumentation, and incredibly unique musical talent is moving to the Starlite Theatre for the 2015 season.

#1 Hits of the 60’s (and 50’s Too) –  Amber Campell, the owner of the show and one of its entertainers, said that they are really enthused about moving to the Americana Theatre for their 2015 season, that it’s their 13th year in Branson and the opportunity the move affords for expanding the shows production. She is especially excited about adding a live band to the show in the 2015.

Acrobats of China – Moving from the RFD Theatre to Yakov’s Theatre

Fair Family – Moving to the Americana Theatre

George Dyer – Branson’s premier resident tenor will be moving his George Dyer show from the morning slot at the Duttons theatre to the afternoon slot.

RESTAURANTS

Buffalo Wild Wings is opening in Branson Landing on January 5.

Chick fil A, located just east of the intersection of Highway 76 and Highway 65, is progressing nicely and it looks like it will be open for the start of the 2015 season if not earlier.

Located near the Titanic Museum Attraction, "Pasghetti’s" is well under way for a 2015 opening.

Located near the Titanic Museum Attraction, “Pasghetti’s” is well under way for a 2015 opening.

Pasghetti’s, an Italian restaurant will open next to the Starlite Theatre on 76 County Boulevard. Although no definite date has been announced for the opening, this photo, taken on Dec. 30 indicates that its construction is well underway. It is anticipated that its 15 foot meatball with its 50 foot fork sticking out of it will become another “Branson Strip Icon.”

Branson Tourism Center’s Wood points out that these are just some of the changes we are aware of at this time and that things are constantly evolving in the Branson tourism industry. She suggests that one way to stay abreast of what is happening is through a free subscription to Branson Tourism Center’s free Exclusive Branson News and Information Newsletter. She also points out that the free assistance of a Branson based “Branson Tourism Center Trip Planner” is available to answer any questions or assist with show or lodging reservations by calling 1-800-785-1550.

“Buzzin in Branson” during January 2015

"New South" quartet, David Ragan, left, Luke Menard, Jon Brockelman and Mark McCaulley.

“New South” quartet, David Ragan, left, Luke Menard, Jon Brockelman and Mark McCaulley.

Branson “Buzz of the Month:”

Grand Country’s Grand Jubilee, staring the “New South” quartet, will be the first of Branson’s almost 100 shows to premier their 2015 season show. Mike Patrick, General Manager and Producer of Grand Country Shows, said, “We start rehearsing for next year’s show while we are doing our Christmas Show and actually premier it during our New Year’s Eve show and party. We are really excited about the new show with new music, fresh comedy and some really ‘grand’ surprises.”

“Buzzin in Branson” is produced monthly by the Branson Tourism Center as a service to its customers and others interested in what’s going on in Branson. It is in a concise and easy to read format that conveniently provides pertinent and timely comments, information and a list of the major special events, shows and activities for the month being “Buzzed” which, in this case is January 2015.

Buzzin in Branson during January 2015

Dec. 31: OK, so strictly speaking it’s not happening in January, but New Year’s Eve in Branson will sure be an exciting end to 2014 and beginning of 2015.
Jan. 1 – 31: The vast majority of Branson’s Attractions such as the Titanic Museum Attraction, Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, the National Tiger Sanctuary, Promised Land Zoo, and many others are open year round. Branson’s retail shopping, including its major outlet malls and Branson Landing, are open year round.
Jan. 1 – 31: The majority of Branson’s shows are closed for their winter break and to prepare for the 2015 season during January and those that are open are operating on “winter” schedules. The following list includes some of the major shows that will be open, a general scheduling note and a link to additional information, specific schedules and ticketing information:

Amazing Pets
The Haygoods (January 3 Only)
Legends in Concert (January1-3 Only)
Dixie Stampede (January 1-3 Only)
Comedy Jamboree (Dark January 4-15)
Grand Jubilee (Dark January 4-13)
it at the Hughes Brothers Theatre (Starts Jan. 20)
Branson Country USA (Starts Jan. 30)

Jan 1 – Jan 15: White Flight at The Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure
Jan 1: New Year’s Day
Jan 1: Chateau on the Lake – New Year’s Day Champagne Brunch
Jan 23: Titanic Museum Attraction’s Girls Sleepover
Jan 24: The Master Trout Fishing Tournament at Lilley’s Landing

Please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services, for additional information, tickets or hotel reservations by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Six things you should know about Branson Christmas shows

The  "Andy Williams Christmas Show" is just one of the spectacular Branson Christmas shows.

The “Andy Williams Christmas Show” is just one of the spectacular Branson Christmas shows.

“This is one of the most exciting times of the year in Branson and that is especially so for Branson Shows,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Each show is like a wrapped present under the Christmas tree waiting to be unwrapped and bring joy and happiness,” she added.

Here is a list of six things you should know about Branson Christmas shows:

1. Ozark Mountain Christmas – Branson’s live shows are an important part of all that Branson is every day, but in conjunction with Ozark Mountain Christmas, its Christmas shows share the “Christmas Spirit” and “the reason for the season” with their audiences in a very special and personal way.

2. All Christmas Shows are Limited Engagement Performances – Branson’s Christmas Shows usually start during the first week of Nov. and run to the end of their season which will typically be the first week in Dec. through Dec. 31.

SIX is one of many of Branson's performing families.

SIX performing during the Christmas portion of their show.

3. Plan because all shows are not open through Christmas – Many Branson shows end their season by the end of the second week in December. These include some of Branson’s most popular shows including Presleys’ Country Jubilee, Andy Williams Christmas Show, with the Osmonds and Lennon Sisters, Mickey Gilley, Shoji Tabuchi, Duttons and George Dyer. Other popular shows such as Billy Dean Live!, Doug Gabriel’s #1 Hits Tribute Show, Christmas Wonderland, Clay Cooper’s Country Express, Dublin Tenors and the Celtic Ladies, New Jersey Nights, Grand Jubilee, Haygoods, Hughe’s Brothers Christmas Show, Legends in Concert, SIX, Paul Harris and the Cleverlys, Christmas on the Trail, The Rankin Brothers and Dixie Stampede are open to the end of the third week in Dec. or beyond.

4. Two General Christmas Show Formats – It can generally be said that Branson’s Christmas shows follow one of two formats. The first is shows that are totally Christmas such as the Andy Williams Christmas Show, Christmas on the Trail, Christmas Wonderland and the Hughes Brothers Christmas Show. The second and by far the more prevalent is the “rest” of the Christmas shows that are a mixture of their regular season shows and Christmas. Typically one half of the show is devoted to the best of their regular season show and the other half, usually the last half, to their Christmas show.

5. Limited Seating Capacity – It’s no exaggeration to say that Ozark Mountain Christmas is not only one of the most special times of the year to visit Branson, but that it is also one of the busiest. The limited time these shows run and the demand for their tickets makes it imperative to make early reservations to not only insure availability, but to get the best seats. In this regard the Branson Tourism Center has sold over 4,000,000 million Branson show and attraction tickets and has a special relationship with its theatre partners that helps insure that their customers not only get tickets, but get the best available seats at the time they are purchased. Branson Tourism Center can be reached by phone at 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

6. OK, I know the title said “Branson Christmas shows” but I just have to mention that Branson’s most popular new show, Sight and Sound’s spectacular biblical production Jonah. It will be performing through Dec. 31 and although it’s not a Christmas show it sure would make a wonderful family Christmas memory and it is certainly related to the “reason for the season.” Come to think of it, seeing any Branson Christmas show and sharing it with your family is a wonderful way to get in the Christmas spirit, appreciate “the reason for the season” and make a special Christmas memory.