Category Archives: Branson Shows

5th Annual CAM Branson Gospel Sing Off

Guest performer Jimmy Fortune

BRANSON, Mo., August 20, 2013 — The spectacular Sight & Sound Theatre, the home of the spectacular production of Joseph and the Miracle of Christmas will host the 5th Annual Christian Action Ministries (CAM) “Gospel Sing Off” on Sunday September 1st starting at 2 PM.  Jack Burke, CAM Board Chairman said that the ten finalists were chosen from over 80 entrants and will be competing for over $3,000 in cash, trophies and the opportunity to sing at Silver Dollar City during the last day of its “Southern Gospel Music Picnic,” September 2.

The finalists will be judged by a panel of six local celebrity judges. They are Avery Cole, from “The Voices of Glory,” and AYO Show; Ben Dutton, singer, dancer, and versatile musician with The Duttons; George Dyer, Branson’s premier tenor from The George Dyer Show; Jak Knudsen of the popular Branson entertainment group SIX; Joe Sullivan, who has been producing Branson shows and bringing national talent to Branson stages for over 20 years and Ronnie Page, entertainment editor for the Branson Daily Independent and singing with The Statler Brothers Revisited.

The ten finalist acts performing in the Gospel Sing Off are:

The Farnums, a family of eight from Galena, Missouri.  Mom and Dad, plus their six children ranging in age from 7 to 20, focus on preserving historical and traditional gospel music.

DC-3 Trio (Daughters of Christ) is based in the greater Chicago area and has been singing together at church and community events for 17 years.

Mark Dean is an award-winning gospel singer and Branson resident who has dedicated his talents to praising the Lord after a near-death heart incident seven years ago.

Joy2 is an a cappella quartet from Harrison, Arkansas.  The four members were all involved in choral music prior to coming together in 2011 as a group.

Joanne Hall, a Forsyth resident who was born in Thibodaux, Louisianna, started singing at age 5, but has spent the last 25 years raising her family.  She was originally known as the little girl with the big voice.

Changed is a family group from Lebanon, Missouri who have expanded their singing together around the piano to become more organized as a gospel-singing group.

The Haining Family of Branson began performing Christian family-building music in 2004 with a unique blend of vocal harmonies, instrumental skills, and yodeling.

Jericho, based in the DeSoto area of Missouri, is a quartet of working men who fill their spare time by musically sharing their love of the Lord with others.

Ashley Jischke is a talented, young woman from Kimberling City who loves to sing, play the piano and guitar, and write her own songs and music.

The Gospel Cousins are two sisters and their cousin who have been active in the music ministry, Sunday school, and choir at their Quinton, Oklahoma church for the past three decades.”

For the 5th consecutive year, Bob Hubbard of the “Foggy River Boys” and “The Jordanaires,” will emcee the Sing Off. Guest appearances will also be made by Jimmy Fortune of The Statler Brothers, “Voices of Glory,” who finished in the Top Five of the NBC prime time hit show “Americas Got Talent,” and are staring in their Branson Show Ayo; last year’s winners The Fair Family, and saxophonist Gary Dooms.  Ventriloquist Kerry Miller and his gospel-singing puppets will be providing pre-show entertainment in the Sight & Sound lobby.

The Gospel Sing-Off is the “only operational fundraiser” for Christian Action Ministries (CAM), who “operates food pantries in Branson and Forsyth, as well as a monthly mobile outreach to eastern Taney County. Reserved seat tickets are a $12 donation for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. For further information or tickets please feel free to contact either the Sight and Sound Theatre or the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-785-1550.

 

There’s a reason they are called the Incredible Acrobats of China

Scene from the shows colorful and exciting Opening.

BRANSON, Mo., August 20, 2013 – For those who might not want to read a detailed story about a really great show, let’s summarize it in one sentence. Having seen the Incredible Acrobats of China Show featuring the New Shanghai Circus, yesterday, this writer can again say, without a doubt, it is a one of a kind cornucopia of color, excitement, grace, action, and danger that entertains all ages, from its exciting and colorful opening until the curtain falls.

In a town with over 100 shows on any given day, this show stands alone in terms of its uniqueness and ability to simultaneously entertain both children and adults throughout its entire length with a caliber of entertainment that is truly incredible. A family from Flower Mound Texas* consisting of mom and dad and their two lovely daughters aged four and six are an excellent example.

At intermission, when asked how they were enjoying the show the adults answer was, “We are enjoying the show a lot.” Their four and six year old daughters both said that they liked it and when asked if they had a favorite act they both, in their own way, said that they liked the whole show and would not pick a favorite act. Their six year old daughter said that she thought that other kids her age would enjoy the show as much as she did. The telling of the story doesn’t do it justice because you can’t see the excitement in the eyes of the girls or sense the happiness of the parents that their daughters were enjoying themselves so much.

The show’s exciting Opening features most of the cast members, is a harbinger of what is to come and raises the bar in terms of audience expectation. The 14 acts that follow do not disappoint with each unique act having its own choreography, music and colorful costuming, but more importantly, being performed by people with a skill level that simply has to be experienced to be believed.

The most thrilling Chair Stacking act most people will ever see.

In addition to acts that it is almost certain most people have never seen before, the show includes acts such hoop diving, juggling, contortion, human strength, chair sticking and Silks that you might have seen before, but it is almost certain that you have never seen them performed like they are in this show. As I sat there watching the show, as I have at least once a year for most of the last decade, I knew I was seeing some of the types of acts that I had seen before, but it was presented in a different and fresh manner making it a new entertainment experience. One thing for sure, the shows juggling act will add new meaning to the term “Hat Trick.”

Chair Stacking acts are not unusual, but how about one where the performer is up about 30 feet in the stack, does a one hand stand on top of some “beer” cans then drops down to the stool they are sitting on. It’s absolutely amazing, but then so was the five ladies performing in synchronization on an eight chair stack during the second half of the show! The Roller Skating act performed at high speed by two ladies within a six foot diameter raised circle was as breathtaking as it was exciting. At one point one of the performers was suspended by her neck as she was twirled around at high speeds. The audience just loved the Hoop Diving as the performers, running at full speed launch themselves into the air and through hoops at varying heights, while performing acrobatics and other feats before falling back to the ground.

It’s hard to imagine anything more beautiful and graceful than the show’s Contortion, high flying Silk and Human Ballet acts. The Silk act is one of the best this writer has ever witnessed and “The Human Ballet,” where a Ballet Dancer gracefully performs a ballet on the head and shoulders of her partner, “is one of the most unique, incredible and beautiful things I have ever seen performed on a stage.”

And these are just a few of the amazing acts presented in the Incredible Acrobats of China Show featuring the New Shanghai Circus. If you want to see a unique, exciting and colorful one of a kind entertainment experience performed by athletic, skilled, energetic and graceful performers to perfection that simultaneously entertains adults and children then you don’t want to miss this show.

For additional information or tickets for the Incredible Acrobats of China Show featuring the New Shanghai Circus please contact the Branson Tourism Center by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com

 

* Name omitted to protect the privacy of the children.

Material Connection

“Legendary” Dean Z wins Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest

Dean Z performing his Elvis tribute during a recent performance of the Legends in Concert show.

BRANSON, Mo., August 18, 2013 — “At Legends in Concert we take great pride that our tribute artists are the best of the best,” said Jeannie Horton, General Manager, of the Branson Legends in Concert Theatre. “We have always known that Dean Z was one of the best Elvis Tribute Artists out there and we are just thrilled that now the whole world knows,” she continued.

Horton was referring to the fact that “Dean Z,” who has been performing as the Elvis Tribute Artist in the Branson edition of the Legends in Concert Show since 2007, won the national “Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest,” in front of a full house at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in Memphis, TN last night. 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™ Semi-Finals in Memphis during Elvis Week.

Dean Z won his invitation to the Semi-Finals by winning the Preliminary held during the Rockin’ Elvis Fest” on March 17 at the Pala Casino, in Pala, CA. He and the 27 other semi-finalists competed for the ten spots in the Finals on August 14 with the Finals being held last night.

In a Branson Up Close and Personal Interview for the Branson Tourism Center in February of 2011, Dean Z’s answers to three questions just might indicate why he is enjoying the success he is:

BTC: How did you get started being an Elvis Presley Tribute Artist?

DZ: I started when I saw Elvis on television when I was three years old. I cleared off the coffee table, started dancing and the next thing I knew I was performing at my sister’s talent show singing ‘Jailhouse Rock.’

BTC: How long have you been performing as an Elvis Tribute Artist?

DZ: For the last 24 years and I’m still singing ‘Jail House Rock.’

BTC: You are known for the effort you go through for authenticity

DZ: Elvis was pretty successful so ‘If it ain’t broke I don’t fix it.’ I want my tribute to be as close and accurate to the way Elvis looked and performed as possible. From shoes, to jackets, suits, and the other cloths I wear on stage, everything is custom made to help keep it just the way he did it.

“We too would add our congratulations Dean Z on his well-earned victory. Not only is it a tribute to him, but a testimony as to the caliber of the entertainment to be found every day performing in Branson in the Legends in Concert and other Branson shows,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center.

Legendary Mickey Gilley guest hosts exclusive Branson “Cruise With The Stars”

Mickey Gilley

BRANSON, MO, August 17, 2013 — “Congratulations to Mickey Gilley upon his selection for induction into the National Traditional Country Music Hall of Fame which will take place on August 31, 2013, said Annette Wood, Director of Group Sales for the Branson Tourism Center. “Yet another accomplishment for this legendary performer who will be the guest host for Branson Tourism Center’s next exclusive Cruise With The Stars event at 11:45 AM on September 19,” she added.

The Cruise With The Stars events are offered exclusively to customers of Branson Tourism Center because of the special relationship it has with the various stars and shows involved with the cruises and Main Street Lake Cruises, who operates the 100 foot luxury yacht Landing Princess. No other company offers this unique experience.

The Cruise With The Stars event, guest hosted by Mickey Gilley, combines two separate entertainment activities into one unique and exciting event available only to those who have taken advantage of the exclusive offer and purchased Cruise With The Stars tickets. The first activity is the opportunity to experience a live performance of this legendary star at the Mickey Gilley Show anytime between September 15th and1 8th.The second is the exclusive VIP luncheon cruise on September 19th.

The cruise is on beautiful Lake Taneycomo aboard the Landing Princess, a luxuriously appointed 100 foot luxury yacht. Each VIP cruise includes lunch and an unparalleled f up close and personal experience with Gilley including opportunities for photos and autographs. In addition, as is the case with all Main Street Lake Cruises, the cruise will provide a view of beautiful Lake Taneycomo with its wildlife, birds, scenic vistas and so much more as Mother Nature presents a constantly changing show that can only be seen from the lake and is experienced by very few of the millions of visitors who come to Branson every year.

The schedule of the remaining Cruise With The Stars events for 2013 is:

The Haygoods – October 4th, 2013

Yakov Smirnoff – October 14th, 2013

Tony Orlando – November 7th, 2013

Legends in Concert – December 5th, 2013

Branson Tourism Center’s Wood advises that there are only a limited number of seats for each Cruise With The Stars event and recommends making advance reservation as soon as possible. For tickets or information on the exclusive Cruise With The Stars event, the Mickey Gilley Show or for any of Branson’s shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill has legendary Branson opening

Some of the cast from the "Legends in Concert Show" "Celine Dion," Brigitte Valdez; "Johnny Cash, Paul Eve and "The Blues Brothers" Bucky Heard as "Jake Blues" and Justin Clark as "Elwood Blues" enjoying their meal at the Grill.

BRANSON, MO, August 6, 2013 —  Where can you eat fried pickles see a truly legendary show, hear Elvis sing, see a Celebrity Car Museum and experience a legendary show all at one place? All this and more is at the Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater Complex on the famed “Branson Strip.”

The Complex is “an integrated entertainment and hospitality destination” with a state of the art theatre featuring the Legends in Concert and the Bretts shows, a Celebrity Car Museum, an adjacent Ramada Inn and the recently reopened “Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill.” Among many others the Grill’s new menu includes classic signature items such as Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches, Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers and Fried Pickles.

In talking about all that the Complex offers, Legends in Concert General Manager, Jeannie Horton said that the Grill is the perfect enhancement for the Complex. It enables their guests to park their car, enjoy a truly unique dining experience at the Grill, peruse the expanded museum quality memorabilia in the theater lobby, see the Celebrity Car Museum and top it off by seeing the award-winning Legends in Concert show without ever leaving the Complex.

The opening of the Grill was made possible because local Springfield/Branson businessman and philanthropist Jim D. Morris, who purchased the Complex in 2011, entered into an agreement with Dick Clark Productions for re-opening of the Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill at the Complex. In announcing the addition of the Grill Morris said that he was ” delighted to have the Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill re-open and pleased to see it restored to its original name, concept and design within the Bandstand Complex.”

Morris also announced that the Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater Complex will continue its long-term relationship with the celebrated tribute artist production, Legends in Concert saying, “The strength of the ongoing partnership with Legends in Concert and Dick Clark Productions was instrumental in the decision to bring the Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill back to Branson.” Liz Morentin, Vice President of Corporate Communications, for Dick Clark Productions said, “Jim D. Morris is a terrific partner and we look forward to having Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill…in Branson. Our team has handpicked many unique, one of a kind memorabilia items from our archives to decorate the restaurant and to enhance the current collection of pop culture items in the theater lobby.”

For more information about Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater Complex; or tickets or information for the Legends in Concert  or Betts shows please contact the Branson Tourism Center by either calling 1-800-785-1550 or through their website, www.bransontourismcenter.com/.

“Adventures of Marco Polo” world debut in Branson

One of the many spectacular and colorful moments in the show..

BRANSON, Mo., August 2, 2013 – The story of Venetian “explorer” Marco Polo’s 20 plus years of living in China, his relationship with Kublia Kahn and first hand descriptions of the culture, history and heritage of China in the late 1200′s created a fascination with China when the “story” “The Travels of Marco Polo” was first published around 1300. On August 9 Branson audiences will have the opportunity to experience Marco Polo’s story and China as it is beautifully and spectacularly brought to life on stage in the show the “The Adventures of Marco Polo.”

Pamela Kay Critchfield, Director, Sales, Marketing and PR for the White House Theatre said that it “is one of the biggest shows that ‘China Heaven Creations International Performing Arts Co. Ltd.’ a major producer of entertainment productions in China since 1999, has ever produced. “It was especially created with American audiences in mind and to debut in Branson,” she continued.

Critchfield points out that the shows lavish sets and a 2,000 square foot floor to ceiling and side to side high resolution screen LED screen provide a spectacular, visual, and dynamic element to the show. When combined with an international cast of 66, over 100 beautiful costumes, “original orchestration, amazing dance, acrobatics and magic,” along with a story line combining history and love, the result is a show that will truly entertain all ages “from 2 to 92.” She said that Branson audiences will be treated to an entertainment spectacle the caliber of which is typically only available in New York or Las Vegas.

“We are just so excited that this epic production will be added the line-up of great shows that Branson has to offer,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Too we are honored that ‘China Heaven Creations International Performing Arts Co. Ltd.’ chose to have the world debut The Adventures of Marco Polo in Branson,” she added.

For additional information or tickets for The Adventures of Marco Polo please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website www.BransonTourism Center.com
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Yakov Smirnoff performs limited engagement Branson shows

Yakov Smirnoff

BRANSON, MO, July 24, 2013  “Even if only for a limited engagement, it’s great news to have Yakov Smirnoff returning to the Branson stage and performing in his all new Branson show Dinner with Yakov,” said Tiffany Isnard, Director of Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “And the news just gets better,” she continued, “because it was just announced that not only will he be appearing from October 1 through November 27 in 2013, but will be returning to Branson to perform in the Fall of 2014.”

Dinner With Yakov combines a “delectable mouth-watering meal ” with side-splitting comedy that will have the audience “laughing the entire way through their meal” as Yakov shares “his insightful and laughter-filled philosophy on life, love, family and country. He takes his comedy to a new level to showcase laughter’s effects on relationships and envisions a world where sadness and tears are replaced with love and laughter. The New York Times called his one man hit Broadway show, “warm-hearted, delightful and splendidly funny.”

Between 1992 and 2012 Yakov produced “several outstanding award-winning shows” and entertained over four million Branson visitors. In 2011 he announced that 2012 would be his last full Branson season. After traveling around the U. S. with his acclaimed “The Happily Ever Laughter Tour” during most of 2013 he will be returning to Branson for his Fall season limited engagement performances with his new show.

One of America’s favorite comedians since he first hit the entertainment scene in the late 1970′s Yakov “has been a popular guest on numerous national TV shows including the Tonight Show, HBO and his highly praised Showtime special as well as co-staring ” in movies with Robin Williams in Moscow on the Hudson, Tom Hanks in The Money Pit, Meryl Streep and JackNicholson in Heartburn, and Richard Pryor in Brewster’s Millions.” He has been “invited to to perform at the White House for several presidents and honored guests and President Ronald Reagan called him a “national treasure.”

For additional information on Dinner with Yakov 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.

 

 

New 2014 Branson show is “Unbelievable”

Dave Hamner, Tamra Tinoco and Denise Hamner at announcement.

BRANSON, MO, July 17, 2013 – At a press conference on July 15, world renowned illusionists Dave and Denise Hamner announced that their new extreme variety show, the “Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show,” will open in the renamed “Hamner Variety Theatre,” on March 11, 2014. Dave Hamner described the new show as an “extreme variety show.” When asked what an extreme variety show is, Hamner, with a twinkle in his eye, responded, “Unbelievable.” He added that “birds appear, people fly, voices soar” and audiences of all ages will be constantly amazed and entertained by an “Unbelievable” combination of talent that will have them on the edge of their seats in anticipation of what is coming next.

He said that the new variety show will feature major illusions, great vocals, dancing, close up magic, comedy, Russian acrobatics, Adagio dancing, impressions and, perhaps, a few surprises. The cast of “Unbelievable” will feature the internationally renowned illusionists Dave & Denise Hamner, comedian and impressionist Jeff Brandt, vocalist Tamra Tinoco, Russian Acrobatic Adagio father and daughter dance pair, Vadim & Mariya Serykh, comedian and close up magician Lex Pearson, ventriloquist Brenda Hahne, and dancers A.J. Heard and Ken Brown. Here’s a little more in depth look at each:

Illusionists Dave and Denise Hamner have headlined many major production shows around the world, presenting their award winning and original feats of magic; have co-owned and co-produced the Hamner Barber Variety Show for the past ten years and have received the prestigious “Magic Masters Award” by their magical peers in Las Vegas. They are best known “for 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. The birds then perform an incredible flight over and around the audience before gracefully returning to the stage. Other original illusions include ‘Stargate,’ ‘The Lightning Levitation,’ ‘Vertigo: The Fall of Death,’ ‘Secrets of the Lost Ark Revealed,’ and the magical finale to their Veteran’s tribute, ‘Thank You’s Not Enough.’”

Cast members Rex Pearson, left, Jeff Brandt, Tamra Tinoco, Vadim & Mariya Serykh, Dave & Denise Hamner, Brenda Hayne and Ken Brown.

Impressionist Jeff Brandt “is considered one of the top singing impressionists in the country. Jeff has co-starred in several Branson shows over the years including to the high-energy Wayne Newton show which featured Jeff’s amazing vocal talents for 13 years both in Branson and Las Vegas. Among Jeff’s other accomplishments are two appearances on NBC’s ‘Tonight Show,’ a featured spot on the TV show ‘Las Vegas,’ two featured film appearances in ‘Vegas Vacation’ and ‘Smoking Aces,’ performances at the White House in Washington DC, and the National Republican Convention.”

Vocalist Tamra Tinoco “is from Springfield, MO. She has a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from the University of Kansas City Conservatory of Music. She has performed all over the world and in 45 different states. She has produced shows such as ‘Magnificent Country,’ ‘Today’s Country,’ ‘Showcase Jubilee’, and currently the ‘Magnificent Variety Show.’ Tamra has performed with artists such as Lee Greenwood, Vince Gill, John Davidson, Jim Stafford, Ferlin Husky and was Porter Waggoner’s guest star on the ‘Grand Ole Opry.’”

The father and daughter team of Vadim & Mariya Serykh “have been performing hand balancing adagio at Cirque Montage for the past two years. Mariya’s first appearance on stage was when she was just 4 years old with her parents on the Showboat Branson Belle and she has been performing ever since in numerous events and productions throughout the country. Mariya is a natural when it comes to acrobatics but more so as a dancer in Ballet, Modern, Contemporary and Jazz. She was a competitive dancer and used her agility to learn how to soar through the air as an aerialist and had the honor of winning the title of National and World Champion in dance.”

Close Up Magician and comedian Lex Pearson has appeared in a number of Branson shows spending the last seven years with the Hamner Barber Variety Show and has been a featured artist in a number of Mexican resorts in addition to appearing in the movies ‘Surrendered’ ‘The Movie,’ and ‘Broken Faith.’ You will be amazed with his close-up magic. And won’t believe your eyes as he performs incredible tricks of the trade using cards, ropes, coins and more.”

Ventriloquist Brenda Hahne “and her cast of characters have been entertaining audiences for over 15 years. Not only a ventriloquist, Brenda is also a magician’s assistant, having worked side-by-side with her magician husband Marty since they were married in 1983. Besides performing for hundreds of family audiences across the country, Brenda has also entertained on seven different cruise ships, and internationally in New Zealand and Singapore. Originally from Ohio, Brenda makes her home in Ozark, MO.”

Choreographer and Dancer AJ Heard grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, where she started taking dance and ice skating lessons at the age of 3. “She trained with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and at age 17 joined a professional training program at the highly regarded, Randolph Dance Theater. She was hired by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a lead dancer in their multimillion dollar variety shows and this is where she met her husband, Bucky. AJ has performed and choreographed for a variety of shows including, The Van Burch and Welford Show, … and Jimmy Osmonds American Jukebox…AJ is currently the choreographer/dance captain for the Hamner Barber Variety Show.”

Assistant Choreographer Dance Captain Ken Brown “grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. He also worked alongside The Hamners in Jimmy Osmond’s American Jukebox. Affectionately referred to by the cast as ‘Downtown Kenny Brown,’ Ken is a multi-talented entertainer and gives 110% to every performance.”

“Unbelievable” will be directed by Johnny Thompson who “performs under the stage name ‘The Great Tomsoni.’ Within the magician community, ‘Tomsoni’ is considered a virtuoso, widely known as a mentor and teacher of magic, and a creator of tricks, as opposed to simply a performer. He has worked behind the scenes with magicians such as Penn and Teller, Lance Burton, and Criss Angel. In 1999, he was awarded one of the highest honors in the magician community, a Masters Fellowship with the Academy of Magical Arts. Dave and Denise are thrilled to have the expertise of such a high caliber director, producer to bring a fresh new look to their magical variety show.”

Denise Hamner said, “I am so excited. It’s not just that we have a new show that we believe will be fantastic, but for the quality and enthusiasm of all the acts that will be featured with us. It’s a show and cast that will keep people on the edge of their seats eagerly anticipating what’s coming next and leaving the theatre exhausted from the all the fun, excitement, entertainment, amazement and wonder they have just experienced.”

Branson is “Creating Memories worth repeating”

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

BRANSON, Mo., July 1, 2013 – “One of the remarkable things about Branson is the number of repeat visitors it gets each year with some coming back year after year,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC) “and a big reason for that is that Branson, like its most popular and oldest paid attraction, Silver Dollar City, specializes in “Creating memories worth repeating.” Johnson points out that the perfect example would be that of long time BTC customers George and Sally Kaup, from Woodridge, IL, who have been coming back to Branson each year since at least 1996, sometimes by themselves and, at other times, bringing their family.

For many people those memories generally involve one or more of the three major things that attract and draw people to Branson. Those would be its fabulous live shows, the natural beauty of Branson’s lakes and surrounding Ozark Mountains and its major attractions such as Silver Dollar City, the Titanic Museum Attraction and others.

How important are Branson’s live shows in “Creating Memories worth repeating?” “Very” according to a report that the Branson Board of Aldermen received last year from the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB about a study they did on what brings people to Branson. The study concluded that “Branson’s Shows” are the Number 1 reason people come to Branson.

A quick glance at some of Branson’s most popular shows, as featured in the Official Branson.Com Show Schedule, powered by Branson Tourism Center, will show that Branson offers a breadth of live show that is unmatched by most major tourist destinations. When the quality of those shows is coupled with the fact that they are mere minutes from the natural beauty of Branson’s lakes, the beautiful natural scenery of the Ozark Mountains and its major attractions the result is an unmatched opportunity for “Creating Memories worth repeating” and one that brings visitors back year after year.

The pristine waters of Branson’s two closest lakes, Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo, and of the ever present Ozark Mountains is a unique draw for Branson visitors. Whether it’s fishing for bass in the warm waters of Table Rock Lake or the elusive Rainbow and Brown Trout in the colder water of Lake Taneycomo, swimming, boating, camping and or simply relaxing and viewing the beautiful ever changing Ozark scenery; it all plays an important part in “Creating Memories worth repeating” and bringing visitors back to Branson year after year.

Branson’s oldest and most popular paid attraction, the award winning 1880s style theme park, Silver Dollar City has attracted tens of millions of guests to Branson over the years with its rides, shows, festivals, food services, demonstrating craftsmen and much more. From the very beginning their mission has been to be a place that creates “Memories worth repeating” that will bring visitors back time and time again. The fact that they have been entertaining Branson visitors for over 53 years testifies to its success. The constant addition of new attractions, such as the Titanic Museum Attraction and dozens more, provide still more exciting and fun ways to help Branson visitors create special memories.

It is the “Creating of memories worth repeating” that not only brings families and visitors back to Branson each year, but is the promise that attracts many initially. Branson’s commitment to and keeping that promise is what makes it such a unique and special place.

A cruise on Lake Taneycomo with some absolutely awesome teens

"Operation Liftoff "teens and caregivers on bow of "Lake Queen" as they boarded.

BRANSON, MO, June 28, 2013 — I have been on many cruises aboard Main Street Lake Cruises’ Lake Queen, but none was more special or personally significant than yesterday. I had the opportunity to cruise with 10 awesome courageous teenagers who are fighting Cancer and were in Branson on an “Operation Liftoff Teen Trip” with their seven care givers.

Randi McCormick, a Sales Manager with the Group Sales Division of Branson Tourism Center, said that she was contacted by John McLaughlin of Operation Liftoff through the BTC website, www.Branson Tourism Center.Com about setting up a Branson trip for the teenagers, each of whom is fighting Cancer. McCormick explained that from a logistical and processing perspective the planning of the group’s itinerary and Branson activities was routine and was designed to help the Group Leader, in whatever way possible, to plan and provide their group with a great Branson experience. From a personal perspective however, it was much different.

McCormick said that both of her parents are fighting Cancer. “The planning of this trip was very near and dear to my heart, but this group just kind of touched us all and brought us all together as we thought about what these kids are going through and fighting; we just wanted to do a little extra.” The result was a number of surprises for the kids from a brownie and ice cream party provided by Branson Landing, a pool side pizza party hosted by the Hilton Promenade Hotel as well as other surprises from Dixie Stampede, Branson Tourism Center and Main Street Lake Cruises.

John McLaughlin, the Group Leader, said that he has been involved with Operation Liftoff for over 20 years in different capacities. Currently he is a board member who heads up its “Teen Trip Program” which is the part of Operation Liftoff that provide trips for teenagers who are currently fighting Cancer and could not otherwise afford to make a trip like this on their own. McLaughlin pointed out that in addition to the fun, one of the primary benefits that a trip like this offers is a chance for the kids to get together with other kids who are in similar circumstances.

Bald Eagle just prior to launching into flight.

Just about every teen on the trip, under the watchful eye of Captain Brian Ayers, took advantage of the opportunity to sit in the Captain’s Chair and steer the Lake Queen on her return trip from Rockaway Beach. Although it was one of the hottest days of the year, as is normally the case, the cold waters of Lake Taneycomo mitigated the heat. In addition to the spectacular rock formations downstream from Branson, panoramic vistas and the beauty of Lake Taneycomo’s shore line, the group was treated to a show by a Bald Eagle who posed from its perch and preened itself prior to launching itself into flight from its lakeside perch.

The group had a full itinerary on their trip in addition to their cruise on the Main Street Lake Cruises’ Lake Queen including Dixie Stampede, Silver Dollar City and the Showboat Branson Belle. I had a short interview with three of the teens from the group, none of whom had been to Branson before, about the cruise and what they thought of Branson.

Miss NM* said that the cruise was “awesome,” extremely relaxing, that she had never seen an Eagle in the wild before and would definitely recommend the cruise to other teenagers, a sentiment echoed by Misters CJ* and RR.* RR said “you will never get bored in Branson” and all three spoke about the great time they had at Dixie Stampede the night before and of how eager they were to go to Silver Dollar City. Even with another day and a half in Branson ahead of them, all three expressed their eagerness to come back to Branson. RR said that he would live in Branson if he could.

Each year, groups of all sizes come to Branson for many reasons from reunions, meetings, competitions and conventions etc. because of all that it has to offer. How special is it that what Branson offers was able, even if only temporarily, to offer respite, fun and relief to these special teens from the daily challenges that their battle with Cancer presents?

* Initials used to protect the privacy of these teenagers.