Category Archives: Branson

Best Branson Insider Highlights for July 2017

Families will enjoy the spectacular magic of “Illusionist Rick Thomas.”

“One of the greatest joys of July in Branson is to see so many families creating wonderful vacation memories. Branson overflows with the vibrancy of families together, experiencing the unique fun, excitement, and spirit of Branson,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “From spectacular firework displays, to lakes, over 120 live shows, rides, water parks, golf, and more, there’s just so much to see and do in Branson.” She added.

Along with our Highlight List, containing some of the best of what’s going on in Branson during July, here’s our Featured Show, Limited Engagement, and Event of the Month:

Featured Show of the Month: If your family wants to have a great time together, enjoys magic, stunning illusions and spectacular beauty, you don’t want to miss the Illusionist Rick Thomas Show. With headline shows in Las Vegas, years of successful tours around the world, and the honor of the Academy of Magical Arts awarding him its “Stage Magician of the Year Award,” he’s at the top of the magic game. His unique ability to keep audiences of all ages and walks of life simultaneously spellbound throughout his performance is “magical.”

Hit Las Vegas show, “Raiding the Rock Vault,” comes to Branson for a limited engagement.

Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: Raiding the Rock Vault goes back in time on a magical musical journey. That journey takes you from 1960 to 1990, with classics from The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Eagles, Queen, AC/DC, Deep Purple, Van Halen, Journey, Heart, Free, Aerosmith and others. Experience history of rock ‘n’ roll as it comes to life in this live rock and roll concert featuring a stunning light show, video screen, dancers and high-quality concert sound production.

Featured Event of the Month: Silver Dollar City’s Star-Spangled Summer Festival offers family fun and entertainment you won’t find anywhere else. See the world famous Harlem Globetrotters perform their one of a kind show for their final season at Silver Dollar City, your favorite cartoon characters, Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience, and much more! And that’s beside everything else Silver Dollar City offers. The 1880s styled them park has over 40 thrilling rides and attractions including “The World’s Most Daring Wood Coaster,” Outlaw Run, demonstrating craftsmen, shows, and other activities.

Limited Engagement Highlights (Sorted by starting date)

Jul 5: T. G. Sheppard & Kelly Lang
Jul 6-22: Raiding the Rock Vault

Special Event Highlights (Sorted by starting date.)

Jul 1-Sep 4: Branson Landing’s Annual School Shoes For Kids
Jul 1-16: Silver Dollar City Star-Spangled Summer
Jul 1: Rockaway Beach Centennial Car & Bike Show
Jul 1: 30th Annual Fireburst Fireworks Celebration
Jul 1-4: Tanger 4th of July Weekend Sale
Jul 1-7: Ballparks of America – Week 6 Independence Day Boomer 10U-13U
Jul 1-3: Rockaway Beach 4th of July Weekend
Jul 2: Independence Day Celebration – Galena, MO
Jul 2: Chateau on the Lake Fourth of July Celebration
Jul 3: Branson Landing’s Annual Liberty Light Up Fireworks Show
Jul 3-4:
Main Street Lake Cruises – July 3rd & 4th Fireworks Cruises
Jul 4: Rockin’ Rockaway Beach 4th of July Celebration
Jul 4: Firecracker 5000 Run
Jul 4: Hollister’s Annual 4th of July Celebration
Jul 4: 4th of July Celebration at Branson Auto & Farm Museum
Jul 6-22: Limited Engagement – Raiding the Rock Vault
Jul 8-14: Ballparks of America – Week 7 Mid-Summer Classic 10U-13U
Jul 14: The Dan Benton Band – Live in Concert
Jul 15-21: Ballparks of America – Week 8 The 76 Strip Sizzle 10U-13U
Jul 15-Jul 30: Silver Dollar City Moonlight Madness
Jul 22: SECOND ANNUAL VVA GOLF TOURNAMENT
Jul 22-Jul 23: Branson in July! Antique Festival of the Ozarks
Jul 22-Jul 28: Ballparks of America – Week 9 Missouri Heat Classic 10U-13U
Jul 28: The Mark Chapman Band – Live in Concert
Jul 28-Aug 12: Summer Movies in the Park at the Branson RecPlex
Jul 29-Aug 4: Ballparks of America – Week 10 Back to School Bash 12U-13U

For additional information on these events, Branson’s shows and attractions, or lodging please contact the Branson Tourism Center by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com, or calling 1-800-785-1550 and talking with a Branson-based vacation planning specialist. They will be delighted to answer any questions, and assist you with show or lodging reservations and there’s absolutely no charge for this service.

 

Three free Branson outings for families to enjoy!

Table Rock Lake’s Dewey Short Visitors Center on south end of Table Rock Dam.

“There’s more live shows and attractions for families to enjoy in Branson than ever before,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Their prices, and the price of lodging in Branson, are among the most reasonable anywhere, making Branson one of the greatest vacation values in America,” he added.

He said that value is even more evident when families take advantage of some of the unique free things there are to do in Branson. The natural scenic beauty of the Ozark Mountains is a major attraction for millions of Branson visitors. These three free outings, are all located near Table Rock Dam, feature the natural beauty of the Ozarks, and are readily accessible for families to safely and conveniently enjoy together:

1. Table Rock Lake Shore Trail: Spending time on the typical trail through the woods might not be at the top of the list of activities for a lot of reasons. This trail however, is different. The 2.2 mile trail is asphalt, wide, very level, and is ideal for just about everyone, including families with small children.

It’s accessible to wheel chairs, motorized and non-motorized; carriages, bikes, and is intended for non-motorized activities including hiking, jogging and more. The trail is a great way for families to experience the outdoor wonder of the Ozarks surrounded by nature without having to deal with the challenges of the typical “trail.”

As the name “Table Rock Lake Shore Trail ” implies, it follows the shore line of Table Rock Lake. Starting at its Trailhead in the Dewey Short Visitor Center parking lot, it proceeds south .6 miles to the Showboat Branson Belle. From there it goes 1.4 miles to the Table Rock State Park and 2.2 miles to its ending near the “Table Rock State Park Marina.”

A nice excursion would be to walk from the Dewey Short Trailhead to the Showboat Branson Belle. Enjoy the beautiful grounds, see the Showboat up close, have some refreshments, shop its shops, and then return to your starting point.

2. The Dewey Short Regional Visitors Center at Table Rock Dam: The $7.9 million, 15,000 square foot U.S. Army Corps of Engineers visitor center has been called “the crown jewel of Table Rock Lake.” It’s one of only 11 Class A visitor centers in the U.S. and is located at the opposite end of the parking lot from the Table Rock Lakeshore Trailhead.

Its floor to ceiling glass windows, on the Table Rock Lake side of the building, offer an unparalleled view of Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo. The Center features interactive activities, displays on area history, nature and the inner workings of Table Rock Dam, movies, a gift shop with unique merchandise, and an interesting film on the construction of Table Rock Dam.

Raceways at the Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery contain hundreds of thousand Rainbow and Brown Trout.

3. Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery: The “Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery,” is less than ten minutes from the famed Branson Strip at the foot of Table Rock Dam. The hatchery itself is part of a 211 acre “Conservation Center” with a wild life refuge, trails, boat launching ramp, picnic areas, and a Visitor Center.

It’s operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation and is visited by over a quarter of a million people annually. The hatchery itself is just part of the 211 acre “Conservation Center” with a wild life refuge, trails, boat launching ramp, and a Visitor Center.

The Visitor Center features an interesting nature display and a short video on the hatchery and the process involved with producing the trout that makes Lake Taneycomo one of the premier trout fisheries in the nation. There’s a huge aquarium with “lunker” Brown and Rainbow Trout.

Visitors are welcome to take self-guided tours of the “race ways,” by themselves during normal business hours. They will see thousands of trout in the various stages of development from the smallest to the large “brood stock” used to produce Lake Taneycomo’s trout.

The Visitor Center opens at 9:00 a.m. every day except, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

These are just the free activities in one area of Branson! From grist mills, to scenic overlooks, feeding ducks and geese, “Dicks 5 & 10,” a free downtown trolley, and so much more, Branson has a wide range of free activities that families can enjoy together.

For more information on these activities, Branson shows, attractions and lodging please feel free to call the Branson Tourism Center toll free at 1-800-785-1550.

Wouldn’t your family enjoy Memorial Day Weekend in Branson?

Silver Dollar City’s “Wildfire”, the Branson Ferris Wheel, Ride the Ducks, and the Million Dollar Quartet are just a few of the many ways to have fun in Branson.

“Memorial Day Weekend in Branson is a unique exciting experience,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Oh, there’s other places with world-class theme parks, natural outdoor beauty, lakes, live shows, and attractions, but there’s few, if any, that have them all so conveniently located. Branson does!” he added.

Garrison says that not only is it the first “long summer weekend,” but it’s the “official” beginning of Branson’s summer outdoor season. Its spectacular lakes and natural outdoor beauty are in their full splendor. All Branson’s live shows and attractions are open, and ready to provide its visitors with a special experience not available anywhere else.

The proof’s in the pudding! From its oldest and most popular attraction, the 1880s styled Silver Dollar City, to its world-class live shows, and lakeside shopping and entertainment venue, Branson Landing, Branson is unique. What other tourist destination offers everything Branson does? All amid the natural wonder and beauty of a place like the Ozarks, and less than five minutes from a pristine 43,000 acre lake?

All of Branson’s most popular live shows are performing over the Memorial Day Weekend. * These include:

Acrobats of China
Amazing Pets
Broadway’s Greatest Hits
Clay Cooper’s Country Express
Comedy Jamboree
Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies
Grand Jubilee
The Haygoods
Illusionist Rick Thomas
it starring the Hughes Brothers
Legends in Concert
Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess
Main Street Lake Cruises Lake Queen
Million Dollar Quartet
New Jersey Nights
Ozarks Country
Ozarks Gospel
Pierce Arrow
Presleys’ Country Jubilee
Puttin On The Ritz
Raiding the Country Vault
Shoji Tabuchi

“Few world-class theme parks in the world have become part of the natural beauty surrounding them,” said Garrison. “Silver Dollar City has!” The view from the top of the loops of its world class coaster “Wildfire” spectacularly illustrates this remarkable achievement.

Silver Dollar City’s Bluegrass and BBQ Festival, features over 50 Bluegrass bands and groups. These groups present hundreds of performances throughout the park. Performers appearing over the Memorial Day Weekend include 14-time Grammy Award-winner Ricky Skaggs; Blue Highway; and many more.* The festival’s House of BBQ and Pitmaster’s Court offer a variety of mouthwatering BBQ. There’s demonstrations from grilling experts and an impressive selection of BBQ sauces, and more, to browse. As well as the Festival, Silver Dollar City offers all the shows, rides, craft demonstrations, and more, that makes it one of the top theme parks in the nation.

Table Rock Lake offers 43,000 surface acres of potential aquatic fun, excitement, and adventure. Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial kick off a summer of fun on the lake including sunbathing, swimming, boating, water skiing, scuba diving, and just about any other summer water activity a person would want.

Branson’s biggest water park, White Water, opens for its 2017 season on May 27. Its 12 acres and over 7,000 feet of water slides, offer more than two million gallons of water excitement and fun to enjoy. There’s an adventure for every member of the family. There’s “Splashaway Cay” and “Coconut Grove” for the smaller children and toddlers. The more adventurous will enjoy the seven story “Kalani Towers and ” the drops and speed of rides such as “KaPau Plummet,” “Pipeline Plunge” or the “Raging River Rapids.”

“If it’s outdoors, golfing, ziplines, hiking, boating, fishing, biking and more, the chances are that Branson has it,” Branson Tourism Center’s Garrison said.  “It’s really neat how all the outdoor activities conveniently combine with Branson’s live shows, attractions, and everything else into a virtually seamless vacation experience.

There’s two major firework displays at dusk on Sunday evening, May 28. One is at the Chateau on the Lake, as part of its Memorial Day Celebration, and the other at Big Cedar Lodge, as part of its Patriotic Picnic and Fireworks event. The public is invited to both; with the best views from Table Rock Lake, the property’s grounds or, in the case of the Chateau on the Lake, the peninsula area located just north of the Table Rock Dam to the west of its auxiliary spillways on State Highway 165.

Garrison stresses that Memorial Day Weekend is one of Branson’s busiest. He suggests advance reservations to ensure availability of the best lodging and show seating. For more information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center by either calling their toll-free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

* Schedules subject to change and not all artists are appearing every day.

Branson’s “zig-zag” streets testify to the time Branson “disappeared”

The Zig-Zag streets of Branson testify to the time Branson “disappeared.”

San Francisco’s “Lombard Street,” is famous for being steep and crooked, but has little to do with the early history of San Francisco. On the other hand, Branson’s “College Street,” with its unique “zig-zag” streets, while not as famous, has a lot to do with the early history of Branson.

“Most of the millions who visit Branson each year will never see this unique historic feature. It’s a great way to spend some time between enjoying Branson’s great live shows and attractions and experience Branson history,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Interestingly, many drive within two blocks of the zig-zag streets on their way to Branson Landing and Historic Downtown Branson,” he added.

As you drive east on Highway 76, Main Street, you will notice a McDonalds to the north (left). McDonalds is at the intersection of Sixth and Main Streets.

Turn right, onto “Sixth Street” and drive south two blocks, passing “Pacific Street” to the apparent end of Sixth Street at its intersection with College Street. It’s only when one “Zigs,” by turning left onto College Street and then, about a quarter of a block down College, “Zags” back onto Sixth Street by turning right, that the “zig-zag” alignment of Sixth Street becomes apparent. If the Sixth street turn is missed basically the same thing can be done by turning onto Fourth or Third Streets.

Some might ask the question, “Why didn’t the people who planned Branson simply have the streets go straight through?” The answer is because the city of Branson, as it was originally incorporated on April 1, 1912, was a combination of two different plats with different roads, alignments, and block lengths.

In about 1882, Ruben S. Branson opened a general store near the mouth of Roark Creek and the White River. He named the post office in his store “Branson,” and even though he moved away, the name stuck, well, kind of.

In the early 1900s, as the railroad started into the “Branson area,” there were competing interests trying to get land and plat towns. The first town platted was “Lucia” on October 2, 1903 with the town of “Branson” platted soon after on October 26, 1903. In general, College Street was the dividing line between the Lucia and Branson town plats, It was the northern edge for Lucia and the southern edge for Branson.

According to most historical accounts, Charles Fulbright and his “Branson Town Company” acquired both town sites by the end of 1903. So, although the two plats became “Branson” in 1903 their roads remained as they were, and are to this very day.

Branson “disappeared” for a short time. The official records of the U.S. Post Office indicate that the name of the “Branson” Post Office was changed from “Branson” to “Lucia” in 1902 and changed back to “Branson’ again in 1904.

Branson’s zig-zag streets might not be at the top of the list of things most visitors plan to experience while in Branson. However, they can certainly provide a pleasant five or ten-minute side trip while on the way to or from Historic Downtown Branson or Branson Landing and testify to the time in history when Branson, if only for a short while,  “disappeared.”

They provide an excellent lead into the various historic things to see in “Historic Downtown Branson.” These would include, the site where the Mabe family started Branson’s first show, the “Baldknobbers,” the grave of Ruben S. Branson for whom Branson is named, the oldest free standing building in Branson, and, of course, “Dick’s 5 & 10.”

 

 

“Branson” is open and overflowing with fun, adventure, and excitement!

Like all of the shows, attractions, and shopping Branson is noted for, Silver Dollar City, Legends in Concert and the Titanic Museum Attraction are open.

Current news and social media stories create the perception that there’s wide-spread flooding in Branson. Nothing could be further from the truth! The “Branson” millions of tourists enjoy each year is not flooding. It’s open and offering all the fun, adventure, and excitement it’s famous for!

Here’s some answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about flooding in Branson:

When the media reports “Branson flooding,” what’s flooding? An extremely small number of homes and businesses, most of which are not even in Branson. They are in low-lying areas along Lake Taneycomo and its tributaries and are susceptible to flooding following periods of high rain. It gets worse when the flooding is accompanied by the release of water through the turbines and spillways of Table Rock Dam into Lake Taneycomo. These releases are necessary to lower the levels of Table Rock Lake back below the top of its Flood Pool.

Except for those located directly on the Lake Taneycomo and Table Rock Lake shorelines, there is no impact on the shows, attractions, activities and other things that the vast majority of visitors to “Branson” enjoy doing. But for the news and social media reports, videos, and pictures, the typical visitor would not even know that there had been any flooding.

Isn’t that kind of heartless, “promoting tourism” while some are flooded? No. First and foremost, the community takes care of the needs of those impacted by the flooding. In concert with that, it strives to make sure that the area’s primary source of income, for some of them and many others, tourism, is not adversely impacted because of a mistaken perception created by news and social media sensationalism.

Is most of “Branson” flooded? No! Media reports aside, the “Branson” that millions of tourists enjoy each year is neither flooded or impacted by the flooding. This includes Silver Dollar City; Branson shows, attractions, restaurants, and shopping on the famed “Branson Strip;” the restaurants and stores in “Branson Landing;” and just about everything else Branson offers.

What are “those businesses located directly on the Lake Taneycomo and Table Rock Lake shorelines?” The Lake Taneycomo shoreline would include Scotty’s Trout Dock; the City of Branson’s Lake Side RV Camp Ground; Main Street Lake Cruises, The Paddlewheel; Bass Pro Shops’ White River Fish House; the Branson Landing boardwalk, and the Branson Landing Fountains with their spectacular fire and light show. The Table Rock shoreline would include the State Park Marina, and Moon Shine Beach and Launching Ramp as well as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and privately owned campgrounds. It also includes hotels, cabins, or other Branson lodging facilities located on the shorelines of either Lake Taneycomo or Table Rock Lake.

Doesn’t Branson Landing Flood? The shopping and restaurants available on the famed Branson Landing Promenade are not impacted by flooding. They are located well above the shoreline of Lake Taneycomo. Some of the lower areas of the Bass Pro parking lot, as well as its board walk, and the Branson Landing Fountains will flood. Even then however, except during the initial stages of “flash flooding,” there is usually plenty of parking available. If per chance there is not, just go up into historic downtown Branson and take the free trolley back to Branson Landing.

How does “flash flooding” impact the situation? When it occurs, a lot. Its impact depends on many different factors and is as uncontrollable as it is unpredictable, except for one thing. Soon after the rain causing the “event” stops, the higher water levels caused by the event will drop very quickly

What about the news and social media articles, reports, pictures and videos showing flooding in “Branson?” Answering the question, “Is this a picture of anything that will impact what it is I want to see or do in Branson?” will help keep things in perspective. The answer will be “No” about 99.9% if the time.

How much water must come through Table Rock Dam’s Spillways and Turbines before there’s flooding? Anything can happen initially with “flash flooding,” but typically there’s no flooding, if there’s 25,000 cfs or less coming through the dam’s spillways and turbines.

If you have any questions about the current conditions in Branson, or questions about Branson’s incredible shows, attractions, or lodging, please don’t hesitate to contact the Branson Tourism Center and talk with one of their Branson based Vacation Specialists at 1-800-785-1550. They’ll also be delighted to help with making show, attraction, or lodging reservations and get you the best available show seats and lodging. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM to 9.30 PM. The Branson Tourism Center can also be reached through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Branson Tourism Center wins Southwest Missouri’s Better Business Bureau 2017 Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics

“It was an honor just to be a finalist for the Torch Award,” said Tammy Johnson, Vice President and General Manager of the Branson Tourism Center (BTC). “Actually winning the BBB Torch Award, with so many worthy nominees, is as humbling as it is awesome,” she added.

Johnson said that it’s a testimony to the dedication, effort, and character of Branson Tourism Center’s employees and the Branson vendors they market for. “Our team ‘makes it happen’ every day as they share Branson and help its visitors have the very best Branson experience possible,” she said. “The principles this award embodies, ‘excellence in customer care, marketplace excellence, advancing marketplace trust and consumer leadership,’ are an inherent part of our daily interactions with our customers and vendors. It’s what we strive for every day,” Johnson added.

Over the last 14 years, BTC has sold nearly 5 million show and attraction tickets and hundreds of thousands of room-nights in the Branson marketplace building trusted relationships with its valued customers and vendors. Johnson said, “From a business and economic perspective ‘what’ we have done is important. Equally important however, and what winning the ‘Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics” signifies, is ‘how’ we did it.”

About Branson Tourism Center

Branson Tourism Center, established in 2003, is a marketing company specializing in packaging and individual sales of lodging, shows, attractions and restaurants within Branson to prospective visitors.  It’s one of the area’s largest providers of Branson travel services and employs close to 100 people. It is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau of Southwest Missouri with an A+ rating. Among other organizations, it is a member of the Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA), American Bus Association (ABA), National Tour Association (NTA), American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA), Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce (BLACC), and Branson Lakes Area Lodging Association (BLALA). Branson Tourism Center may be reached by calling 1-800-978-1999.

Husted family reunion hits Branson Trifecta!

Two of the shows the Husteds will see while in Branson are “Million Dollar Quartet” and “Presleys’ Country Jubilee”

Most know the “Trifecta” as a bet forecasting the first three finishers in the correct order. A non-betting definition is “a run of three wins or grand events.” If the Husted family reunion in Branson this July doesn’t meet that definition, then what does?

How about these for “three wins or grand events?” It will be the first time that all nine Husted siblings have ever been all together in one place. It will be the first time any of them have ever been to Branson. They are making a large donation to Christian Action Ministries to help feed the hungry and needy in our community.

When the nine Husted siblings, six brothers and three sisters, come to Branson for the reunion they will be joined by 16 to 20 other family members. Wes Husted said that the family has been working together, and with the Branson Tourism Center, via email, phone, and texting, planning the reunion for about two years.

He is extremely excited because it will be the first time that he will be together, in one place, with all his brothers and sisters. Wes was born in in 1946 and is the oldest. Soon after a sister and four brothers followed. There was a five-year period during which they lost two sisters, one died at birth and one was still born. His two youngest sisters and brother were born after that. His youngest brother was born in 1967 after Wes had gone into the U. S. Air Force.

Wes and two of his brothers, were career U. S. Air Force, moving all around the world. He said that he really didn’t get to know his two youngest sisters, who were one and two when he went into the service, until his parents bought them to visit on base while he was in the service. Two of his brothers also served in the Air Force. His remaining brother, served in the U.S. Marine Corps. “We are very close and have met as individuals. We’ve just been scattered all over and have never been able to get all nine of us together. It was one thing my mother always wanted to see, but never did,” he said.

Although they have met individually over the years, the Husteds’ Branson reunion will be the first time that they have ever been together in one place. They will be traveling to Branson from all over the country with some traveling from Hawaii.

“We were raised in a Christian home. Our parents always taught us that no matter how hard things are, and they were hard, that there is always somebody else who has a greater need and to find a way to help them,” he said. “The idea for the donation to the Christian Action Ministries (CAM) food program is in that spirit. We all wanted to lose weight for the reunion. Originally, we were going to donate food for each pound lost but, after talking with the staff of Christian Action Ministries, we decided to donate money instead because they can buy so much more than a dollar’s worth of food for each dollar they spend.”

He said that we are going to lose as much weight as we can and, regardless of the total amount lost, make a nice gift to CAM.  He’s hoping that they’ll raise $1,000 to give to CAM while they’re in Branson. “This reunion, what it represents, and the giving spirit of the Husteds for those in need in our community has touched our hearts,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center . “In that same spirit, we’re honored to match the Husteds’ contribution to CAM up to $1,000.00.”

Wes says that what he’s looking forward to doing the most while at the reunion is just spending time with his family and enjoying their company. “Working with the Husteds to plan this reunion has been a unique and inspiring experience,” said Stephanie Lindner, the Group Sales Manager for the Branson Tourism Center. “Their itinerary was custom created for their reunion and includes plenty of family time, meals together, a special Reunion Dinner, and some of Branson’s most popular shows including Million Dollar Quartet, ‘Country on the Lake’ on the Showboat Branson Belle, Comedy Jamboree, and Presleys’ Country Jubilee.

“From all the places they could have picked, the Husteds picked Branson to celebrate this very special occasion,” said Lindner. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to work with this very special family in planning this inspiring “First Reunion,” she added.

A family picture of all nine of the Husteds together will most assuredly be taken during the reunion. This writer can almost picture their mom, looking down, with a smile on her face, saying, “Together at last!”

Best Branson Insider Highlights for March 2017


The Presleys are celebrating 50 years of entertaining Branson audiences!

“Even with the relatively mild winter, there’s just something special about March in the Ozarks as its hills begin to blossom out with spring foliage and colors,” said, Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Besides the clear signals that Mother Nature’s sending, the opening of Silver Dollar City, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, and many of Branson’s most popular shows and attractions are clear signs that it’s spring in Branson,” he added.

Here’s our Featured Show and Event of the Month, with a list of the highlights of special events you can enjoy in Branson during the month of March:

Featured Show of the Month: The first 2017 performance of Presleys’ Country Jubilee, on March 10, will be the beginning of the Presley family’s 50th year performing in Branson. It’s a show that should be on everyone’s Bucket List of Branson experiences not to be missed. The quality of its music and the unique humor of “Herkimer” and “Cecil” make it one of the most entertaining shows in Branson. Beyond that, the Presleys’ are blessed with the innate ability to communicate their genuine love for what they are doing, each other, and family, to their audience. For 50 years, and counting, they have created wonderful Branson memories for millions as they inspire and entertain Branson audiences.

Featured Event of the Month: When the Showboat Branson Belle leaves the dock on March 4, it will mark more than its maiden cruise for 2017. Guests will be able to enjoy the enhancements of the first phase of the Showboat’s two-year multi-million dollar “guest experience relaunch.”

Nick Guevel, the Director of Operations for the Showboat said, “This includes a complete redo of our theatre and dining areas, including carpeting, stage, chairs, wall paper and painting. We have expanded our premium dining services, provided more space in the general dining area, and much more.” Another of the many enhancements is the new top deck seating for expansive lake views as they are entertained by live top deck acoustic performances.

The Showboat’s headline show CELEBRATE will have a new dimension as it performs on the revamped stage and presents its exciting new 2017 show.  CELEBRATE includes “The ShowMen; Branson-favorite, performer Cassandré Faimon-Haygood; the four-man dance troupe Rhythm, billed as The Fastest Feet West of the Mississippi for their percussive dance and creative choreography; and comedian emcee Christopher James with ultra-sharp improvisation, magic and humor. All are accompanied by the live band, the Rockin’ Dockers.”

Special Event Highlights (Sorted by starting date.)

Mar 2 – Mar 4: Bassmaster’s Central Open
Mar 7 – Mar 10: Missouri Park & Recreation Association Conference & Expo
Mar 8 – Mar 14: NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship 2017
Mar 14: Annual Leprechaun Open Golf Tournament
Mar 16 – Mar 18: Branson Praisefest
Mar 17: St Patrick’s Day
Mar 18: Wild West Open Championship – American Cheer Power
Mar 30: 2nd Annual Rock and Rev – Charity Car Raffle and Live Music Event
Mar 31 – Apr 1: Benefit the Badge Tournament
Mar 31 – Apr 2: Silver Dollar City Young Christians Weekend

For additional information on these events, or any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com, or calling 1-800-785-1550 and talking with a Branson-based vacation planning specialist. They will be delighted to answer any questions, and assist you with show or lodging reservations and there’s absolutely no charge for this service.

 

“Branson – Up Close and Personal” with Adele Tribute Artist J. C. Marie

J.C. Marie during her Legends in Concert Adele Tribute .

How did the question, “Can we call you Mrs. Adele,” help J. C. Marie create a Legend? Read on to find out and don’t miss her Adele tribute in the world renown Legends in Concert show, in Branson, March 26 through May 16.

“Branson – Up Close and Personal,” is a service of the Branson Tourism Center. It provides readers with an interesting and up-close look at a Branson star or personality in a concise Question and Answer format.

BTC: Where were your born and when?
JC: French Camp, California in 1980.

BTC: When did you first start singing?
JC: I have been singing for as far back as I can remember.

BTC: What were the circumstances?
JC: Both my parents and older sister sang. I can remember singing for a group of a few hundred people, when I was about seven years old. We sang for a church in California as part of a group called the “Missionettes.”

BTC: When did you first realize that you wanted to make a living singing?
JC: Around my senior year in high school. I realized that I loved performing, musical theatre, and wanted to pursue it when I went to college.

BTC: What college did you attend?
JC: Azusa Pacific University.

BTC:  Did you receive a degree from Azusa Pacific?
JC: I sure did, a BA with a major in “English” and minor in “Drama/Theatre.” I thought that teaching would be a great fall back job if I couldn’t make it as a performer. Except for substitute teaching between “gigs” I haven’t had to fall back on it yet.

BTC: Where was your first professional gig?
JC: I started auditioning in the Los Angeles area and ended up doing a small 99 seat theatre production of the “Man of La Mancha.”

BTC: When?
JC: Right after I graduated college in 2002

BTC: Between then and becoming an Adele Tribute Artist how did you spend your time developing professionally?
JC: Performing aboard cruise ships and doing professional Christmas caroling. The caroling was in a capella quartets, dressed in full Dickens regalia, at Disney Parks, hotels, celebrity parties, and other places.

BTC: Did you study at Oxford in England?
JC: I did! During my junior year in college I did one “Study Abroad Semester” at Oxford.

BTC: Did your substitute teaching have anything to do with you deciding to become an Adele Tribute Artist?
JC: Yes. After working on cruise ships for several years I was trying to find a job in Las Vegas. While auditioning, I did substitute teaching. In late 2011, while doing a long-term sub in a high school Spanish class, some students said I looked like Adele and asked if they could call me “Mrs. Adele.” I looked Adele up on my I Phone and saw the likeness.

BTC: How did that likeness end up in you becoming an Adele Tribute Artist?
JC: It must have been in the stars. I heard Legends in Concert was having an audition in a few weeks. At the same time I made the discovery that the substitute teacher in the next class room had been a production manager for Legends in Concert. With his help and advice, I studied her mannerisms, singing style, accent, and worked perfecting my technique on the songs I wanted to use for the audition.

BTC: How did the audition go?
JC: The January 2012 audition was an “open call” for dancers. I had to dance, but when I finished, I asked if I could audition Adele for them. They said, “Yes.” I waited two hours while they finished the rest of the “dance call,” and auditioned. Within two days I got a call to come in and audition for the CEO. I did and they offered me Atlantic City for the summer. That gave me about three or four months to put my act together and go on stage.

BTC: How long have you been performing Adele with Legends in Concert?
JC: I have been performing Adele continuously for Legends in Concert since the summer of 2012.

BTC: What specific efforts do you go through to recreate Adele’s mannerisms, style, and vocal characteristics to provide as authentic an Adele experience as possible for your audiences?
JC: Thank God for You Tube! I have studied hundreds of hours of her videos, to learn her mannerisms, looks, and style. I even draw three of her visible tattoos each day. Besides my vocal warm-ups, which I combine with putting on my makeup, I spend about 45 minutes to get ready for my set.

BTC: What is your personal favorite Adele song?
JC: It’s “One and Only.”

BTC: Based on your feel of audience reactions to your performances, which Adele song is the audiences favorite?
JC: Right now, “Hello.”

BTC: Do you do gigs outside of Legends in Concert?
JC: Not many because Legends has kept me so busy.

BTC: Outside of Adele, if you could perform or meet with any entertainer/person (living or deceased) who would it be and why?
JC: I’m a huge musical theatre fan, so it would be Barbara Streisand

BTC: What kind of summer stock would you most like to perform if time permits?
JC: Musicals. My dream show would be “Into the Woods.”

BTC: In the Legends in Concert Christmas show you sang “Silent Night.” How did you decide on that?
JC: Adele hasn’t recorded any Christmas songs, but she has mentioned Etta James as one of her influences. The version of “Silent Night” I sing is an Etta James arrangement.

BTC: Adele or not, what is your personal favorite song?
JC:  Barbara Streisand singing, “Don’t Rain On My Parade” from “Funny Girl.”

BTC: When did you first perform in Branson?
JC: During the spring of 2014

BTC: Had you ever been to Branson before that?
JC: No.

BTC: What is your first impression of Branson?
JC: It’s surrounded by natural beauty.

BTC: What’s your favorite thing to do in Branson when you are not performing?
JC: I love Silver Dollar City!

BTC: Where is your favorite place to eat in Branson – Favorite dish?
JC:  Wakyoto Japanese Restaurant across from Walmart. I love their Sushi.

BTC: In your career, of all the performances you have made and you have been in, no matter how big or small, which one personally meant the most to you and why?
JC: Playing the role of “Dolly” in Hello Dolly” during my senior year in college. It was amazing!

BTC:  Do you have a favorite hobby or activity and what is it?
JC: Sit around watching movies. I love movies.

BTC: Do you have a “little known” fact about yourself that you think our readers would enjoy?
JC: I’m addicted to chap stick and use it multiple times daily.

BTC: What part of your show/act do you enjoy performing the most and why?
JC: I love the talking bits and laughing between my songs.

BTC: How do you feel about performing in Legends in Concert?
JC: I love it. The show’s concept has something for everyone and leaves the audience wanting more.

Legends in Concert starts its legendary 2017 Branson Season with its spring lineup, running from February 3 through May 16. The all-star lineup starts with George Strait, The Temptations, The Blues Brothers™ and Elvis Presley. Guest Artist Prince joins them starting February 16, Adele  March 26, and Michael Jackson joining them from May 12 through May 16.

For more information or tickets for the Legends in Concert, or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or lodging, please contact the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-785-1550. One of our  Branson based Travel Planners will answer your questions and help with reservations and getting the best available show seats and lodging. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 9:00 AM to 8.00 PM.

Doesn’t your Sweetheart deserve a romantic Branson Valentine?

Legends in Concert’s spring cast, the Hughes Brothers, Titanic’s Grand Staircase. and the Branson Landing’s south promenade.

Charles Schultz, the creator of Peanuts said, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” “Love, chocolates, and flowers are all part of Valentine’s Day, but think how very special it would be to show your love for your Valentine by ‘celebrating’ Valentine’s Day in Branson,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. Wood points out that with Valentine’s Day, February 14, falling on Tuesday this year, it provides a variety of times to share a romantic Valentine’s Getaway to Branson. It might be a day trip on the 14th with a dinner and show or a romantic weekend, either before or after Valentine’s Day, but one thing is for sure, a Valentine’s Day celebration in Branson will provide that “special someone” with Valentine memories they will long cherish.

A traditional part of the Valentine’s Day celebration involves a special meal. Whether it’s an evening of fine dining and dancing with live music amid a rose petal and candlelight setting at the College of the Ozarks’ Keeter Center, the elegance of dinner at a table for two, overlooking Table Rock Lake in the Chateau Grille at the Chateau on the Lake Resort, the simple Ozark’s fare of McFarlain’s Family Restaurant, or any of dozens of other fine restaurants, Branson has the perfect Valentine’s meal for you and your sweetheart.

The Hughes Brothers Theatre plans a very special memorable celebration on Valentine’s Day itself. No pun intended, but it includes the amazing show it starring the Hughes Brothers; a scrumptious candle light dinner, complete with flowers and romantic music, served in their balcony restaurant area starting at 5:30 PM, and the showing of a classical romance movie; a fun renewal of vows; and a free memory portrait.

In addition, some of Branson’s Most Popular Shows will be open providing a wide variety of live entertainment to share with your special Valentine, including:

Amazing Pets
Branson Country USA
Comedy Jamboree
Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies
Grand Jubilee
The Haygoods
it starring the Hughes Brothers
Legends in Concert

And that’s just a partial list of the shows that will be open over the Valentine’s Day time period. At this time of the year the list changes on just about a daily basis. For a current list of shows, please go to Branson Shows and select the date(s) that interest you.

Many of Branson’s attractions will be open for you and your sweetheart to enjoy together. The Titanic Museum Attraction, and the romance associated with it and Valentine’s Day, fit perfectly with the museum’s celebration of Sweetheart’s Month at the Titanic! Its elegant, full-sized replica of the “Titanic’s Grand Staircase” is a spectacular, inspiring, and beautiful spot for a wedding or to renew vows in celebration of Valentine’s Day or, for that matter, on any other day. Its gift shop is a treasure trove of special unique Titanic gifts, where every piece of jewelry is inspired by a Titanic story.”

Valentine’s Day, or any other time, Branson offers a unique world-class shopping experience unrivaled by any other travel destination anywhere near its size. It offers hundreds of different famous-name outlet stores, boutiques, galleries, national chain stores, flea markets, craft malls, and specialty shops at just about every turn including, outlet malls, the historic downtown Branson shopping district and Branson Landing with its 120 retail stores, kiosks and restaurants eclectic shops, national retailers, fine dining, intimate cafés, and nightspots.

“Don’t know exactly what’s available, or would like to customize a special Branson Valentine package for your sweetheart; no problem!” says Branson Tourism Center’s Wood. “Just call one of our Branson based Travel Planners at 1-800-785-1550, from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM, seven days a week, and they will be delighted to help make that happen as well as answering any questions you might have.” She also points out that the bundling shows and lodging into a package normally saves money.