Category Archives: Branson

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

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

How did the question, “Can we call you Mrs. Adele,” help J. C. Brando 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, April 1 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, Dusty Springfield, The Temptations, The Blues Brothers™ and Elvis Presley. Guest Artist Prince joins them starting February 16, with Adele replacing Dusty Springfield on April 1, 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.

Four things you should know about the restoration work in Historic Downtown Branson

Historic Downtown Branson businesses remain open with plenty of free parking during the final phase of its Streetscape revitalization project.

“Branson is so blessed to have its thriving and vibrant Historic Downtown Business District, with its shows, restaurants, unique shopping, and historical links to Branson’s past, providing Branson visitors with a unique, nostalgic, and memorable experience,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Its Streetscape revitalization  project, scheduled for completion on May, 19, 2017, will do nothing, but increase that marvelous experience,” she added

She said that that those wanting to shop in Historic Downtown Branson or go to Branson Landing using Highway 76, which is also Branson’s  “Main Street” as it approaches the downtown shopping district, might find these suggestions helpful:

1. Historic Downtown Branson’s Businesses are OPEN: Even as construction proceeds, the businesses in Historic Downtown Branson are open and operating under their normal schedules! Tom Crain, who can often be seen painting through the window of his studio in Crain Creations Gallery on Main Street, was just one of the downtown merchants who reemphasized that point on January 19.

2. There is plenty of free parking! As one approaches the Downtown District, driving east on Main Street, the sight of the construction ahead and the “Road Closed” sign at the corner of Main Street and the intersection of Business 165/Veterans Boulevard might create some confusion as to whether the businesses are open and the availability of parking. As pointed out above, the businesses are open and, whichever way one turns at the intersection, there is plenty of free parking!

Turn left, north, at the intersection, go one block and turn right, east, onto Atlantic Street. There is free parking available in the Pinegar Parking Lot to your right as well as on Atlantic, Sycamore, and north on Commercial. If you turn right, south at the intersection, go one block and turn left, east, onto Pacific Street, free parking is available along Pacific, in the City’s Parking Garage, and south on Commercial Street.

3. Using Main Street, Highway 76 to get to Branson Landing: Many use Main Street through the Historic District to get to Branson Landing. This will not be an option during the construction. Although there are certainly alternate methods, the simplest is to turn left, north, at the intersection of Main Street and Business 165/Veterans Boulevard and proceed north to the Roundabout. Keep to the right and follow Branson Landing Boulevard into Branson Landing exiting for, north to south, Belk, the parking garage, Hilton Promenade Hotel, Hilton  Convention Center Hotel, Bass Pro Shops, and Main Street Lake Cruises, as appropriate.

4. Park at Branson Landing and take the Free Downtown Trolley: For the best of both worlds, offering the fun, excitement, and shopping of both Branson Landing and Historic Downtown Branson, use the free parking in either the “Belk” or “Bass Pro Shops” parking lots and ride the free Down Town Trolley. It can be boarded near both the Belk and Bass Pro Shops main entrances, travels between Branson Landing and the Historic Downtown Branson shopping district at regular intervals, and provides the opportunity for a one of a kind shopping experience!

Branson’s indoor water parks take the “Brr” out of winter

Castle Rock’s yellow multi-story waterslide and Welk’s Splash-A-Torium.

“Winter weather curtails most outdoor swimming and aquatic activities,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC). “However, Branson is blessed with not one, but three indoor water parks as well as many hotels that have heated indoor pools providing Branson visitors with a wide variety of choices to enjoy swimming and aquatic fun under ideal climate controlled conditions,” she added.

All three of the indoor water parks are directly associated with lodging facilities and offer the opportunity to enjoy swimming and other aquatic fun regardless of the temperature or weather outside. Here’s a brief description of each:

Welk Resort’s “Splash-A-Torium” is 10,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor water fun featuring “an outrageous 100 foot” plus indoor water slide, kid’s splash-zone, indoor/outdoor pool, and hot tub.” BTC’s Wood points out that the Resort has recently been redecorated and updated with deluxe and premier traditional rooms that include plush amenities, high-end finishes, and a decor reflecting the unique charm of the Ozarks with its vibrant colors and interesting textures. In room amenities include complimentary WiFi, 32-inch LCD widescreen televisions, coffee makers with high quality coffees and teas, high speed wireless internet and many other exceptional features.

The Resort even has its own theatre! The Welk Resort Theatre is not only home to one of Branson’s most popular new shows, Million Dollar Quartet, but features limited engagement performances by stars such Daniel O’Donnell, Kris Kristofferson and others throughout the year.

Castle Rock Resort and Water Park provides “a truly weather-proof vacation destination for the whole family” where they “can splash & play in the climate controlled 84 degree temperature of its indoor water park. Its 40,000 square feet of waterpark wonderland features two 500-gallon tipping buckets, indoor and outdoor kiddie pools, waterfalls, two three-story thrill slides, themed water statues, and a multi-level sun deck. The resort’s water park provides fun for everyone, from tiny tots to adults, as well as tastefully appointed comfortable rooms.

Grand Country Inn, has Missouri’s first indoor water park, “Splash Country Indoors.” Open 365 days a year, it offers 20,000 square feet “of squirting, falling and tumbling water fun, including a three-level treehouse with interactive water play features on each level, two winding tube tunnels, a 1,000 gallon tipping bucket which tips every eight minutes, doing you know what to all those below, and much more. The Grand Country Complex, includes the Inn; Grand Country Buffett; The Grand Country Music Hall, home of the Grand Jubilee, Amazing Pets, Comedy Jamboree, Down Home Country, and other great shows; indoor and outdoor mini golf courses, and the Fun Spot Arcade.

These are the indoor water parks in Branson, but many Branson Hotels and Lodging facilities such as the Barrington Hotel & Suites, Grand Plaza, Honeysuckle Inn and Conference Center, Quality Inn Branson, Quality Inn on the Strip, Radisson Hotel, Residence Inn Marriott, and others have heated indoor pools. In addition, the hotels listed above are participants in Branson Tourism Center’s (BTC) Lowest Rate Lock Guarantee Program.

Book your reservation through BTC, and subject to the programs minimal conditions, the price you pay for your lodging is guaranteed to be the lowest rate available. If you find a lower price offered for the same room on the same dates, anytime between when you book your room and when you arrive in Branson, BTC will match the lower rate.

BTC’s Wood also points out that during the winter months, especially on the weekends, the demand for rooms at these facilities often outstrips availability. She recommends advance reservations and offers the assistance of one of BTC’s locally based Travel Planners to assist in helping to find the ideal facility to fit your family’s wants and budget and make reservations. There is no charge for this service and they may be reached by calling 1-800-785-1550.

DOMC

Have you thought about giving the special Christmas gift of Branson memories?

What a fantastic way to give someone the Christmas gift of Branson and memories that could last a lifetime!

What a fantastic way to give someone the Christmas gift of Branson and memories that could last a lifetime!

As it gets closer to Christmas, it seemingly becomes harder to find that perfect gift for everyone,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center.  “Most who have been to Branson have wonderful fun filled memories of their experience so, why not share the gift of Branson with employees, associates, friends, and others on your Christmas List?”

Garrison points out that the Branson Tourism Center not only makes it easy to give the gift of wonderful Branson memories this Christmas season, but provides added value with a special bonus! Purchase a Branson Tourism Center Gift Card* of at least $100 and get a separate $25 Bonus Card**, free-of-charge, with each card purchased on or before December 22, 2016! Buy one $100.00 Branson Tourism Center Gift Card and get a $25.00 Bonus Card, buy five individual $100.00 Gift Cards and receive five $25.00 Bonus Cards.

Gift Cards and Bonus Cards are redeemable for show tickets, admission to attractions, lodging, vacation packages, and other services offered by Branson Tourism Center with only airline tickets, golf, and car rentals excluded. The Branson Tourism Center, established in 2003, is one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services; has sold well over 4.5 million show and attraction tickets and hundreds of thousands of room nights to Branson visitors; enjoys an A+ rating with the BBB, with which it has been an accredited member since 2003; and can reserve nearly any Branson Show, Attraction, or Lodging for you.

*** This offer has expired ***

Whether you give it to yourself or someone else, it’s hard to imagine a better value on giving the gift of Branson this Christmas or a more convenient way to do it! Shop from the comfort and convenience of your home by either calling 1-800-493-4584 or click here  to shop through Branson Tourism Center’s web site www.BransonTourismCenter.Com.

*Note: Gift cards are only redeemable for show tickets, admission to attractions, lodging, vacation packages, and other services offered by Branson Tourism Center. The only exclusions are airline tickets, golf, and car rentals.
**Note: Bonus cards will be emailed and become valid January 1, 2017 and can only be used for orders placed between the dates of January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017, and are only redeemable for show tickets, admission to attractions, lodging, vacation packages, and other services offered by Branson Tourism Center. The only exclusions are airline tickets, golf, and car rental.

An old Branson tradition just keeps shuffling on

Two popular Branson shows, AYO starring the Voices of Glory and SIX will be shuffling off to new theaters for the 2017 season.

Two popular Branson shows, AYO starring the Voices of Glory and SIX, are among the those that will be shuffling off to new theaters for the 2017 season.

Not to be confused with the “Shindig Shuffle,” that’s part of Branson’s unique fun filled Ozark Mountain Shindig, the traditional, “Branson shuffle” is well underway. Ever since The Baldknobbers started it all and Presleys’ Country Jubilee opened the first show on what is now the famed “Branson Strip,” decades ago; the Branson Shuffle has been a part of Branson’s live entertainment.

The Baldknobbers, “shuffled” from their original location in historic downtown Branson before settling into their current location on the Branson Strip in 1969. Ironically, Branson’s iconic first show on the Branson Strip, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, has never been involved in the Branson Shuffle, and will be celebrating their 50th year in their original location during 2017.

It’s uncertain whether the “shuffle” relates more to the shuffling of cards or a dance, but one thing is certain, it does involve movement and change. Each year, there is a “shuffle” as some shows move from one theatre to another into the locations and timeslots that they believe will best enable them to develop, grow, and provide Branson visitors with the best entertainment experience. Here’s the current status of the Branson Shuffle, sorted alphabetically, as of December 14, 2016:

#1 Hits of the 60s: Clay Cooper Theatre
Abba Tribute: Thank You for the Music: Hamners’ Variety Theater
Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai: Mickey Gilley Grand Shanghai Theatre*
AYO staring the Voices of Glory: Starlite
Billy Dean: Jim Stafford Theatre
Beach Boys California Dreamin: Hamners’ Variety Theater
Blackwoods: Dutton Theatre
George Dyer: Americana
Raiding the Country Vault: Starlite Theatre
SIX: Hughes Brothers Theatre

The result of the Branson Shuffle is a source of excitement and anticipation during this time of the year in Branson. It’s born not only because of the physical move, but the show changes and innovation that often accompanies such moves the next season because of the location and physical attributes of the new venue.

The Branson Tourism Center’s Branson Show List, updated on a daily basis as information becomes available, is Branson’s most current list of shows, schedules, ticketing and other information. If more information on the status of the Branson Shuffle for Branson’s 2017 shows is desired, please call one of Branson Tourism Center’s Branson based Travel Planners at 1-800-785-1550. They will be delighted to answer any questions you might have about Branson shows, hotels, or attractions and assist you in planning your Branson trip. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM.

* The “Mickey Gilley Theatre” through the 2016 season.

Unique Christmas Sweepstakes blesses winner and local Branson charity

161212 Christmas Sweepstakes Composite

Two “Winners,” Onyinye Elochukwu,” who won the $500 Grand Prize and the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri, who was designated by her to receive an additional $500 from the Branson Tourism Center.

When Mrs. Onyinye Elochukwu, of Sacramento, California, went to open her email on the morning of December 12, she certainly didn’t expect to find out that she had won Branson Tourism Center’s 2016 Ozark Mountain Christmas Sweepstakes. She said, “When I opened my email and found out that I had won I was so excited! I read it twice before I even grasped that I had won.”

Onyinye, a stay at home mom taking care of a two-and-a-half-year-old son, entered the contest through Facebook and really didn’t think she had a chance to win. Now that she’s won, she said, “I’m so grateful. It couldn’t have come at a better time; what a wonderful Christmas gift!”

“To us at the Branson Tourism Center, Christmas is all about giving, so in keeping with that spirit, we decided to have a special Christmas Sweepstake centered around the joy and spirit of Christmas giving,” said Tammy Johnson, the Vice President | General Manager of the Branson Tourism Center. “We offer our congratulations to Mrs. Elochukwu and share her excitement.”

Johnson also points out that another important element of the Sweepstake was that the Winner was empowered to brighten the Christmas of a local Branson charity by designating it, from those listed, to receive a gift of $500.00 from the Branson Tourism Center. Onyinye, who has never visited Branson, but hopes to do so someday, selected the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri because she is more familiar with the Red Cross saying,” I see what they do on TV, on-line, and in social media and I like what they do to help people in times of need.”

Stacy Burks, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Southern Missouri said, “We’re so grateful to Mrs. Elochukwu and the Branson Tourism Center for thinking of the American Red Cross during this season of giving. Our volunteers are ready to go when disaster strikes whether home fire, flood, or tornado and this donation will help provide relief and help to community members during their time of need.”

 

Six awesome reasons why you don’t want to miss Branson’s Christmas Week!

Silver Dollar City's Old Time Christmas, New Year's Eve with Legends in Concert, the Amazing Pets Show ,and Tanger Outlet.

Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas, New Year’s Eve with Legends in Concert, the Amazing Pets Show ,and Tanger Outlets are just a few of the almost infinite choices awaiting Branson visitors during Branson’s Christmas Week.

Branson’s Christmas Week, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, offers Branson visitors the same world class shopping and entertainment experience that makes Branson one of the premier vacation destinations in America,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “From tigers and butterflies, to acrobats, drive through Christmas lighting displays, museums, world class shopping, New Year’s Eve celebrations second to none, and so much more; if you’re looking for fun, entertainment, excitement and adventure as part of your Christmas vacation then Branson’s Christmas Week in Branson is the place for you!” he added.

Here’s a list of six reasons why:

1.Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas Festival: Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas Festival is one of the Nation’s top Christmas events. Its spectacular display of five million Christmas lights throughout the park, entertainment, parade, Broadway style shows, and much more has been recognized and featured nationally by USA Today, CNN Travel, The Travel Channel, Good Morning America and many others.

Although the award winning 1880s styled theme park, lit with over 5 million sparkling Christmas lights, is filled with shows; crafts; unique shopping; food; weather permitting, dozens of exciting rides and demonstrating craftsmen; and other activities, something special begins to happen each evening at dusk, in the Square on Main Street. First, the 5-Story Special Effects Christmas Tree comes to life, with its 350,000 colorful sparkling LED lights, choreographed to Christmas music, and making over 100 light changes per second. In its glow, “the most famous reindeer of all” leads Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Christmas Light Parade with its nine musical floats, illuminated with 200,000 ultra-bright LED lights; 33 colorful costumed characters, including Bumble the Abominable Snowman, 14-foot moose characters, 12-foot tall elves and 10-foot candy canes, plus penguins, elves and a troupe of marching wooden soldiers.”

2. Branson Shows: Although many of Branson’s shows are closed for the season, some of its most popular shows will be open during Branson’s Christmas Week presenting the live entertainment for which Branson is noted. This includes, in alphabetical order, The Acrobats of China, Amazing Pets, Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express, Comedy Jamboree, Dixie Stampede, Grand Jubilee, Hamner’s Unbelievable Variety, The Haygoods, Hughes Brothers Christmas Show, Legends in Concert, Million Dollar Quartet, Moses, Pierce Arrow and the Showboat Branson Belle along with many more.

3. Branson Attractions: In addition to Silver Dollar City, the majority of Branson’s other attractions will be open offering visitors a range of exciting adventures and activities. How about an up close encounter with the tigers and other big cats at the National Tiger Sanctuary; a ziplining adventure on Branson Zip Lines, or an entertaining interactive experience aboard Branson’s Titanic Museum attraction. In addition to everything else the Titanic offers its passengers on a daily basis, it’s celebrating its spectacular Christmas and Winter Celebration, as magically, inside and out, the ship “hails the sights, sounds, and joy of the season” and is aglow with glittering lights, festive decorations, and the spirit of the Holidays.

And that’s just the beginning! With museums as varied at the Branson Dinosaur Museum and the World Largest Toy Museum, the unique “White Flight” exhibit at the Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure; the Promised Land Zoo, hiking on one of our beautiful Ozark trails, golf, fishing, and so much more, it’s hard to imagine a travel destination, anywhere near Branson’s size that could offer more.

4. Spectacular Christmas Lighting Displays: Although Christmas Day is past, all the major drive through Christmas lighting displays will remain open through December 31. This includes the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights, Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights & Village, Branson’s Gift of Lights and the giant 30 foot nativity scene on top of Mount Branson overlooking Lake Taneycomo and historic downtown Branson.

5. Branson Shopping: Shopping is an important part of the Branson experience and Branson’s Christmas Week is no exception. From the quaint specialty shops offering arts and crafts and one of a kind items; to the shops of Historic Downtown Branson, featuring “Dicks 5 & 10,” the unique “Branson Landing,” with its 100 retail stores, and outlet malls such as “Tanger Outlets” and “The Meadows,” Branson’s Christmas Week shopping will satisfy the most avid shopper.

6. New Year’s Eve: From the midnight fireworks at the Chateau on the Lake to a New Year’s Eve party while cruising Lake Taneycomo aboard Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess, a 100 foot luxury yacht, or one of the unique celebrations by one of Branson’s shows, both 2016 and Branson’s Christmas Week fade away and 2017 emerges as only Branson can do it. It’s hard to imagine a more unique, entertaining or exciting New Year’s Eve than one spent with some of Branson’s most popular shows as they welcome in 2017 with their unique New Year’s Eve celebrations including:

Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve (Clay Cooper and Haygoods joint celebration)
Grand Jubilee
Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show
Hughes Brothers New Year’s Eve Show
Legends in Concert
Million Dollar Quartet
Pierce Arrow

Branson Tourism Center’s Garrison advises advanced planning and reservations for any trip to Branson during the Christmas Season because of the off season scheduling of shows, limited seating, and the fact that some Branson lodging facilities are closed. He suggests that an easy way to avoid problems, save time and, in many cases, money, is by simply calling the Branson Tourism Center, toll free at 1-800-785-1550 and talking with one of their Branson based Travel Planners who will be delighted to answer any questions and assist in making any show or lodging reservations. There is absolutely no charge for this service.

 

Five reasons why Thanksgiving in Branson is so fascinating!

From the splendor or millions of Christmas Lights, to a Thanksgiving meal aboard a luxury yacht, shows from our families to yours, and world class shopping Thanksgiving in Branson is fun, unique, and inspiring.

The splendor or millions of Christmas Lights, a Thanksgiving meal aboard a luxury yacht, shows from our families to yours, world class shopping, and so much more help make Thanksgiving in Branson the unique fascinating event it is.

“From feasting, to entertaining, shopping, and so much more, Branson’s Thanksgiving cornucopia is overflowing with fun, excitement, adventure, and the spirit of Christmas,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. Garrison suggests five reasons why spending Thanksgiving in Branson is a fascinating way to celebrate Thanksgiving while having fun and making special family memories that could last a lifetime:

1. Bountiful Choice of Thanksgiving Meals: From the traditional Thanksgiving fare like that served at the Welk Resort’s Stage Door Restaurant to mouthwatering Thanksgiving buffets and brunches such as those served at Grand Country, College of the Ozark’s Keeter Center, and the Chateau on the Lake, non-traditional Thanksgiving food such as the Italian cuisine at Florentina’s Italian Ristorante, and dozens more Branson diners will have a bountiful choice Thanksgiving dining options for every pallet and budget including a scrumptious traditional Thanksgiving dinner served aboard Main Street Lake Cruises’ Landing Princess, amid the luxury of a 100 foot yacht, while cruising on beautiful Lake Taneycomo.

2. Branson’s Great Shows: Although some of Branson’s shows will not be performing on Thanksgiving Day, many of its most popular shows will, including the Acrobats of China, Amazing Pets, Andy Williams Christmas Extravaganza, Grand Jubilee Hughes Brothers Christmas Show, Legends in Concert, Million Dollar Quartet, New Jersey Nights, Puttin’ on the Ritz, The Haygoods, The Lettermen, Shoji Tabuchi, and many more. The full complement of Branson shows, including Billy Dean In Concert With Jarrett, Christmas Wonderland, Clay Cooper’s Country Express, Moses, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, SIX, The Texas Tenors, will resume their normal performance schedules for the remainder of the season on November 25.

3.  Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas: Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas Festival is one of America’s top holiday events. Its spectacular display of five million Christmas lights throughout the park, entertainment, parade, Broadway style shows, and much more has been recognized and featured nationally by USA Today, CNN Travel, The Travel Channel, Good Morning America and many others. One of the many features of this festival happens each evening at dusk, in the Square on Main Street with the lighting of the 5-Story Special Effects Christmas Tree. As it sparkles to life with its 350,000 colorful sparkling LED lights, choreographed to Christmas music, and making over 100 light changes per second; it signals the beginning of Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Christmas Light Parade led by “the most famous reindeer of all.” Rudolph leads a spectacular parade of “nine musical, lighted floats, illuminated with 200,000 ultra-bright LED lights accompanied. “by 33 colorful costumed characters, including Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, 14-foot moose characters, 12-foot tall elves and 10-foot candy canes, plus penguins, elves and a troupe of marching wooden soldiers” that will amaze and delight all ages.

4. Fun, Attractions and Activities for Everyone: Many of Branson’s attractions will be open on Thanksgiving Day, and all over the weekend, including the extremely popular Branson Titanic Museum Attraction, as it celebrates its unique and beautiful Winter Celebration filled with beautiful decorations, unique shopping, and different special events, including, over Thanksgiving Weekend, 1500 luminaries casting a beautiful glow over its entrance. How about three spectacular drive through light displays including Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights, Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights and Village, and Branson Gift of Lights; a round of golf at one of Branson’s championship courses, or any one of dozens more exciting attractions and activities?

5. Shopping: Branson provides a world class shopping experience anytime of the year, and that is obvious over Thanksgiving, as Black Friday, and Christmas shopping takes center stage. Branson’s major shopping areas, such as Branson Landing, Tanger Outlets, The Shoppes at Branson Meadows, historic downtown Branson, Grand Village Shops, Branson Mill Craft Village and its more than 250 different boutiques, specialty shops, national chain stores, flea markets, craft malls, and famous-name outlet stores provide a wonderful opportunity to “shop till you drop” while making it easier to find that special gift for that special person. National chain stores in Branson will have the same Thanksgiving sale hours as elsewhere, and just about all Branson retailers and shops will be having Black Friday specials. Not surprisingly, the Friday after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year in Branson.

For additional information on Thanksgiving in Branson, Ozark Mountain Christmas or for information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website Branson Tourism Center.com.

 

Shouldn’t one of these fantastic museums be part of your Branson experience?

Titanic Museum's full sized Grand Staircase, two story high T-Rex from Dinosaur Museum, and the entrance to the Worlds Biggest Toy Museum Complex.

Titanic Museum’s full sized Grand Staircase, two story high T-Rex at the  Dinosaur Museum, and the entrance to the Worlds Biggest Toy Museum Complex.

“It has been said that Branson has something for everyone, and that’s true not only in terms of general categories of things to do, but with choices within each category,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “For instance, within the general category of Branson shows there is a wide variety of choices ranging from Sight & Sound’s biblical spectacular Moses to the Million Dollar Quartet, Haygoods and almost 100 more,” she added.

Wood goes on to point out that it’s the same thing with Branson Attractions, lakes, shopping, and many other categories of activities that Branson offers including one that many Branson visitors overlook, “Museums.” Some, such as Branson’s most popular museum, the amazing Titanic Museum Attraction, are hard to miss, but others are not as obvious. Here’s a list of six Branson Museums that can add excitement and adventure to your Branson experience:

Bransons Titanic Museum Attraction: This one half size scale replica of the “R.M.S. Titanic,” towering high above the Branson strip, is one of Branson’s most popular attractions! More than simply a museum, it’s an interactive adventure that shares the stories of those who were onboard for the famous ocean voyage that has fascinated the world for more than a century with hundreds of artifacts, a crew that interacts with passengers, many interactive activities, and so much more. From beginning to end it’s a special experience. Here’s a neat article entitled 13 Things “kids” should know about the Branson Titanic Museum Attraction that describes this unique Branson experience. This museum is open year-round and is not weather dependent.

Branson Auto & Farm Museum: At any given time, this beautiful 90,000 square foot museum provides an opportunity to take a unique stroll through the vintage chrome, modern designs, high performance, and legendary styling of about 200 classic and collectible vehicles and 180 farm tractors, implements and buggies on display. Its 5,000 square foot gift shop offers a unique selection of apparel, books, pedal cars, vintage toys, and other items. With inventory changing regularly, every visit to the museum is a unique adventure! This museum is open year-round and is not weather dependent.

The Ralph Foster Museum: Located at the College this museum has the mission of collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting items related to the Ozarks region, its history and culture. Probably, the most well-known of the museum’s displays is an original truck from the Beverly Hillbillies’ 1960’s television show. Other displays include an intact, antique dental office to a display of Rose O’Neill’s world-famous Kewpie Dolls. The museum is not weather dependent and is open year-round except for the month of January, Thanksgiving week, including the weekend before and after Thanksgiving, and mid December through the end of December.

Veterans Memorial Museum: This museum pays heartfelt tribute to the men and women who bravely served our country.  It features more than 2,000 exhibits commemorating the American soldier in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and more recent conflicts, including historical artifacts, murals, and sculptures in touching tribute to American soldiers, veterans, and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms. This museum is open year-round and is not weather dependent.

World’s Largest Toy Museum Complex: Give the family a break from computers, tablets, video games, and cell phones and bring them to 25,000 square feet of the most unique and interesting museum experiences available anywhere! In fact, it’s five different museums in one where “Memories unfold and imagination abounds.” The Worlds Largest Toy Museum contains more than 1,000,000 toys. See cast iron fire trucks, slot cars, Hot Wheels, tin toys, the very first Barbie Doll, and hundreds of other historical toys like Power Rangers and Howdy Doody, and baseballs autographed by sports heroes like Joe DiMaggio and Cal Ripken. The complexes’ other museums include “The National BB Gun Museum” and a special GI Joe display; The Harold B. Wright Museum containing the original manuscript of the best-selling book, “The Shepherd of the Hills” along with Wrights personal collection of furniture and paintings; “The Stearnsy Bear Museum;” and “The World of Checkers Museum.” This museum is open year-round and is not weather dependent.

Branson Dinosaur Museum: Experience dinosaurs up close and personal, from everyone’s favorite, the enormous “Tyrannosaurus Rex,” fondly referred to as “T Rex,” to the “tiny,” comparatively speaking, Four-Winged Microraptor, measuring only one-foot-tall. Thanks to the talented paleo-artists, who used actual dinosaur bones to mold the incredible bodies of these dinosaurs, you will almost expect them to come to life at any moment. See the article entitled Branson Dinosaur Museum home to T- Rex and his dinosaur pals for more information. This museum is open year-round and is not weather dependent.

For more information on these and other amazing Branson attractions, shows, or lodging, please call one of Branson Tourism Center’s Branson based Travel Planners at 1-800-875-1550. They will be delighted to answer any questions you might have about Branson, its shows, hotels, or attractions and assist you with reservations to help ensure that you obtain the best available seating at shows and the accommodations you desire. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM.