Category Archives: Events

Best of Branson Insider Highlights for May 2016

One of Branson's hottest new shows the Million Dollar Quartet, the incredible Ray Stevens, and the $1.7 million dollar Wallace Hartley Titanic Violin, pictured here with Branson's premier violinist, Shoji Tabuchi are just some of the amazing events taking place in Branson during May.

One of Branson’s hottest new shows the “Million Dollar Quartet,” the incredible Ray Stevens, and the $1.7 million dollar Wallace Hartley Titanic Violin, pictured here with Branson’s premier violinist, Shoji Tabuchi, are just three of the amazing things Branson visitors will enjoy during May.

“From the opening of most of Branson’s shows, attractions, and other activities to boating, swimming, and other aquatic sports and activities on Table Rock Lake, Branson’s exciting 2016 season comes roaring out of the gate during May,” said Preston Garrison, the Operations Manager for the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest providers of tourism services and information. It’s one of the most exciting months of the year with adventure, excitement, and entertainment at every turn,” he added.

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

Featured Show of the Month: Premiering during the summer of 2015, the Million Dollar Quartet has quickly become one of Branson’s most popular do not miss shows shows. This year marks the 60th Anniversary of one of the greatest jam sessions in rock n’ roll history 2016 that took place on December 4, 1956, in the Memphis storefront recording studio of Sun Records. It was a once in a lifetime impromptu gathering of four young recording legends-to-be, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis that would have been a forgotten page of history, but for the resurfacing of an unknown recording of that jam session decades later. That jam session and the four rock n’ roll legends involved became the inspiration for the Tony Award winning musical Million Dollar Quartet that shares the music, spontaneity, and drama of what happened that day, as these four legends performed together for their first and last time. When I first saw the show I wrote, “Over the last three decades, I have seen many Branson shows of all types, but never one like the Million Dollar Quartet! An outstanding cast, timeless music that everyone knows, and a great storyline combine with the show’s unique set and great production to create an incredible entertainment experience for the whole family that should not be missed.”

Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: The incredible Ray Stevens returns to Branson for one night only, May 14, in what’s sure to be an epic night of laughter. Don’t miss this opportunity as Stevens once again commands the Branson stage with a load of funny, a dash of feeling, and songs that tickle our funny bone and touch our hearts.

Featured Event of the Month: The last 29 days to see the Branson Titanic Museum Attraction presentation of a 2016 World Exclusive Exhibit, the $1.7 Million Dollar Bandmaster Titanic Violin. RMS Titanic bandleader, Wallace Hartley’s violin has become the iconic symbol of the Titanic saga. Found strapped to his body after the sinking, it was returned to his wife-to-be, only to be lost to the world until it resurfaced almost a century later. Now, for the first time since an unnamed owner took possession of the violin, visitors to the Titanic Museum Attractions will be able to experience for themselves, the overwhelming sense of emotion it evokes,” says Mary Kellogg-Joslyn, co-owner of the Titanic Attractions. The Hartley Titanic violin will be on display in Branson, along with the only Bible to survive the Titanic through May 29, after which it will move to the Pigeon Forge Titanic Museum Attraction, where it will be displayed from June 7 through Labor Day Weekend.

 LIMITED ENGAGEMENT PERFORMANCES (Sorted by starting date)

The Texas Tenors.

The Texas Tenors.

 

May 2-May 12: Moon River and Me
May 2: Larry’s Country Diner-T. Graham Brown
May 3-13: The Texas Tenors
May 3: Larry’s Country Diner-Jimmy Fortune
May 4: Larry’s Country Diner-Gene Watson (Sold Out)*
May 6-7: Boot Daddy Presents Branson Gospel Reunion
May 5: Larry’s Country Diner-Mo and Holly Pitney
May 6: Larry’s Country Diner-Mark Wills
May 7: Larry’s Country Diner-Mark Lowry
May 14: Ray Stevens
May 14: Engelbert Humperdinck
May 18: Moe Bandy and Johnny Lee
May 20-21: Boot Daddy Presents Dailey & Vincent
May 25: Chubby Checker
May 27: Roots and Boots Tour starring Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw and Collin Raye
May 28: Boot Daddy Presents Jason Pritchett (cancelled)
* Call to see if there are any cancellations.

SPECIAL EVENT HIGHLIGHTS (Sorted by starting date.)

May 1-May 29: Titanic Museum Attraction – $1.7 Million Wallace Hartley Violin
May1-May 31: Ozark Mountain Shindig Festival
May 1: Silver Dollar City World Fest Festival (Last day*)

May 5-May 30: Silver Dollar City Bluegrass & BBQ Festival
May 6-May 7: Scott’s Challenge Firefighter Combat in Branson!
May 7: Walk: MS Branson 2016
May 8: Mother’s Day Cruise on Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess
May 8: Mother’s Day Brunch at Big Cedar Lodge
May 8: Mother’s Day Brunch at Keeter Center
May 8: Mother’s Day Brunch at Chateau on the Lake
May 14: Promenade Pop-Up Shop
May 14: Saturday Shindig Shopping Spree
May 14- May 15: 2016 Divas Half Marathon & 5K in Branson
May 19: Shindig Festival – Jammin’ at Area 57
May 21: Armed Forces Day
May 21: Kayak Branson’s Biggest Flotilla Adventure on Lake Taneycomo
May 27: Makenna & Brock + Leather & Lace in Concert
May 27-May 30: Memorial Day Weekend Sidewalk Sale at Tanger Outlets
May 28: Shindig Festival – The Shindig Shuffle
May 28: White Water opens for its 2016.
May 29: Big Cedar Memorial Day Weekend Fireworks
May 30: Memorial Day

For additional information on these events, or 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 visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com, or calling 1-800-785-1550.

Best of Branson Insider Highlights for April 2016

Fire Dancer from "Island Fire."

Fire Dancer from “Island Fire,” is just one of many world class acts featured in Silver Dollar City’s World-Fest, America’s largest International Festival.

“From the limited time display of the $1.7 million dollar Wallace Hartley Violin at the Titanic Museum Attraction, to the opening of the show of Branson’s premier violinist, Shoji Tabuchi, Silver Dollar City’s World-Fest, or the Legends of Golf Tournament, the month of April is just bursting with exciting things for Branson visitors to experience,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “We are particularly excited about hosting America’s Purple Heart Recipients as we honor them during Branson.com Honors Purple Heart Recipients Weekend,” she added.

Here’s our Featured Show, Limited Engagement, and Event of the Month, along with a list of the major events in Branson during April, 2016:

Featured Show of the Month: The Illusionist Rick Thomas is truly magical. In a recent review of this show I wrote, “From the time the show starts until it ends with a ‘blast,’ it’s two hours of truly magical non-stop entertainment with a variety of illusions; close up magic; what I call ‘mind magic;’ doves, dogs, color, brightness, dancing, music and action that will ‘knock your socks off.’ The magic is illusionary, but the fun, excitement and enjoyment I experienced, and witnessed others enjoying was real.’”

Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: It’s Trace Adkins folks, the big man of country music with the irresistible grin, and he’s making his first Branson appearance for one show only on April 22! He’s scored plenty of hits, including his enduring and catchy tune, Honky Tonk Badonkadonk, and number one songs (This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing, Ladies Love Country Boys, and You’re Gonna Miss This, and landed at the top of the country charts when he collaborated with superstar Blake Shelton on Hillbilly Bone. Adkins typically performs in large arenas and outdoor festivals, so here’s your chance to see him a bit more up-close-and-personal!

Featured Event of the Month: Featured Event of the Month: This is the final year of World-Fest, Silver Dollar City’s long-time festival that unites seven continents into America’s largest International Festival! Each year World-Fest presents something new and exciting through the talent or cuisine of many different countries and cultures, and this year is no exception. The African Acrobats from Cirque Zuma Zuma return and a dance ensemble, Slask, from Eastern Europe joins the line-up in 2016 along with many of your favorites from the past. This is your last chance to see why this celebration of “World-Class” proportions has made it a family favorite each year for so many years..

LIMITED ENGAGEMENT PERFORMANCES (Sorted by starting date)

Apr 8:  CMT Presents Jennifer Nettles with 2016 Next Women of Country Tour
Apr 9:  Ultimate Elvis Tribute Contest
Apr 22  Trace Adkins
Apr 22-23:  Boot Daddy Presents Gene Watson
Apr 23:  Boot Daddy Presents Gene Watson
Apr 26-27:  Oak Ridge Boys
Apr 29:  LeAnn Rimes

SPECIAL EVENT HIGHLIGHTS (Sorted by starting date.)

Apr 1-May 29:  Titanic Museum Attraction – $1.7 Million Wallace Hartley Violin
Apr 1-Apr 3:  Silver Dollar City Young Christians Weekend
Apr 1 May 31:  Ozark Mountain Shindig Festival
Apr 7-Apr 9:  2016 Kenneth Copeland Branson Victory Campaign
Apr 7-May 1:  Silver Dollar City’s World-Fest
Apr 9:  Saturday Shindig Shopping Spree
Apr 10:  Sunday Shindig Shopping Spree
Apr 13-Apr 17:  Kewpiesta
Apr 15-Apr 16:  The Branson Auction – Three Decades of Service to the Collector
Apr 16:  MCDA Cheer and Dance Championships
Apr 20-Apr 24:  Legends of Golf Presented by Bass Pro Shops
Apr 21-Apr 23:  Branson.com Honors Purple Heart Recipients Weekend
Apr 23:  Kayak Branson’s Biggest Flotilla Adventure on Lake Taneycomo
Apr 27-Apr 28:  Savor the Flavors at Welk Resort
Apr 27-Apr 30:  See the World in Branson Music Fest
Apr 28:  Hootenanny in the Park
Apr 30:  MDA Muscle Walk

For additional information on these events, or 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 visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com, or calling 1-800-785-1550.

Wouldn’t you like to see some of these amazing March 2016 Branson highlights?

A few of the highlights of what's happening in Branson during March.

A few of Branson’s March highlights!

“March, with the colors of spring painting a beautiful mosaic over our Ozarks hills, the opening of Silver Dollar City, as well as many of Branson’s most popular shows and attractions reopening after their winter hiatus, signals the beginning of Branson’s 2016 season,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “And if what’s happening in Branson during March is any indication, 2016 promises to be a wonderful year full of freshness, fun, excitement, and adventure for Branson visitors,” she added.

Here’s our Featured Show, and Event of the Month, along with a list of the major events you can enjoy in Branson during March, 2016:

Featured Show of the Month: The long awaited Branson premier of Sight & Sound’s phenomenal biblical spectacular, Moses. “While maintaining its inspirational biblical perspective, Moses is the most spectacular, technologically advanced, show that Sight & Sound Theaters has ever put on stage,” said Mike Pitman, the Business Development Manager for the theatres. He said that people expect the inspirational and spectacular from Sight & Sound, but Moses takes it to an entirely new level. “And that’s saying a lot when you consider the incredible productions, such as Noah – the Musical, Miracle of Christmas, Joseph, and Jonah, that Sight & Sound has become legendary for,” said Branson Tourism Center’s Wood.

Featured Event of the Month: Branson Titanic Museum Attraction presents a 2016 World Exclusive Exhibit, the $1.7 Million Dollar Bandmaster Titanic Violin, in honor of the 10th Anniversary of the attraction’s setting anchor in Branson. RMS Titanic bandleader, Wallace Hartley’s violin has become the iconic symbol of the Titanic saga. Found strapped to his body after the sinking, it was returned to his wife-to-be, only to be lost to the world until it resurfaced almost a century later. Now, for the first time since an unnamed owner took possession of the violin, visitors to the Titanic Museum Attractions will be able to experience for themselves, the overwhelming sense of emotion it evokes,” says Mary Kellogg-Joslyn, co-owner of the Titanic Attractions. The Hartley Titanic violin will be on display in Branson, along with the only Bible to survive the Titanic, from March 7 through May 29, after which it will move to the Pigeon Forge Titanic Museum Attraction, where it will be displayed from June 7 through Labor Day Weekend.

 SPECIAL EVENT HIGHLIGHTS (Sorted by starting date.)

Mar 1 – 31: Opening of many of Branson Shows (Check schedule for show(s) of interest.)
Mar 1 – 31:Annual Irish Celebration Month at Titanic Museum Attraction
Mar 4 – 6: 4th Annual Branson Classic Gymnastics Invitational
Mar 4 – 6: 2016 Sugar Bert Boxing Title Belt National Championship…Call 770-833-7888
Mar 5: Branson Premier of Sight and Sound’s Moses!
Mar 5: Limited Engagement – Charles Esten
Mar 7: Silver Dollar City Opens 2016 Season with “Spring Ride Days”
Mar 7 – May 29 Exhibit of $1.7 Million Dollar Wallace Hartley Titanic Violin
Mar 9 – 15: NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship 2016
Mar 19: Shamrock Shamble Golf Tournament at Branson Hills Golf Club
Mar 24: 3rd Annual Keller Williams 5K Run
Mar 26: Hollister Easter Egg Hunt
Mar 27: Easter Weekend in Branson
Mar 27: Easter Brunch at Keeter Center
Mar 27:Chateau on the Lake Easter Champagne Brunch

For additional information on these events, or 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 visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com, or calling 1-800-785-1550 and talking with a Branson-based vacation planning specialist who will be delighted to answer any questions, and assist you with show or lodging reservations. There is absolutely no charge for this service.

Wouldn’t your sweetheart absolutely love an awesome Valentine’s Day in Branson?

The full scale replica of the Titanic's Grand Stair Case has been the site of many romantic moments.

The full scale replica of the Titanic’s Grand Staircase has been the site of many romantic moments.

Thomas Hood said, “Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine, love, thou art every day my Valentine?” What better place than Branson to show that precious someone that they “Art every day my Valentine!”

With Valentine’s Day, February 14, falling on Sunday this year, it affords a special opportunity to share a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Weekend in Branson with your Valentine. Branson, with its shows, attractions, restaurants, shopping, wide choice of lodging, and other activities provides the perfect canvas upon which to create the perfect Valentine for your sweetheart.

For many, the celebration of Valentine’s Day involves a special meal. Whether it’s the romance and elegance of dinner at a table for two, overlooking Table Rock Lake in the Chateau Grille at the Chateau on the Lake Resort, 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 simple Ozark’s fare of McFarlain’s Family Restaurant, or any of the many other fine Branson restaurants, Branson is sure to have the perfect Valentine’s meal for you to share with your sweetheart.

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

And that’s just a partial list of the shows that will be open Valentine’s Weekend. For a full list of open shows, please go to Branson Shows and select the date(s) that interest you.

Branson’s Titanic Museum Attraction and the romance of Valentine’s Day are a perfect fit as the museum celebrates Sweetheart Month. The Titanic’s elegant, full-sized replica of the “Titanic’s Grand Staircase” is a unique and beautiful spot for a wedding or to renew Wedding Vows on Valentine’s Day or any other special day.

If shopping is in your Valentine’s plans, Branson is the perfect place to do it. With more than 250 different boutiques, national chain stores, flea markets, craft malls, famous-name outlet stores, and specialty shops all over Branson, the historic downtown Branson shopping district, the entertainment-style shopping at Branson Landing, and much more, Branson offers a unique world-class shopping experience for your Valentine.

“In addition to everything else Branson offers to make Valentine’s Day special, you can save money by combining your lodging, shows, and other activities together in one a package,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC). She points out that for Valentine’s Weekend, BTC is offering a number of packages, such as the Titanic Valentine’s Special and Cupid’s Romantic Getaway Package, that include lodging, show tickets, and more at considerable savings over purchasing them separately.

Why not give the gift of Branson to your special Valentine? Branson Tourism Center’s Wood suggests that for additional information on Branson, or help with planning the perfect Branson Valentine for your sweetheart, please contact BTC and talk with one of their Branson-based Travel Planners who will be delighted to assist you. BTC can be reached by calling 1-800-785-1550 from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM seven days a week, or through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

There’s a lot more than turkey on the menu in Branson for Thanksgiving!

Silver Dollar City's Main Street aglow in Christmas lights celebrating of its "Old Time Christmas."

Silver Dollar City’s town square aglow in Christmas lights celebrating of its “Old Time Christmas.”

“Branson’s Thanksgiving menu offers a lot more than turkey,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “It’s filled with feasting, which may or may not include turkey, great live entertainment, excitement, Christmas lights, adventure, great shopping, and so much more,” she added.

“And speaking of feasting, visitors who spend Thanksgiving in Branson will have a cornucopia available of great places to eat,” Wood said. She points out that whether it’s non-traditional Thanksgiving fare, such as the Italian cuisine at Florentina’s Italian Ristorante; a more traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the Stage Door Restaurant, or a mouthwatering Thanksgiving buffet like that served at the Keeter Center, Branson diners will have a wonderful choice of Thanksgiving meals for every palette and budget.

Here’s a list of many of the Branson restaurants and buffets that will be open on Thanksgiving Day:

Chateau on the Lake Thanksgiving Day Brunch
Devil’s Pool Thanksgiving Brunch Buffet
Golden Corral Thanksgiving Day Buffet
Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks Thanksgiving Day Brunch
Plaza View Restaurant at the Grand Plaza
Osage Restaurant & Arnie’s Barn at Top of the Rock Thanksgiving Buffet
Shorty Smalls
Paradise Grill & Steakhouse
Wildwood Bistro at Radisson Hotel Branson Thanksgiving Brunch
Worman House

Stage Door Restaurant at Welk Resort

Baldknobbers Restaurant, 417-334-7202
Bob Evans, 417- 336-2023
Branson’s P’sghetti’s Restaurant & Attraction, 417-335-0690
Buckingham’s Restaurant, 417-337-7777
Cracker Barrel, 417-335-3003
Denny’s Restaurant, 417-339-3670
Fall Creek Steak House, 417-336-5060
Florentina’s Italian Ristorante, 417-337-9882
Grand Country Buffet, 417-335-2434
Great American Steak & Chicken House, 417-335-6699
I.H.O.P., 417-339-4467
Lonestar Steakhouse, 417- 336-5030
McFarlain’s Family Restaurant, 417-336-4680
Texas Land & Cattle, 417-337-8200
Shoney’s, 417-335-6855

How about some of that famous Branson live entertainment, either before or after a great Thanksgiving meal? Although some of Branson’s shows will not be performing on Thanksgiving Day, many of its most popular shows, including the Hughes Brothers Christmas Show, Million Dollar Quartet, Puttin’ on the Ritz, The Andy Williams Christmas Show and many more will be. Here’s a list of 17 of Branson’s Most Popular Shows that will be open Thanksgiving Day:

10:00 AM
Hughes Brothers Christmas Show
12:30 PM
Dixie Stampede
2:00 PM
Puttin’ on the Ritz
The Lettermen
3:00 PM
Acrobats of China
Amazing Pets
Legends in Concert
4:00 PM
Showboat Branson Belle
7:30 PM
Grand Jubilee
Shoji Tabuchi
The Haygoods
8:00 PM
Acrobats of China
Andy Williams Christmas Show
Duttons
Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety
Legends in Concert
Million Dollar Quartet
New Jersey Nights
Pierce Arrow

And that’s just some of the shows that will be open. (Click here for a more complete list.)

On Friday, November 27, those Branson shows closed on Thanksgiving Day will join those listed above as they resume their normal performance schedules for the remainder of the season. These include such popular shows as Billy Dean In Concert With Jarrett, Christmas Wonderland, Clay Cooper’s Country Express, Grand Jubilee, Jonah, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, SIX, The Texas Tenors, and many more.

Great food and Branson’s famed live shows isn’t all Branson has to offer Thanksgiving visitors; from golf to Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas, the Titanic Museum Attraction, Drive-thru Christmas Lighting displays, and more, most of Branson’s major attractions will be open on Thanksgiving Day. Here’s a list of 15 Branson Attractions scheduled to be open on Thanksgiving Day, along with a link to additional information, schedules, and pricing:

Silver Dollar City
Titanic Museum Attraction
Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights & Village
Trail of Lights
Branson Limousine Christmas Light Tour
The Track Family Fun Parks
Thousand Hills Golf
Branson Dinosaur Museum
Branson Limousine Wine and Shine Tour
Branson Hills Golf Club
Harold Bell Wright Museum
Shepherd Inspiration Tower
Veterans Memorial Museum
Vigilante Extreme ZipRider
World’s Largest Toy Museum

On Friday, November 27, those Branson Attractions not open on Thanksgiving Day will join those listed above and resume their normal operating schedules.

Chances are that Black Friday, and other shopping opportunities, will play a major part of Thanksgiving plans for many people throughout the entire Thanksgiving weekend. Branson’s major shopping areas, such as Branson Landing, historic downtown Branson, Grand Village Shops, Tanger Outlets, Branson Mill Craft Village, The Shoppes at Branson Meadows, and its more than 250 different boutiques, specialty shops, national chain stores, flea markets, craft malls, and famous-name outlet stores, will make it easy to find that long sought after item or unique gift. 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, 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 www.Branson Tourism Center.com.

 

‘Branson Veterans Homecoming Week’ honors America’s Veterans from the heart

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“Honoring America’s Veterans, those currently serving in its Armed Forces, and their families for their service and sacrifice is an inherent part of what Branson is,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Even by Branson standards however, ‘Branson Veterans Homecoming Week’ is special,” she added.

The annual event is one of the, if not the biggest, Veterans Day tributes in America, and is celebrated from November 5 through November 11. It features dozens of events all keyed toward honoring those who have served our nation and sacrificed so much.

The following is a schedule of most of the major events sorted chronologically and by starting time. A telephone number or link is included to provide access to additional information on specific events:

November 5, 2015

0900 – 1600 Veteran Registry, Tactical Operations & Vendor Village, 417-337-0563
0900 – 1530 Veterans Events & Reunions Registry Mill Craft Village, 417-230-2278
0900 – 1800 Day Room 9am – 6pm at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0900    Walls of Heroes – Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1000 – 1800 Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall opens at Welk Resort, 417-336-3575
1130 – 1330 Mess Hall Lunch at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1400    Vets for Vets Celebration Show” at the Baldknobbers Theatre

November 6, 2015

0700    Reveille at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0800 – 1800 Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall at Welk Resort, 417-336-3575
0800    POW/MIA Service of Remembrance, Vietnam Wall at Welk Resort, 417-336-4232
0830    IMAX Military Film Festival “Ghost Army,” 417-335-3533
0900 – 1600 Veteran Registry, Tactical Operations & Vendor Village 417-337-0563
0900 – 1530 Veterans Events & Reunions Registry Mill Craft Village – 417-230-2278
0900 – 1800 Day Room 9am – 6pm at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0900    Walls of Heroes – Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1000    Fourth Annual Navy Memorial at Golden Corral
1100    Veterans Grove Tree Dedication, College of the Ozarks
1130 – 1330 Mess Hall Lunch at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1700    Retreat at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387

November 7, 2015

0700    Reveille at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0800 – 1800 Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall at Welk Resort, 417-336-3575
0830    Veterans Sporting Clay Shoot, Ozarks Shooter Complex
0830    IMAX Military Film Festival “We Answered the Call: Building the Crown Jewel of Afghanistan,” 417-335-3533
0900 – 1600 Veteran Registry, Tactical Operations & Vendor Village 417-337-0563
0900 – 1530 Veterans Events & Reunions Registry Mill Craft Village – 417-230-2278
0900 – 1800 Day Room 9am – 6pm at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0900    Walls of Heroes at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1000    Musical Fun with Twang, Veterans Military Museum
1130 – 1330 Mess Hall Lunch at Ballparks of America, 417-337-83871200
1200    West Plains High School Marching Band “Veterans Tribute,” Branson Landing
1400 – 1800 4th Infantry Division Social, Savannah House Hotel
1400    Musical Fun with Twang, Veterans Military Museum
1600    Women Veterans Mini Reunion at Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center
1700    Retreat at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1900    Memorial Service for Lost Submarine/Tolling of the Bells, Branson Landing

November 8, 2015

0700    Reveille at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0800 – 1800 Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall at Welk Resort, 417-336-3575
0900 – 1600 Veteran Registry, Tactical Operations & Vendor Village 417-337-0563
0900 – 1530 Veterans Events & Reunions Registry Mill Craft Village – 417-230-2278
0900 – 1800 Day Room 9am – 6pm at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0900    Walls of Heroes at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1000 – 1200 Vietnam Veterans Mini Reunion, Clay Cooper Theatre
1000    Tribute to Veterans Sunday Worship, Doug Gabriel Theatre
1130 – 1330 Mess Hall Lunch at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1200 – 1400 12th Annual Tribute to Women Veterans & Rose Petal Ceremony, Clarion Hotel & Conference Center
1400 – 1600 Gold, Silver & Blue Star Mothers Afternoon Dessert, Shindigs
1700    Retreat at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387

November 9, 2015

0700    Reveille at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0800 – 1800 Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall at Welk Resort, 417-336-3575
0830    IMAX Military Film Festival “We Answered the Call: Building the Crown Jewel of Afghanistan,” 417-335-3533
0900 – 1600 Veteran Registry, Tactical Operations & Vendor Village 417-337-0563
0900 – 1530 Veterans Events & Reunions Registry Mill Craft Village – 417-230-2278
0900 – 1800 Day Room 9am – 6pm at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0900    Walls of Heroes at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1000    Transition Assistance at Military & BB Gun Museum, 417-239-0719
1130 – 1330 Mess Hall Lunch at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1400 – 1700 Korean War Veterans Mini Reunion, Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center
1700 – 2300 19th Annual Military Gala & Banquet, Chateau on the Lake
1700    Retreat at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1900    Flag Retirement Ceremony, Veterans Memorial Museum

November 10, 2015

0700    Reveille at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0800 – 1800 Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall at Welk Resort, 417-336-3575
0830    IMAX Military Film Festival “Honoring The Valley of the Tears,” 417-335-3533
0900 – 1600 Veteran Registry, Tactical Operations & Vendor Village 417-337-0563
0900 – 1530 Veterans Events & Reunions Registry Mill Craft Village – 417-230-2278
0900 – 1800 Day Room 9am – 6pm at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0900    Wal-Mart Tribute to Veterans, Oak Ridge Boys Theatre
0900    Walls of Heroes at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1100    Celebrity Waiter Fundraiser, Doc’s Hickory Roadhouse
1130 – 1330 Mess Hall Lunch at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1400    Railway to Heaven, Royal Oak Auditorium, Keeter Center, College of the Ozarks
1500 – 1700 15th Anniversary Celebration of the Veterans Memorial Museum, Veterans Memorial Museum
1700    Retreat at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
2100    Railway to Heaven, Jones Auditorium College of the Ozarks

November 11, 2015

0700    Flag Raising/Wreath Laying Ceremony, Main Flag Pole, Chapel Lawn, College of the Ozarks
0800 – 1800 Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall at Welk Resort, 417-336-3575
0830    IMAX Military Film Festival “Honoring The Valley of the Tears,” 417-335-3533
1100    82nd Annual Veterans Day Parade in historic downtown Branson, 417-239-6511
1700    All Hands on Deck! Show, Branson Star Theater
1700 – 2000 Free Golden Corral Dinner for Veterans, Golden Corral

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, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Blessing or luck, crew of the ‘Lucky Lady’ celebrates 70th Annual Reunion

Crew members of the U.S.S Sante Fe attending its 70th Annual Reunion, ictured from left to right, with ages in parens, are Richard Champagne, 91; Clifford Hamilton, 89, Ivan Cannon, 89, Robert Hazelwood, 92, Stephen Wong, 92; Charles Bright, 89; and Steve Downing Jr., 90.

Crew members of the U.S.S Santa Fe attending its 70th Annual Reunion, pictured from left to right, are Richard Champagne, 91; Clifford Hamilton, 89, Ivan Cannon, 89, Robert Hazelwood, 92, Stephen Wong, 92; Charles Bright, 89; and Steve Downing Jr., 90.

Recently, the crew of the “Lucky Lady,” more formally known as the U.S.S. Santa Fe (CL-60), a Cleveland class light cruiser, celebrated their 70th Annual Reunion in Branson, Missouri. Melissa McGowan, a Group Sales Manager for the Branson Tourism Center Groups Department, worked with the group in planning and conducting the reunion. She said, “It’s always an honor and privilege to work with our military groups, but this group was special.

“It was an absolute pleasure to be with them and to hear them talk about what they experienced aboard the Santa Fe during World War II. It changed me. Of the over 1300 plus crewmembers who sailed on the ‘Lucky Lady’ throughout the war, only seven were able to attend the reunion: Richard Champagne, Clifford Hamilton, Ivan Cannon, Robert Hazelwood, Stephen Wong, Charles Bright, and Steve Downing Jr. The oldest was 92 and the youngest was 89. Precious heroes; I love them!”

When the Santa Fe, named after the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, was christened, the traditional bottle of champagne was not used. Instead, the bottle was filled with water taken from the Santa Fe River that had been blessed by Santa Fe’s archbishop. That, and the appropriateness of the ship’s nickname, “Lucky Lady,” came to mind many times as the crew and family members of crew members who have passed, shared some of their experiences. Remarkably, the Santa Fe and her crew fought their way through 224,999 miles of battles, air raids, kamikaze, and torpedo attacks in the Pacific Theatre during World War II without the death of a single crew member due to battle injuries!

How lucky or blessed were they? How about having a torpedo hit the bow of the ship near a gun turret, surrounded by ammunition, that failed to explode? The crew said that if it had exploded they would have lost the bow of the ship. Imagine a kamikaze torpedo plane coming at the ship and being blown out of the sky by the ship’s guns about two seconds before it would have crashed into the ship. It was so close that gas from the plane sprayed aboard, injuring crew-members and killing one non-crew member that the ship had previously rescued. They all agreed that if the plane had remained airborne for two more seconds, very few, if any of them, would have survived.

During one air attack, the aircraft carrier USS Franklin was bombed by a Japanese plane, was on fire, and was in danger of sinking as she listed horribly. The Santa Fe and her crew, in a daring move of extraordinary courage and seamanship, pulled alongside the badly damaged ship, and maintained its position for over three hours, amid fires and exploding ammunition, with the towering aircraft carrier listing over it, as they rescued more than 800 members of its crew.

For her action with the Franklin, the Santa Fe received a Navy Unit Citation. That was in addition to the 13 Battle Stars she received for service from the Aleutian Islands to Tarawa, Wake, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and just about every other major sea raid and battle conducted in the Pacific Theatre during World War II.

The U.S.S. Santa Fe 7 Reunion was held in the beautiful Grand Plaza Hotel in Branson from September 22 through 26; the hotel’s Montclair Room was made available for meetings, dinners, and fellowship. Their schedule allowed plenty of free time to shop, relax, and enjoy the comradery and fellowship of their shipmates, family, and friends. In addition, there were planned events and meals, along with the opportunity to ride the Branson Scenic Railway, experience the adventure of dinner and a show aboard the Showboat Branson Belle on Table Rock Lake, and to see the fabulous Legends in Concert show.

Branson Tourism Center’s McGowan said, “It was an honor to work with them and, although just for a while, get to know them. I hope they enjoyed their time in Branson as much as we enjoyed having them!”

Is the heat of summer the ideal time to plan your visit to see Ozark Mountain Christmas?

Silver Dollar City's acclaimed dazzling 5-story special effects Christmas Tree.

Silver Dollar City’s dazzling 5-story special effects Christmas Tree.

“Yes! Why do we recommend planning for Branson’s Ozark Mountain Christmas, an annual event that runs from November 1 through December 31, in the 90-degree-plus temperatures of summer?” asked Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services. “The simple answer is that Ozark Mountain Christmas is easily the most colorful, exciting, inspirational, and busiest time of the year in Branson,” she added.

Wood points out that its overwhelming popularity creates a high demand, not only for the availability of the more popular shows and lodging establishments, but in getting the best choices in show seating and lodging accommodations. “For the best availability, and to save money on the ‘hottest’ deals, planning your trip to Branson’s Ozark Mountain Christmas in the heat of summer might just be the ‘cool’ thing to do,” Wood advises.

A major attraction of Branson’s Ozark Mountain Christmas for many is the fact that it’s a unique and special celebration of the traditional American Christmas not available in any other major tourist destination. From Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas to the large Adoration Scene on top of Mount Branson, Ozark Mountain Christmas in Branson is filled with Christmas lights, shows, shopping, and a Christmas spirit that puts a special glow in the hearts of those who want to celebrate and experience the true spirit of Christmas.

In addition to the spiritual glow, there is the actual glow of millions of Christmas lights glittering throughout the Branson area. In Silver Dollar City alone, there are over five million sparkling Christmas lights transforming the park into a virtual Christmas wonderland as part of its celebration of Old Time Christmas.

The Shepherd of the Hills’ Trail of Lights provides a spectacular drive through lighting display with millions of glowing Christmas lights and numerous displays. It’s one of the most unique.and beautiful drive-through displays anywhere and is set within the natural beauty of our Ozark Hills. And the glow of Christmas lights doesn’t stop there as Christmas decorations and lights adorn utility poles, Branson Landing, and many of Branson’s shops, attractions, and theatres.

The vast majority of Branson’s shows share the spirit of Christmas by devoting a portion of their show to the celebration of the traditional Christmas. In addition, there are a number of shows that are only available during Ozark Mountain Christmas, such as the Andy Williams Christmas Show starring the Osmond Brothers and Lennon Sisters, Christmas Wonderland, and the Hughes Brothers Christmas Show. Speaking of shows, you’ll want to allow plenty of time while at Silver Dollar City so you have enough time to see its two spectacular Christmas productions, “A Dickens’ Christmas Carol” and “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

BTC’s Wood points out that Branson provides a great shopping experience year round, but there’s just something special about shopping in Branson during Ozark Mountain Christmas. Its large variety of unique boutiques, specialty shops, galleries, craft shops, Branson Landing, and outlet malls like Tanger Outlets and The Shoppes at Branson Meadows make Branson the ideal place to get the ideal Christmas gift for everyone.

Wood re-emphasizes the point that during Branson’s regular season there are periods when shows and lodging fill up, and during Ozark Mountain Christmas, particularly with the more popular shows and lodging establishments, the situation increases exponentially. She explains that not only do the chances of non-availability increase, but the chances of getting the best show seats, choice of accommodations, and the best prices decrease the longer one waits to make their Ozark Mountain Christmas travel plans.

For additional information on Ozark Mountain Christmas, tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550 or by visiting its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com .

Add some “Titanic” romance and elegance to make your special event absolutely amazing

The romance, elegance and mystique of  the Titanic provide a unique wedding venue.

The romance, elegance and mystique of the Titanic provide a unique wedding venue.

The way that the Titanic Museum Attraction (Titanic) and its crew members remember and tell the stories of those who were on the great ship, when she sank on her fateful maiden voyage over 100 years ago, gives their “passengers” a taste of the adventure, enthusiasm and excitement of that voyage. It is a unique and memorable entertainment experience that millions of Branson visitors have experienced since it opened over nine years ago.

Kristina Hagey, Senior Sales and Events Manager said that as people went through the attraction and experienced it there were requests to have weddings, vow renewals and other special events aboard the “ship,” a half scale replica of the original. She went on to point out that, as a result, the Titanic now offers a variety of options that permit people to incorporate the romance and elegance associated with the Titanic, in both legend and in movies, into their special moment or event and hosts hundreds of them each year.

These options include everything from birthday parties to elaborate corporate events and just about everything involved with weddings from the actual marriage proposal to the wedding and wedding vow renewals. Hagey said, “We have a number of Wedding Packages starting at $450.00 with pricing dependent on whether it is an indoor or outdoor package and the options chosen.” Whatever the case, whether the event is one of their packages or a custom designed wedding, Hagey assists in coordinating the event so the bride and groom and others associated with it can just concentrate on and enjoy their special moment.

Edward and Stacy Gilmore, on the Grand Staricase with 1st Officer Steve Patterson who "officiated", after renewing their vows in celebration of their 15th wedding anniversary.

Edward and Stacy Gilmore, on the Grand Staircase with 1st Officer Steve Patterson who “officiated” the ceremony, after renewing their vows in celebration of their 15th wedding anniversary.

On the morning of April 22, I got to see firsthand how that worked when Stacy and Edward Gilmore, from Canton, IL celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary in a Vow Renewal Ceremony on the Grand Staircase of the Titanic Museum Attraction. The ten minute ceremony was presided over by the ships 1st Officer, Steve Patterson. The Gilmores said they are “Titaniacs” and decided to renew their vows while visiting the Titanic last summer with their family. Stacy said that all it took was one phone call to Hagey, all they had to do was show up and enjoy the moment and that they were just thrilled with the way it went.

Hagey said that many of the events held at the Titanic throughout the year are weddings, corporate and other events customized to meet the needs of the client. Prices depend on many factors including whether the event is held inside the Titanic or outside, the time of year, number of guests, amenities etc. These events could be as simple as a “dessert social” or a First Class “progressive” or sit down dinner. Click here to contact Hagey for information on customizing a wedding or other special event.

She pointed out that the Titanic’s Wedding, Vow Renewal and Proposal packages can also be obtained through the Branson Tourism Center. Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center said, “The Titanic Museum Attraction is one of Branson’s most popular attractions and a wonderful venue in which to have a wedding or other special moment. It would be our pleasure to help anyone, not only with celebrating their wedding or other special moment ‘aboard’ the Titanic, but to coordinate it with lodging, Branson shows, attractions and other activities into a complete, wonderful, personal and memorable Branson experience.” The Branson Tourism Center can be reached by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

“Buzzin in Branson” during May 2015

Moonshine Beach, an unexpected Branson surprise.

Moonshine Beach, an unexpected Branson surprise.

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

Branson “Buzz of the Month for May 2015

Opening of Moonshine Beach – Table Rock Lake with its 43,000 plus surface acres of aquatic fun and adventure is an Ozarks treasure. One of the most popular recreational areas on the lake, yet least known to many who visit Branson, is Moonshine Beach an unexpected “sandy” surprise for Branson visitors. Who would expect a beautiful sandy beach in the middle of the Ozarks located only minutes away from the Branson Strip and all that Branson has to offer.

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

May 1 – May 30: The Hits starring the Osmonds
May1 – May 30: Ozark Mountain Shindig Festival
May 1 – May 3:World-Fest at Silver Dollar City
May 2 – May 3: Boot Daddy Presents Bill Medley
May 3: B.J. Thomas and John Conlee
May 5: Larry’s Country Diner-Gene Watson
May 5: Cinco de Mayo
May 6 & May 8: Larry’s Country Diner-Jimmy Fortune
May 7 – May 25: Bluegrass & Barbeque Festival at Silver Dollar City
May 7: 14th Annual Ozark Mountain Prayer Breakfast
May 7: Larry’s Country Diner-The Whites
May 9: Kayak Branson’s Biggest Flotilla Adventure
May 10: Mother’s Day
May 10: Mother’s Day Brunch at Keeter Center
May 15 – May 16: Health & Fitness Boutique Branson
May 15 – May 17: Home Front Shoot Out Tournament
May 15: Visions 2015 Branson Pontiac Meet
May 15: Moonshine Beach Opens
May 15: Candy Coburn Concert Branson Landing, 417-239-3002
May 16: Armed Forces Day
May 16: Shindig Shopping Spree
May 17: Divas Half Marathon & 5K Midwest at Branson
May 17: 2nd Annual Wheels For Freedom Car Show
May 18: Main Street Lake Cruises Lake Queen begins Lake Taneycomo Cruises
May 21: Jammin’ At Area 57
May 25: Memorial Day
May 30: The Shindig Shuffle

“Buzzin in Branson” is produced monthly by the Branson Tourism Center as a service to its customers and others interested in what’s going on in Branson to give them a “heads up” about what’s happening in Branson next month. If you have any further questions about these events or want information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions or lodging please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.