Category Archives: Events

From its improbable start Million Dollar Quartet celebrates 60th Anniversary

How about celebrating New Year's Eve with the Miilion Dollar Quartet?

The Million Dollar Quartet, a special entertainment experience, based on the most unique Rock n’ Roll jam session of all time!

“For the past two years, Branson audiences have had the thrill of experiencing the hit musical Million Dollar Quartet, joining the ranks of the millions throughout the world who have enjoyed it since its creation in 2007, by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Prior to hearing about the Million Dollar Quartet show, most are not even aware of the event that the show was based on and, even after seeing it, many do not realize how improbable it was that we would be celebrating the 60th anniversary of that event,” she added.

Wood points out that it’s obvious we are not celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Million Dollar Quartet show. What’s being celebrated is the 60th anniversary of the greatest Rock n’ Roll jam session of all time; a onetime impromptu event, involving four young performers, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis, in the early stages of their careers. It happened in Memphis, TN inside the storefront recording studio of Sun Records on December 4, 1956.

Carl Perkins, Sun recording artist, was in the studio along with his brother Jay on bass, and drummer, WS “Fluke” Holland, and Sun recording artist Jerry Lee Lewis, who was there to play piano for the Perkins’ recording session of “Matchbox.” Sun recording artist, Johnny Cash, came in to observe the recording session and talk with Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records. Still later, Elvis Presley, RCA and ex-Sun Recording artist, dropped by with a girl he was seeing at the time, Marilyn Evans.

As musicians have done since time in memoriam, they just started “jamming.” When Phillips saw the improbable session taking place he called Bob Johnson, the entertainment editor of the “Memphis Press-Scimitar,” and invited him over. He came and brought a photographer with him. The next day Phillips wrote a story on the jam session calling them the “Million Dollar Quartet” which was accompanied by a photograph of the four around the piano.

The impromptu jam session would not have been recorded, but for the efforts of sound technician Jack Clement, who was there to record the Perkins session. As the informal jam session got underway, Clement decided that he would be remiss if he did not record it so, without anyone’s knowledge, he did.

Probably because no one knew that Clement had recorded the session, and despite “The Million Dollar Quartet” news story, the recording went unnoticed, into the Sun Records “library,” where it remained for decades until discovered by a new owner of Sun Records as they worked through the contents of the library. It was recorded and released in Europe in 1981, in the United States in 1990, and became the basis for the hit musical Million Dollar Quartet in 2007.

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of this historic event, on December 4th, 2016, some of Branson’s biggest stars will join the cast of the Million Dollar Quartet in paying a musical tribute to the four legends and “to express their gratitude for the inspirational music they have given. “One of the highlights of the Million Dollar Quartet show is the finale that re-creates just how special that jam session was,” said Dathan Atchison, General Manager of the Welk Resort Branson.

“We are so honored to have these incredible guests join us in celebrating that historic night, and the four men who have inspired generations of performers,” Atchison continued. “The influence of the four members of the “Million Dollar Quartet” is certainly felt in Branson, and we are so thankful that Jim Stafford, Billy Dean, New South and David Brooks have been gracious enough to not only come and sing, but to share stories of how that influence changed their lives. It is going to be a rockin’ good time and a fitting tribute to four of the greatest entertainers in history,” he added.

Running through December 31, 2016, the Million Dollar Quartet tells the story and captures the high energy spirit and rockin’ sounds of a unique moment when four of music’s most extraordinary talents, all in their creative prime, came together for one of the most memorable nights in music history” and features the greatest rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, R&B and country hits from these music legends, including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Walk The Line,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Hound Dog,” “Whole Lotta’ Shakin’ Goin’ On,” and so many more.

For more information and tickets for the Million Dollar Quartet or other great Branson shows or lodging, please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services and sellers of almost 5 million Branson show and attraction tickets by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

The Best of Branson Insider Highlights for December 2016

The Titanic Museum's "Christmas and Winter Celebration" is just one of the many inspirational and entertaining events in Branson during December.

The Titanic Museum’s “Christmas and Winter Celebration” is just one of the many inspirational and entertaining events in Branson during December.

“From the stages of its famous live shows, to the magnificently lit Silver Dollar City, and its Adoration Parade, December in Branson is filled with the special spirit of celebrating the traditional American Christmas,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Then, during the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, Branson is abuzz with fun and excitement leading up to a celebration of New Year’s Eve as only Branson can do it,” he added.

Here’s our Featured Show, Event, and Limited Engagement of the Month, along with a list of the major, special limited engagement performances and events you can enjoy in Branson during December, 2016:

Featured Show: The Grand Jubilee Christmas show has it all, including amazing vocals by Branson’s award winning quartet, New South and Female Vocalist of the Year Jackie Brown; hilarious comedy with Jamie Haage, a.k.a. “Jim Dandy,” and his sidekick Mike Patrick, who is also the show’s emcee and producer; and the “Grand Band,” one of the best bands in Branson. From the preshow to the final curtain, this awesome production will entertain and inspire you with “grand” music, comedy, and the spirit of a traditional American Christmas.

“I love the show for the fact that Christmas is built on tradition and that we sing the traditional favorite Christmas songs that people sing every year,” said Mike Patrick, the shows emcee and producer. “To me our show is like taking out your favorite Christmas ornament each year and hanging it on the tree.” When asked what his personal favorite part of the show was he said, without hesitation, “When we get to read the Christmas story from the Bible and see how it resonates with our audience.” His two favorite numbers in the show are New South’s rendition of a Gatlin Brothers’ song “Santa Are You Going To Atlanta” and Jackie Brown’s beautiful performance of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.”

 Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: No doubt about it, there’s not a more “Limited Engagement” than the spectacular unique ways available in Branson to ring in the New Year. How about  cruising Lake Taneycomo aboard Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess, a 100 foot luxury yacht, while enjoying a live DJ, dancing, games, prizes, party favors, full-service cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, a dessert bar, and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight? Cruising not your thing, how about an entertaining and exciting evening with some of Branson’s most popular shows as they welcome in 2017 with unique awesome New Year’s Eve celebrations including:

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

Featured Event of the Month: The Branson Titanic Museum Attraction closes out its tenth year in Branson with its beautiful Christmas and Winter Celebration as magically, inside and out, she hails the sights, sounds and joy of the season. In addition to everything else the ship offers daily, it will be aglow with glittering lights, festive decorations, and the spirit of the Holidays, including free public access to hundreds of unique Titanic Christmas gift ideas and collectibles.

LIMITED ENGAGEMENT PERFORMANCES (Sorted by starting date)

Dec. 1:   The Urban Cowboy Reunion
Dec 1-3: Boot Daddy Presents Gene Watson
Dec 31: NEW YEAR’S EVE BRANSON Style
New Years Eve Celebration at Keeter Center
Grand Jubilee New Years Eve Show
Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve New Year’s Eve Show
Million Dollar Quartet New Year’s Eve
Legends in Concert New Year’s Eve Show
New Year’s Eve Cruise Aboard the Landing Princess
Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show
Pierce Arrow

SPECIAL EVENT HIGHLIGHTS (Sorted by starting date.)

Dec 1-30: An Old Time Christmas Festival at Silver Dollar City
Dec 4: Carols on the Belle aboard the Showboat Branson Belle
Dec 4: 68th Annual Adoration Parade and Lighting Ceremony
Dec 10: Breakfast with Santa – Branson RecPlex
Dec 11: Carols on the Belle aboard the Showboat Branson Belle
Dec 11: Tanger Club Member Exclusive Event at Tanger Mall
Dec 18: Carols on the Belle aboard the Showboat Branson Belle
Dec 18: Chateau on the Lake Breakfast with Santa
Dec 25: MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Dec 25: Christmas Day Champagne Brunch at Chateau on the Lake
Dec 31: New Years Eve Celebration at Keeter Center
Dec 31: Grand Jubilee New Years Eve Show
Dec 31: Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve New Year’s Eve Show
Dec 31: Million Dollar Quartet New Year’s Eve
Dec 31: Hamners Unbelievable Variety New Years Eve Fiesta
Dec 31: Legends in Concert New Year’s Eve Show
Dec 31: New Year’s Eve Cruise Aboard the Landing Princes
Dec 31-Jan 1, 2017 HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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 calling 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com

 

The Best of Branson July 2016 Insider Highlights

Part of the excitement and action of Buckets N Boards.

Part of the excitement and action of Buckets N Boards.

“With so many families vacationing in Branson during July, the sound of people laughing and having fun together is just about at every turn, as they enjoy all that Branson has to offer,” said Preston Garrison, the Director of Operations Branson Tourism Center. “From the delightful sandy beach on Table Rock Lake, to the new 150-foot tall Branson Ferris Wheel, acrobats, amazing pets, tigers, and over 100 live shows and other attractions Branson has a ‘lot’ of something for everyone in your family to enjoy,” he added.

In addition to everything else Branson offers, here’s our highlight list, containing some of the best of the additional events going on in Branson during July, including our Featured Show, Limited Engagement, and Event of the Month:

Featured Show of the Month: Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies brings some of Ireland’s best to Branson!  This exciting production combines two great groups of performers; four beautiful ladies with angelic voices and five of the country’s finest tenors performing a unique blend of traditional folk ballads and classical and adult contemporary favorites.

Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: Buckets N Boards delivers Branson entertainment that easily stands out in a long list of excellent shows!  Co-creators Matt and Gareth share their impeccable and slightly wacky skills that include precise percussion on a variety of surfaces, accompanied by delightfully silly songs, tap dancing, and lots of laughter!

 Featured Event of the Month: There just has to be two this month. Branson has a number of outstanding fireworks displays over the Fourth of July Weekend. Click here for more information. In addition, Santa Claus is coming to Branson in a big way as hundreds of Santa Clauses and Mrs. Santa Clauses come to Branson for the 10th Annual Discover Santa Convention July 6 through 10. Don’t miss the “Parade of Red Suits,” as they parade down the Branson Landing Promenade together starting at 8:00 AM on July 7. It is one of the largest gatherings of Santa’s anywhere and is something unique and wonderful for families to enjoy together.

LIMITED ENGAGEMENT PERFORMANCES (Sorted by starting date)

Jul 1: Crystal Gayle & TG Sheppard
Jul 1-Jul 16: Rockapella
Jul 1-29: Prince Ivan
Jul 1-Jul 31: Buckets N Boards
Jul 15: Tanya Tucker
Jul 23: Wynonna Judd

SPECIAL EVENT HIGHLIGHTS (Sorted by starting date.)

Jul 1 – Jul 24: Silver Dollar City Star Spangled Summer Festival
Jul 1 – Jul 31: 2016 World Exclusive Exhibit – Titanic Museum Attraction
Jul 2 – Jul 4: List of 4th of July Fire Works Displays and Celebrations
Jul 6 – Jul 10: Branson Star Power at Branson Convention Center
Jul 6 – Jul 10: Discover Santa 2016 Convention
Jul 7: Discover Santa 2016 – “The Parade of Red Suits”
Jul 9: Promenade Pop-Up Shop
Jul 16: Ozarks Teen Challenge – Home of Hope 5K
Jul 16: Jubilation Jazz Big Band Performance
Jul 17 – Jul 23: FASA’s Girls World Series 14U to 18U
Jul 19 – Jul 24: Showbiz National Talent Competition – 2016 National Finals
Jul 24 – Jul 30: FASA’s Girls World Series 7U to 12U
Jul 30 – Aug 5: Ball Parks of America Bring the Lumber Baseball Tournament

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 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 Director of Operations 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

151015 UIAFlagSoldieristockNOP664Large

“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!”