Category Archives: Events

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.

Why Not Spend New Year’s Eve in Branson?

Chateau on the Lake Fireworks.

Chateau on the Lake Fireworks.

Branson’s Christmas Week, already filled with the adventure, fun, shopping and entertainment Branson has to offer, takes on added excitement and anticipation on New Year’s Eve, both during the day and into the evening and nighttime hours as the New Year approaches,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Whether it’s a family or a couple looking for an exciting and fun way to ‘ring out’ the old year and welcome in the New Year, Branson offers an amazing variety of ways to celebrate the New Year,” she added.

From hiking, fishing or playing golf at one of Branson’s championship golf courses, such as the Payne Stewart Golf Club to the unique and exciting Titanic Museum Attraction, decked out for its beautiful “Edwardian Christmas;” the vast majority of Branson’s attractions will be open on New Year’s Eve Day. Most of Branson’s dozens of attractions are not weather dependent and are open year round. From the thousands of white and Christmas colored butterflies in the unique White Flight exhibit at the Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure, the lions and tigers at the National Tiger Sanctuary to the Track Family Fun Parks, Ripleys Believe It or Not Museum, the Hollywood Wax Museum, Promised Land Zoo and dozens of others, there will be a host of ways that families can have fun together on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Starting with the Amazing Pets at 10:00 AM on New Year’s Day and culminating with the New Year’s Eve celebrations to welcome in 2015, a number of Branson shows will be providing a variety of the live entertainment Branson is noted for. These include Acrobats of China, Grand Jubilee, Jonah, Legends in Concert, Clay Cooper’s Country Express, The Haygoods, Pierce Arrow, Comedy Jamboree, Dixie Stampede, Hamners Unbelievable Variety Show, Showboat Branson Belle, Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai, Christmas on the Trail Chuck Wagon Dinner Show, Comedy Hypnosis Dinner Show, Motown Downtown, The Revollusionists, Red, Hot & Blueand Swing Starring Kelli Grant. Click here for information on show times, scheduling and ticket information.

In addition, the following shows are having special New Year’s Eve parties. For specific information on a particular party please Click here and go to the bottom of the page:

Clay Cooper’s Country Express (See Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve)
Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve
Grand Jubilee
Legends in Concert
Doug Gabriel’s #1 Hits Tribute Show
Pierce Arrow
The Haygoods (See Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve)
Hamners Unbelievable Variety

New Year’s Eve firework displays welcoming the New Year will light the skies at Big Cedar Lodge, Big Cedar’s Top of the Rock and the Chateau on the Lake. The most easily accessible and closest to Branson is the Chateau’s display with convenient viewing on their grounds or along authorized areas on Highways 265 and 165 near the Chateau.

Branson Tourism Center’s Wood stated that “packaging your lodging with shows and attractions can save you money. Here are some examples of a way to have a great New Year’s celebration in Branson and save money at the same time through some Branson Tourism Center packages, New Years Eve In Branson, Haygood’s & Clay Cooper New Year In Branson and Legend’s Rockin New Year In Branson. For information on customizing a package for your particular desires, the latest and most complete information on New Year’s events, scheduling, tickets and lodging please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center (BTC), one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services and sellers of Branson show and attraction tickets and lodging. BTC can be reached by calling 800-785-1550 or through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

“One thing is for sure,” said Wood,New Year’s in Branson is a special way to say goodbye to the old year and to start the New Year with a memory that might just last a lifetime.”

Did you know this about Christmas Week in Branson?

A small sample of the spectacular display of Christmas lights at Silver Dollar City's Old Time Christmas.

A small sample of the spectacular display of Christmas lights at Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas.

Although many don’t know it, ‘Branson’s Christmas Week,’ the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, offers the same type of excitement, adventure, shopping and entertainment for which Branson is famous,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. She goes on to point out that because there is typically less people visiting Branson during that period everything seems to go at a more relaxed and leisurely pace with less lines and traffic.

Here a list of just some of the things you can expect to see and do during Branson’s Christmas Week:

1. Experience the Christmas lighting displays of Ozark Mountain Christmas – Although Christmas Day is past, all the major lighting displays including Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas, the Branson Area Festival of Lights, Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights and the giant 30 foot nativity scene on top of Mount Branson overlooking Lake Taneycomo will continue to be displayed through Dec. 31.

2. Branson Shows – Although most of Branson’s shows are closed for the season, many of Branson’s most popular shows will be open during Branson’s Christmas Week presenting the live entertainment Branson is noted for. This includes The Acrobats of China, Amazing Pets, Billy Dean Live, Clay Cooper’s Country ExpressDixie Stampede, Grand Jubilee, Hamner’s Unbelievable Variety, The Haygoods,  Sight and Sounds spectacular Jonah, The Haygoods, Hughes Brothers Christmas Show, Legends in Concert, Paul Harris and the Cleverlys, Pierce Arrow and the Showboat Branson Belle along with many more.

3. Branson Attractions – The vast majority of Branson’s attractions will be open. This includes its oldest and most popular paid attraction, the international award winning Silver Dollar City presenting its “Old Time Christmas;” the Titanic Museum Attraction decked out for its beautiful “Edwardian Christmas;” the unique White Flight exhibit at the Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure; National Tiger Sanctuary; Promised Land Zoo and others.

4. Branson Shopping – Branson’s legendary shopping is “always” open and Branson’s Christmas Week is no exception. From the unique “Branson Landing,” with its 100 retail stores, to the shops of Historic Downtown Branson, featuring “Dicks 5 & 10;” outlet malls such as “Tanger Outlet” and “The Meadows” and specialty shops offering arts and crafts and one of a kind items, Branson’s Christmas week shopping should not only satisfy the most avid shopper, but just might have a few “after Christmas sales” to boot.

5. New Years Eve – In addition to other New Years Eve celebrations, the following shows will have special New Year’s Eve celebrations:

Clay Cooper’s Country Express (See Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve)
Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve
Grand Jubilee
The Haygoods (See Clay-Goods Jambor-Eve)
Legends in Concert
Doug Gabriel’s #1 Hits Tribute Show
Pierce Arrow

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

 

Material Connection

Five places kids can visit with Santa in Branson

Santa waiting to visit with children in Branson.

Santa waiting to visit with children in Branson.

Santa has a special place in his heart for children so it’s just natural that he would plan to stop by Branson where it is known, as far away as the North Pole, that he’ll find lots of children visiting with their families during “Ozark Mountain Christmas.” While in Branson Santa has been seen visiting many Branson shows and attractions, but his favorite thing to do is to visit with children to find out what they want him to bring them for Christmas.

Knowing that the Branson Tourism Center was one of the biggest providers of Branson travel services and information Santa asked them to help get the word out so that those coming to Branson with children would know where to find him. Here’s a list of five places and the times that Santa will be available. All are free except for Silver Dollar City where a visit with Santa is included in the price of admission to the park for its world class Old Time Christmas Festival:

1. Branson Landing Town Square: Until Dec 24, Santa will be found in his “Christmas Tree house” underneath the 50 foot Christmas Tree at the Town Square from 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM Sunday through Thursday and 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Friday and Saturday, except for Nov. 26 and Dec. 24 when the hours will be 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM, with a “reindeer break” from 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM each day, and Thanksgiving Day when Santa will not be available. While the kids are visiting with Santa there is an opportunity to have a professionally taken keepsake photo.

2. Kringles Christmas Store: Until Dec. 23 Santa will be visiting Kringles Wednesday through Sunday. He will be available onWednesdays from 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM, Thursdays from 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM, Fridays from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Saturdays from 11:00 AM to 7:30 PM and Sundays from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

3. Bass Pro Shops at Branson Landing: Santa will be available until Dec. 24, week days from 3:00 PM to 8 PM, on Saturdays from 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM and Sundays from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. In addition to meeting Santa and telling him what they want for Christmas, children will get a free photo with Santa. There are free crafts available for the kids to take part in weekdays from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM and weekends from 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

4. Branson Tourism Center: Santa will be making a special one day visit at the Branson Tourism Center on Nov. 28 from 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM so that the kids can let him know what’s on their Christmas list this year and pose with him for a free picture.

5. Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas: Through Dec. 23, in addition to millions of Christmas lights and everything else this award winning world class Christmas festival has to offer, Santa will be in his workshop at “Kringle’s Crossing” where he will be waiting for children to come and tell him what they are hoping to see under the tree this year. Santa and his elves will be there from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, on Nov. 26 and Dec. 22 through 23; 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM on Saturdays and Friday Nov. 28 and 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM Thanksgiving Day.

One two punch provides biggest week of Branson season

Veterans Homecoming Week. America's biggest Veterans Day celebration.

Veterans Homecoming Week. America’s biggest Veterans Day celebration.

“I can safely say that, although every week in Branson is full of excitement, entertainment, natural beauty, shopping and dozens of things to see and do, it is extremely unlikely that any other week compares with the one two punch of what happens during the week of Nov. 5 through Nov. 11 each year,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center “The combination of Branson Veterans Homecoming Week with the first full week of Branson’s Ozark Mountain Christmas provide visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the heart and spirit Branson has for Veterans and the traditional American Christmas blended together in a manner that enhances the great live entertainment, attractions, shopping and the dozens of other activities that makes Branson such a great place to visit,” she added.

“Although Veterans are honored every day in Branson, Branson’s Veterans Homecoming Week is a special time, dedicated to honoring Veterans, active duty Armed Forces personnel and their families throughout the community,” Wood said. The week long celebration runs from November 5 through November 11 of each year, is America’s biggest ‘Veterans Day’ tribute and features dozens of events dedicated to remembering, thanking and honoring those who have given so much for our Country. One of the major events will be, one of America’s longest running Veterans Day parades, the 81st “Branson Veterans Day Parade,” through historic downtown Branson starting at the 11th Hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

 

Some of the over 5 million Christmas Lights at Silver Dollar City's Old Time Christmas.

Some of the over 5 million Christmas Lights at Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas.

Ozark Mountain Christmas is the annual Branson wide celebration of the traditional “American Christmas,” with literally millions of Christmas lights, many colorfully decorated businesses and the true spirit of Christmas “honored” throughout the area. The center point of Ozark Mountain Christmas is Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas Festival. With over 5 million Christmas lights, the festival has been recognized nationally by “Yahoo Travel’s Top 10 Destinations for Holiday Lights,” “MSN’s Top 10 Extreme Holiday Lights” and will premiere a new light parade the “Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade” featuring “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer & Friends” this year.”

In addition to the Christmas lights on utility poles, many Branson businesses, including Branson Landing, with its large Christmas Tree, and other decorations, there are two drive through Christmas light displays, Branson Area Festival of Lights and the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights filled with millions of colorful sparkling Christmas lights and beautiful Christmas displays.

As would be expected in a town noted for the quantity and quality of its live shows, a major component of Ozark Mountain Christmas are the Christmas Shows presented by most Branson shows. For many, the week of Nov. 5 – 11 is the first full week of these shows. In the majority, the Christmas shows are a blend of the best from their regular season show and Christmas which is generally performed during the second half of the show with each show celebrating Christmas in their own special way. Other shows such as the Andy Williams Christmas Show,” Christmas on the Trail or Christmas Wonderland and Christmas with the Hughes Brothers are totally Christmas shows.

Wood points out that although Veterans Home Coming will end on Nov. 11 the synergy and impetus of the week, coupled with the continued celebration of Ozark Mountain Christmas until Dec. 31, and everything else Branson offers makes Branson a wonderful place for families to start the celebration of their Christmas in a very special and memorable way.

Balloon Festival just one of Branson’s surprises

Three of about 20 balloons during their lift off from the Branson Balloon Festival.

Three of about 20 balloons during their lift off from the Branson Balloon Festival.

“Branson’s reputation as one of the premier vacation and entertainment destinations in America is well known and growing,” said Tammy Johnson, the General Manager for the Branson Tourism Center. “To the millions who have discovered Branson and all that it has to offer, it’s no surprise that it was listed in the top 25 List of U.S. Destinations in ‘TripAdvisors® 6th Annual Traveler’s Choice Destination Awards’ along with cities such as Orlando, New Orleans, San Diego and others.”

Although known primarily for its natural beauty, pristine lakes, live shows, attractions and shopping, which in themselves are remarkable, Branson has many special events throughout the year that give its visitors even more choices for fun and excitement. The Branson Balloon Festival, currently being held, is just one of these surprises.

The Festival is being held at the Branson RecPlex in Branson Hills and includes tethered rides, tandem skydiving, sky diving displays, helicopter rides, powered parachutes, food and vendors along with Hot Air Balloon Flights. Almost 20 of the giant Hot Air Balloons, with names such as, “Champagne Cowboy,” “Freedom,” “Odd Duck” and more, start the process of getting ready for the daily flights at about 6:30 a.m. as their crews, from as far away as Crestview, FL, spread the balloons out, attach their baskets and start to blow them up for flight.

Getting them ready to soar.

Getting them ready to soar.

As I watched with other Festival attendees, it was amazing to see the launching process unfold right before our eyes as the balloons took shape, displaying a dazzling display of design and color, filled up, rose gracefully into the air and gently floated away taking their passengers on an unforgettable experience. It’s truly a unique experience to see that many beautiful balloons going into the air in that short of a time.

Rodney Williams, a balloon pilot, operates “Branson Balloon” and, weather permitting, takes people on Hot Air Balloon flights over the Branson area on a daily basis. He explained that the reason for the early morning launch is because that is generally the time when there is the least chance of wind and the best flying conditions.

Some might ask, “Why even publish this piece because the event will be over Sunday?” The answer is simple, “The piece is about one of the many ‘surprises’ that Branson offers its visitors throughout the year, in addition to everything it offers on a daily basis.” Hopefully, it will encourage those coming to Branson to seek out and attend the events that might be of interest them and make their Branson visit more enjoyable.” One easy way to do that is by checking the Branson Tourism Center’s Upcoming Events Calendar which is sorted by month and day.

It only takes a few seconds and might prevent you from missing a golden opportunity to share a special moment with your family. I’d imagine that, like myself, the families watching those balloons take off this morning, or who will see them take off tomorrow morning, will have a special memory of Branson that will last for a long time.

6th Annual Branson Gospel Sing Off sparkles with talent

George Dyer and lead guitarist Bogie Bhoinc seen here performing a duet during the "George Dyer" show, are two the celebrity judges.

George Dyer and lead guitarist Bogie Bhoinc seen here performing a duet during the “George Dyer” show, are two the celebrity judges.

Branson’s Sight & Sound Theatre, the home of the spectacular biblical production, and one of Branson’s most popular new shows, Jonah, will host the 6th Annual Christian Action Ministries (CAM) Gospel Sing Off (Sing Off) at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday Aug. 31. Ten finalists, selected from over 80 entrants, will compete in the Sing Off for $3,000 in cash, trophies and the chance to sing at Silver Dollar City during the last day of its “Southern Gospel Music Picnic,” September 1.

The ten finalists will be judged by a panel of six Branson celebrity judges. The panel will include Benjamin Dutton, singer, dancer, and versatile musician with The Duttons; Bogie Bohinc, currently the guitarist in the George Dyer show who has been the lead guitarist for such other stars such as Andy Williams and Tony Orlando; George Dyer, Branson’s premier tenor from The George Dyer Show; Jak Knudsen of another of Branson’s most popular shows, SIX; Joshua Clark, the Entertainment Editor for the Branson Tri-Lakes News and Sarah Fair, who, along with her brothers, won the 2012 Gospel Sing Off and have since opened The Fair Family Show at the Hamner Theater in Branson

AM Board Chairman Jack Burke said, “Over 80 very talented entrants vied to get in the finals and we are very excited about the ten finalists in the Sing Off. It will be a wonderful afternoon of amazing gospel music with all the proceeds going to benefit Christian Action Ministries, whose food pantry distributes hundreds of thousands of pounds of food and grocery products to hungry aCnd needy people in our community.” The Gospel Sing Off finalists, in alphabetical order are:

4 Christ:  A male gospel quartet from Galena, Missouri that loves to carry the gospel message and spread the Good Word with their unique vocal harmonizing.

DC-3 Trio (Daughters of Christ): The DC-3 Trio, based in the greater Chicago area, has been singing together for 18 years at various church and community events.  Mary Kirby, Lorraine Malone, and Dani Martinez make up this talented trio.

Faith’s Journey: Faith’s Journey is a Branson-based trio with a passionate commitment to spreading the Word of the Lord through their skillful vocal harmonies.

Margo Rodewald: Margo is a solo singer who moved to Branson from Paola, Kansas after graduating from Baker University with a degree in music.  Hoping to turn her musical passion into a career, Margo has an affinity for gospel music.

My Brother’s Sister: This brother/sister duet from Coldwater, Mississippi, Taylor and Bethany Pope, have already developed a large fan base over the past two years with their strong vocals and mastery of string instruments.

Peggy Neely Harris: Peggy is a Lincoln Center Institute/Juilliard School trained soloist from St. Louis, who loves to share her passion for Christ with others through her music.

Peter Mauriello: Peter is a worship leader from the greater Chicago area.  With his 4 member Christian rock band, Peter loves to use music to facilitate meaningful experiences for people of all ages.

Rebecca White: Rebecca is a degreed musician from Raymondville, Missouri, who has taught music in public schools and has been continually involved with worship teams at churches and summer camps.

The Full Quiver: The Full Quiver is comprised of the Grubb Family from Collinsville, Texas.  These eight talented musicians and singers carry the gospel message through their versatile mastery of instruments and vocal harmonies.

Troy Johanson: Troy Johanson’s Sacred Fire Ministries from Buffalo, Missouri combines the gospel message in the spirit of traditional native American dance and song.

For the 6th consecutive year, Bob Hubbard of the “Foggy River Boys” and “The Jordanaires,” will emcee the Sing Off. Guest appearances will include Christy Sutherland as the opening act, The Fair Family, saxophonist Gary Dooms, ventriloquist Kerry Miller, and last year’s winner “Changed.”

Reserved seat tickets are a $12 donation for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. For further information or tickets please feel free to contact either the Sight and Sound Theatre or the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-785-1550.

 

25 Special July – August Branson Events

Great Southern Gospel Music and food at Silver Dollar City;s "Southern Gospel Picnic."

Great Southern Gospel Music and food at Silver Dollar City;s “Southern Gospel Picnic.”

With its shows, attractions, lakes, shopping and other activities, there is always something that is fun, interesting and exciting to do in Branson. When you factor in the additional special events taking place throughout the year it become sever more so.

Here is a list of some special Branson events, including, among others, two festivals at Silver Dollar City; the Titanic Museum Attraction’s Tribute to the Titanic Musicians; Annual Downtown Branson Fiddle Festival, which will be held indoors at the Owens Theatre in historic downtown Branson; the Super Summer Cruise; Branson Balloon Festival and the CAM Gospel Sing-Off:

July 2014

Jul 1 – July 31:  Titanic’s Tribute to the Musicians
Jul 1 – Jul 30:  Summer Concert Series at Branson Landing
Jul 3 – Jul 31:  Night Water at White Water (Select Dates)
Jul 3 – Jul 31:  Free Ice Cream For Kids I Pledge Program (Select Dates)
Jul 10 – 20:  Star Spangled Summer Silver Dollar City
Jul 11 – Jul 13:  Show-Me F100’s Ozark Run
Jul 19:  Branson Tourism Center Preferred Event with The Haygoods
|Jul 19:  Boys & Girls Club Annual Golf Tournament (Holiday Hills at 7am to 4pm)
Jul 19 – Jul 31:  Moonlight Madness at Silver Dollar City
Jul 25 – Jul 26:  Rockaway Beach Bikers & Babes at the Beach

August 2014

Aug 1 – Aug 31:  Titanic’s Tribute to the Musicians
Aug 1 – Aug 31:  Summer Concert Series at Branson Landing
Aug 1- Aug 3:  Moonlight Madness at Silver Dollar City
Aug 1 – Aug 30:  Night Water at White Water (Select Dates)
Aug 1 – Aug 3:  Missouri State Tax Free Holiday Sale at Tanger Outlets Center
Aug 2 – Aug 3:  26th Annual Downtown Branson Fiddle Festival
Aug 7 – Aug 9:  Super Summer Cruise at Shepherd of the Hills
Aug 19:  Branson Tourism Center Preferred Event with Adventures of Marco Polo
Aug 22 – Aug 24:  Branson Balloon Festival
Aug 22 – Sep 1:  Southern Gospel Picnic at Silver Dollar City.
Aug 22 – Aug 24:  Sleds Midwest Car Show
Aug 29 – Sep 1:  Labor Day Weekend Sale at Tanger Outlets Center
Aug 31:  CAM Gospel Sing Off Sight & Sound Theatre
Aug 31:  Labor Day Fireworks at Big Cedar Lodge
Aug 31:  Labor Day Celebration at Chateau on the Lake

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