8th Annual Elvis Festival Will Rock Branson


2013 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Finale.

2013 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Finale.

BRANSON, MO, March 30, 2014 – “The Branson Elvis® Festival is a wonderful event for Elvis fans, but also offers another unique and exciting activity for Branson visitors,” said, Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. The 8th Annual Branson Elvis® Festival will take place April 4 – 6, 2014, at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, the home of Branson’s Legends in Concert Show located on the world famous “Branson Strip.”

The Festival includes an “Elvis Meet & Greet Dinner, The Legends in Concert Show and Elvis Contestant Karaoke on April 4; the Elvis Vendor Village, featuring “Vendors from across the country selling unique Elvis merchandise,” the Hound Dog Contest, and the Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ on April 5 and “Branson Gospel Sunday” at 10 a.m. on April 6 at the Hamner Variety Theater featuring “some of Elvis’ favorite gospel numbers.” The highlight of the festival, the Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 5.

The Branson contest is one of a select few tribute competitions sanctioned by Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. and “the winner of the Branson contest “will receive a prize package and the opportunity to compete in the 2014 Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ finals presented by Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee during Elvis Week.”

From a Branson show perspective, Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson suggests that the following shows might be of particular interest to Elvis fans Joseph Hall’s Elvis Rock N Remember Tribute, 100 percent Elvis; Legends in Concert with a major portion of the show as an Elvis tribute or the Rankin Brothers, with a “set” dedicated to Elvis fans. She also points out that at the time of the Festival the vast majority of all Branson’s shows and attractions, including Silver Dollar City, will be open for Festival attendees to enjoy as well as the spectacular beauty of an Ozark spring.

For additional information or tickets for the Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest,™ or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center (BTC), one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through its web site www.BransontTourismCenter.com

What you should know about Branson’s “Cruising With Stars”


Cruise with SIX one of Branson's hottest groups on the ...

Cruise with SIX one of Branson’s hottest shows on…

In my 28 years in Branson, it has been my personal experience that Branson entertainers are not only some of the best entertainers anywhere, but the most accessible to their audiences. That accessibility is taken to new levels through Branson Tourism Center’s exclusive Cruise With The Stars entertainment experience combining two great entertainment activities, seeing the Branson show of the star(s) you will be cruising with and going on a VIP luncheon cruise with them into one special unique event.

The 100 foot luxury yacht "Landing Princess."

The 100 foot luxury yacht “Landing Princess.”

You will attend the show of the entertainer(s) you will be cruising with and have an unparalleled opportunity to interact with them while cruising aboard Main Street Lake Cruises 100 foot luxury yacht the Landing Princess. This includes a beautiful scenic cruise on Lake Taneycomo, lunch, opportunities for photos, autographs and interacting with them in a unique up close and personal experience that is available only to those participating in Branson Tourism Centers exclusive Cruise With the Stars experience.

The 2014 schedule for Cruise With The Stars, subject to change is:

Billy Dean with Paul Harris & the Cleverlys – May 23, 2014

Paul Harris & The Cleverlys with Billy Dean – May 23, 2014

Legends in Concert – June 19, 2014

SIX – July 17, 2014

The Texas Tenors – September 18, 2014

John and Ambrus Presley of Presleys’ Country Jubilee – October 7, 2014

This special and unique Branson experience is made available exclusively to Branson Tourism Center customers because of the special relationship it has with Main Street Lake Cruises, the participating entertainers and their theaters. “There is a limited number of seats available for each cruise,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center, who recommends making reservations for the cruise of your choice as soon as possible. For tickets or information for Cruise With The Stars please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-875-1550.

10 Things that shower Branson with April fun and value

A bit of Ozark Spring splendor on the banks of Lake Taneycomo.

A bit of Ozark Spring splendor on the banks of Lake Taneycomo.

Living in the Ozarks for 28 years has taught me that April is the month where both spring and Branson entertainment bloom and blossom together providing one of the most beautiful, exciting and entertaining experiences of the year. Here’s a list of ten things that can add fun and value to that experience:

1. Beauty of an Ozark’s Spring – With its pristine lakes and natural beauty it’s hard to imagine a place that is more beautiful to experience than the fresh promise of a new spring in the Ozarks.

2. World-Fest – America’s largest International Festival running from April 5 through May 4. Silver Dollar City starts its red white and blue “Celebrate America” 2014 season with the first of its six world class festivals, World-Fest, giving its guests an opportunity to experience a bit of the colorful traditions and heritages from other countries that have helped build our Nation in addition to enjoying everything else the 1880s styled world class theme park offers.

3. See The World In Branson – Local theaters, hotels, restaurants, and retail venues will be representing countries from all around the world during this International Festival running April 1 – May 5 allowing Branson visitors the opportunity to enjoy multiple cultural, traditional and international experiences while visiting Branson with “No pass port required.”

4 U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Opens Table Rock Lake Campgrounds – On April 1 the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers is scheduled to open six of its Branson area Table Rock Lake camp grounds and parks including Campbell Point, Cape Fair, Cricket Creek, Mill Creek, Old Highway 86, and Indian Point. On May 1 four additional areas will be added to the list, Aunts Creek, Baxter, Big M, Eagle Rock, and Viola. To make reservations for camping at any of the Corps parks or for additional information call 877-444-6777.

The biblical spectacular "Jonah" has just premiered in Branson and is thrilling audiences.

The biblical spectacular “Jonah” has just premiered in Branson and is thrilling audiences.

5. Popular Branson Shows Open for 2014 Season – The vast majority of Branson’s most popular shows have opened for their 2014 Branson season including:

Acrobats of China

Clay Coopers Country Express

Dancing Queen Abba’s Greatest Hits

Dixie Stampede

Dublin’s Irish Tenors and the Celtic Ladies

The Haygoods

Jonah  – This Sight and Sound Production premiered in Branson in late March to rave reviews. Kids and adults alike are just amazed by this spectacular production.

Legends in Concert

New Jersey Nights

Paul Harris & The Cleverlys

Pierce Arrow

Presleys’ Country Jubilee


6. Branson Shows Starting 2014 Season in April – Four of Branson’s most popular shows will open their 2014 season during April on the date indicated:

George Dyer – April 8

Duttons – April 10

Adventures of Marco Polo – April 20.

Shoji Tabuchi – April 22

For more information on Branson shows or attractions or for lodging information 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 through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

7. Branson Collector Car Auction – Showcasing hundreds of beautiful motor vehicles, the Branson Collector Car Auction, celebrating its 35th year in Branson will be held on April 11 – 12 in the Branson Convention Center.

8. Easter Dinner Cruise on Landing Princess – Celebrate Easter with your family by enjoying a leisurely “Easter Dinner Cruise” on the 100 foot long luxury yacht Landing Princess with a special Easter Menu on April 20. Cruises will depart at 12:00 PM or 4:45 PM. Call 1-800-785-1550 for tickets or information.


Branson's Titanic Museum Attraction takes passengers on an exciting voyage no matter what the season.

Branson’s Titanic Museum Attraction takes passengers on an exciting voyage no matter what the season.

9. April Savings and Discounts –From the “Family Springtime Getaway” to the “Easter Celebration Packages” and more, there is a variety of packages, with April pricing, offering substantial savings and discounts. And the savings just keep growing because the majority of Branson Tourism Center’s packages include the “Branson Guest Card,” full of discounts to Branson shops and restaurants and more.

10. Titanic Museum Attraction – In addition to its yearlong special exhibit honoring the eight musicians aboard the ship when she sank; the Titanic Museum Attraction will feature a visit and book signing on April 4 – 5 by Susie Millar. She was a longtime television reporter in Ireland, a famous author, and is the great granddaughter of Thomas Millar, an engineer of Harland & Wolff, the company that designed and built the Titanic, who died in the Titanic disaster.

Nadia Cole A Voice of Glory


Nadia Cole

Nadia Cole

Millions have seen the Voices of Glory, Nadia, Avery and Michael Cole they become finalists on the hit NBC prime time show “America’s Got Talent” and were touched not only by the inspiring story of how they started singing together, but the beauty of their voices. Now Branson visitors have the opportunity to hear them sing in their own Branson show, Ayo Starring the Voices of Glory.

Recently BTC had an opportunity to interview the youngest member of the group, Nadia Cole, about their career, how they came to Branson and what the future may hold for her and the “Voices of Glory.” Having heard her sing I was already impressed by her voice, but her poise, obvious love of family and God, professionalism and friendliness was just as impressive and far beyond her 14 years.

The following piece is in Q & A format with the Branson Tourism Center (BTC) asking questions that we hope the reader will find informative and entertaining and Nadia’s answers indicated by (NC):

BTC: When and where were you born?
NC: Newburg, New York on Oct. 26, 1999

BTC: How did you get started singing?
NC: In 2005 our mother, Felicia Cole, was involved in a head on collision with a drunk driver and was in a coma for eight months. We [Nadia with brothers Avery and Michael] started singing by her bedside just to get her to respond and from there we went from hospital room to hospital room, nursing home to nursing home and eventually ended up on a show called “America’s Got Talent.”

BTC: What year were you on America’s Got Talent?
NC: 2009.

BTC: How did you do?
NC: We took 5th Place.

BTC: What did you enjoy most about your appearance on America’s Got Talent?
NC: The total experience; being on national TV and getting to know everybody around us.

BTC: Did you go on the America’s Got Talent Road Tour?
NC: No we did not. I believe we were too young at the time.

BTC: How old are you, Michael and Avery?
NC: Michael is 21, Avery just turned 18 and I am 14.

BTC: How long has Voices of Glory been singing?
NC: We have been singing professionally for about 8 years.

BTC: How long have you been performing in Branson?
NC: About four years.

BTC: What brought you to Branson?
NC: In 2010 we got a call from a promoter who brought us to Branson. Things did not work out as promised, but our dad said, “God did not bring us down here for nothing.” We stayed and God has blessed our career tremendously with awards, international tours, TBN, church and other performances as well as performing in the “Andy Williams Christmas Show” in 2012 and now we are performing our own show “Ayo” at the Hughes Brothers Theatre in Branson.

BTC: What do you like best about performing in Branson?
NC: I like the audiences.

BTC: What you enjoy the most about living in Branson?
NC: I love Branson. The Christian environment just gives me peace inside and the people are just so nice to each other.

BTC: What is your all-time favorite song to sing?
NC: That’s hard. I can’t pick just one. My favorites are “Open My Heart,” a gospel song by Yolonda Adams, “Blue Skies” by Ella Fitzgerald and “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston.

BTC: When you’re not working what do you enjoy doing most?
NC: I love spending time with family and friends, go to movies and the landing.

BTC: Do you have a favorite hobby or activity?
NC: I like to dance.

BTC: What do you look forward to the most as you start each new day?
NC: I look for a brand new start. You make a mistake one day, but the next day you get a chance to start fresh.

BTC: What are you the most thankful for?
NC: My family.

BTC: If you could perform with anyone on stage, whether they are alive now or not, who would it be?
NC: Whitney Houston, Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin.

BTC: Do you have a little known fact about yourself that you think your fans are audience would enjoy hearing about?
NC: Don’t get between me a pepperoni pizza and a mug of root beer.

BTC: Have you ever thought about going back to “America’s Got Talent,” or a competition like “The Voice” or “American Idol” as a solo act?
NC: Not really because I am performing with my brothers. When you are with family you really don’t want to separate what you have between us singing wise.

BTC: That aside, did something recently happen that might cause you to consider trying out for “American Idol?”
NC: Yes, it did. I went to the “Disney American Idol Experience in Florida at Disney World Hollywood Studios. The experience gave me the opportunity to go through the American Idol experience from hair and makeup to judging, coaching and competition. At the final competition I sang “Listen” by “Beyonce” and won. As the winner of the day’s competition I received a “Dream Pass” that entitles me to be escorted to the front of the line of prospective “American Idol” television show contestants and have the opportunity to audition for the producers of the “American Idol.”

BTC: Has a book about the story of the “Voices of Glory” been released recently?
NC: Yes, we are really excited that our book, “Higher Than Me, the story of the Voices of Glory” has just been released.

BTC: Do you have personal goals for yourself and Voices of Glory?
NC: I would love to travel with Voices of Glory on mission trips using our voices to help make this world a better place and change people’s lives.

Nadia, Michael and Avery, “The Voices of Glory” are currently appearing in their own show, Ayo Staring the Voices of Glory in Branson. For additional information on Ayo please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.


Hamner’s Unbelievable Variety Show Is “Unbelievably” Entertaining

Dave and Denise Hamner with one of magical winged friends.

Dave and Denise Hamner with one of their “magical “winged friends.

Went to see Branson’s newest show, Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show, this week. From the exciting, colorful and “magical” introduction of its cast to its spectacular inspirational and equally “magical” 911/Veterans finale, Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show combines two hours of unique, colorful, exciting and entertaining acts into an entertainment experience unlike anything else appearing in Branson. From great illusions and close up magic, presented by two of the world’s finest magicians, to high flying “silk” acrobatics, an amazing strength adagio act, comedy, musical impersonations, vocals, dancing and ventriloquism the scope and variety of this show is, well, “Unbelievable.”

The show starts in a spectacular fashion with a “Grand Illusion.” Actually two “Grand Illusions,” one the musical and dancing performance of the Styx hit, “Grand Illusion” and the other, in conjunction with the first, the “Grand Illusion,” performed in true Hamner style, used to introduce the cast of the show. It was a wonderful and exciting flurry of color, excitement, illusions and action getting the show off to an absolutely “Unbelievable” start.

I could talk about the venues Dave and Denise Hamner have appeared in from Las Vegas to Disneyland and others as well as the awards they have received including the “prestigious “Magic Masters Award” by their peers in Las Vegas,” but none of it would compare to just watching these two masters of their craft perform their unbelievable illusions and interact with their audience. Their one of a kind bird act with beautiful Macaws and Cockatoos is as amazing as it is beautiful to watch; the original “Vertigo: The Fall of Death,” and Dave’s simple elegant performance of the close up magic doing a unique “baseball” twist with the “Cups and Balls” illusion were, from among many others, three of my favorite illusions.

Impressionist Jeff Brandt.

Impressionist Jeff Brandt.

From the opening number of the show, a full cast production number, the magic of the Hamners, is choreographed and combined with the talents of the shows other performers resulting in a virtual cornucopia of “Unbelievable” variety, talent and entertainment. Jeff Brandt, considered by some to be one of the top singing impressionists in the country and a featured performer in Wayne Newton’s show for 13 years performs a number of his impressions, including a “magical” appearance during the second half of the show. While performing with Wayne Newton in Las Vegas, Brandt was given the nickname “The Voice.” After seeing and hearing him perform, I know why. His incorporation of the impressions of Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. into his performance of “My Way” was remarkable and some, might even say, “Unbelieveable.”.

Vadim and Maria Serykh performing their amazing strength adagio hand balancing act.

Vadim and Maria Serykh performing their amazing strength adagio hand balancing act.

The father and daughter team of Vadim & Mariya Serykh add to the variety and excitement of the show with their amazing, beautiful and eloquent strength and balancing adagio act. Mariya adds to the excitement and danger as she rises high into the heights of the theatre over the audience and performs a beautiful acrobatic “silk” routine. To say that the audience was amazed and excited by their performance would be an understatement.

The lead female vocalist, Tamera Tinoco, has produced and sung in a number of Branson shows including “The Magnificent Seven,” in which she and her husband Joe star. I particularly liked her rendition of “Defying Gravity” from the play “Wicked.” The transition into the shows ventriloquist, Brenda Hahne and her loveable “Aunt Ruth” was, well let’s say, “in the cards.” Aunt Ruth and Brenda provided a funny and entertaining routine as they discussed, sometimes with a little help from the audience, the funny day to day “doings” of Aunt Ruth.

The shows dancing is choreographed by A. J. Herd, who along with Ken Brown, Dance Captain, and Mariya Serykh provide another unique element to this “Unbelievable” show. Whether it’s their introduction to an illusion, such as when they introduce the Hamner’s unique version of the “Origami” illusion, or the spellbinding performance of young Mariya Serykh during Tamera Tinoco’s performance of “Defying Gravity,” they add an element of grace, beauty and elegance throughout the show.

To this writer, one of the most “Unbelievable” aspects of this show is the way the individual talents of its cast are combined into a production that is as equally entertaining to adults of all ages as it is to teens and younger children throughout its entire length. All of Branson’s shows are “family friendly” in terms of their content, some are designed primarily for kids and others for adults, but very few to entertain adults and kids together for the whole show; Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show is one of those shows.

For additional information or tickets for Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show or any of Branson’s shows and attractions or for Branson lodging please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com






Material Connection

What You Might Want to Know About Branson Paradigm Shows

The biblical spectacular "Jonah" is but one example of the Branson entertainment paradigm.

The biblical spectacular “Jonah” is but one example of the Branson entertainment paradigm.

“In a town like Branson with nearly 100 live family shows of every type, from the Acrobats of China to the biblical spectacular Jonah and music shows from Clay Cooper’s Country Express to The Haygoods, Shoji Tabuchi and many more; one might wonder what a ‘paradigm’ show is,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing, of the Branson Tourism Center. “It is a show that is ‘a model or pattern that may be copied,'” she added.

When Presleys’ Country Jubilee opened in 1967 on Highway 76 just outside the limits of the city of Branson little did its principals know that it would be the first show on what was to become the famed “Branson Strip.” What they did know however, as did the Mabe family who started the first show within the Branson city limits, The Baldknobbers Jamboree, was that audiences enjoyed their mixture of segments of country, gospel and patriotic music interspersed with segments of comedy between each musical set.

That paradigm of music and comedy, modified to remain current and relevant has served, not only the two shows that established it very well, but a number of other Branson shows as well. Steve Presley, one of the original cast members of Presleys’ Country Jubilee has pointed out that although the paradigm is the same today their music and comedy is constantly being updated to keep the show fresh and exciting. He reminded me that their weekly TV show Presleys’ Country Jubilee on RFD TV gives them the opportunity to update their show with fresh material virtually at any time throughout the season.

The original Branson paradigm shows included a mixture of music that was country based, gospel and patriotic along with hillbilly themed comedy and they still retain that heritage. Now folks, that doesn’t mean the comedy is not relevant to today. Gary Presley, “Herkimer,” in the show, might be dressed as a hillbilly, but much of his comedy material is about as hillbilly as tonight’s six o’clock news and, no matter what, he and his son “Cecil,” who is actually his real life son Eric, will have you and your whole family laughing until you are “in stitches.”

Although still following that basic paradigm, some of today’s Branson shows do so with music that is not based primarily on country but crosses many different musical genres and comedy that is not remotely related, costuming or otherwise, to any hillbilly heritage. These would include shows such as the Grand Jubilee, Pierce Arrow, Duttons, it at the Hughes Brothers Theatre and others.

Interestingly, the very thing that served as the basis for the paradigm that started and nurtured Branson’s live entertainment industry in its infancy is the new paradigm of today’s Branson shows, “what their audiences enjoy.” That paradigm is the basis for almost 100 live shows being offered on a daily basis during the season giving Branson visitors new and constantly evolving shows providing and a choice of live family friendly entertainment that is unrivaled by any travel destination near Branson’s size and perhaps anywhere.

10 People Share Favorite Things to Do While in Branson

The Titanic Museum Attraction pictured amid the beauty of spring which can't come soon enough this year.

The Titanic Museum Attraction pictured amid the beauty of spring which can’t come soon enough this year.

“There is so much to see and do in Branson that it is often hard to decide what to do,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing, Branson Tourism Center. This week on the Branson Tourism Facebook page, in conjunction with announcing our first ever contest giving away a Branson Spring Break Family package, we asked people if they would comment on their “favorite thing to do or see in Branson.” From the many received, we picked ten in the hopes that the “favorite things to do” from people who have actually been to Branson” might be of benefit to those trying to decide what to see and do while in Branson.

The comments are listed in no particular order, and include the Facebook name of the commenter, the total comment and links to additional information:


Shoji Tabuchi and his daughter Christina.

Shoji Tabuchi and his daughter Christina.

Geneva Madding Vance: My favorite thing in Branson is the Christmas Lights and I love to watch the Branson Landing water fountain. I love to walk downtown and shop in the quaint stores. Really enjoy Six and Shoji.

Genevieve Rose: I have been to Branson four times…I could go every year if I could afford it. I love it, but the last time in 2013, at 63 yrs of age, I went Zip-lining…OHHHH…that was the most fun ever…I love the shows especially at the Sight and Sound Theatre…[Biblical spectacular Jonah premieres March 22.]


Linda Hale: I love everything about Branson. We see the shows Presleys, SIX, Clay Cooper, Gilleys, Dixie Stampede. We also love The Sight & Sound Theatre, Ride The ducks, seeing the lake [Branson has two lakes the 22 mile long cold water Lake Taneycomo and the 43,000 surface acre warm water Table Rock Lake], shopping & all the good places to eat, but what we really like is how great the people are in Branson.

Alan Mears: Branson has so much going for it! Have vacationed there for the last 19 years & consider it like my second home. It has a Christian spirit, is family friendly & family oriented with a good, honest fun attitude-filled with museums, a variety of shows, theme parks, great dining, shopping, outdoor activities, delicious food & an amazing blend of old & new talent. It has an atmosphere of hospitality & patriotism, with many different things to do for all ages-can even be a romantic getaway since it is one of the most beautiful places in America with a wide array of things to see & do throughout all the seasons. The memories are awesome, especially bringing someone to Branson for the first time. My Favorite thing is- all the above & so much more!

Pam Hook: RELAX, golf, and shows!!!!


Innovations like its new world breaking "Outlaw Run" wooden coaster have helped Silver Dollar City "Create memories worth repeating" for over 50 years.

Innovations like its new world breaking “Outlaw Run” wooden coaster have helped Silver Dollar City “Create memories worth repeating” for over 50 years.

Ashley Fuller: There’s so much to choose from! It would be nice if we had more vacation time and hours in the day to do it all! I would have to say Silver Dollar City, Branson Landing Shopping, Dixie Stampede, Sight and Sound Theater, Titanic, mini golf, Segways and Grand Country.

Joyce Soule Stump: So many things to do. It is hard to pick one or two. Love the Baldknobbers, great restaurants, great motels [Lodging], Dick’s 5 & 10, Flea markets etc.

Dee-Dee Saluppo Baker: Titanic

Deborah Gander Smith: The shows, the lake and the new riverfront [Branson Landing].

We noticed too; most had a tough time picking just one favorite thing, but isn’t that a wonderful memory to have, a vacation with so many favorite things that you couldn’t pick just one.

Did you know this about Branson’s Lake Taneycomo?


One of Lake Taneycomo's scenic vistas.

One of Lake Taneycomo’s scenic vistas.

Branson has two main lakes, Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo. Of the two, Table Rock Lake is the most well-known because its 43,000 plus surface acres of fishing and aquatic fun has been one of the finest bass fisheries in the nation and a draw for Branson tourists since the lake first filled up in 1959. Yet, although both are impoundments of the White River, Lake Taneycomo is the oldest, filled in 1913; had its very character changed as the result of the completion of Table Rock Dam and the formation of Table Rock Lake and is the featured “crown jewel” of Branson Landing. Here are a few facts about Lake Taneycomo that you might find interesting:

1. Lake Taneycomo’s Relationship to Branson Landing: It makes up the eastern boarder of the city of Branson and is a featured integral part of Branson Landing with a 1.5 mile board walk running the entire length of The Landing.

 2. Branson Landing: The largest development in Branson’s history, Branson Landing opened on May 25, 2006. It is a 95-acre, $435 million public/private multiuse project that spans 1.5 miles of waterfront on Lake Taneycomo, and is conveniently located adjacent to historic downtown Branson. It’s combination of luxury condos and over 120 retail stores and restaurants including “eclectic shops, national retailers, fine dining, intimate cafes and nightspots,” Main Street Lake Cruises, two “floating restaurants and the spectacular free Branson Landing Fountains makes it one of the most popular attractions in Branson.

3. Branson Landing Fountains: Located in the heart of Branson Landing on the shoreline of Lake Taneycomo, the fountains are the centerpiece of a $7.5 million spectacular water attraction featuring the first-ever merging of water, fire, light and music with water fountains shooting 120-foot geysers into the air and “fire cannons,” all choreographed to lights and music.

4. Lake Taneycomo Formation & Powersite Dam: “Lake Taneycomo” was formed in 1913with the completion of the 1200 foot long 70 foot tall “Powersite Dam,” across the White River at a cost of $3.2 Million. Prior to that time the “White River” ran unimpeded from its point of origin, in the Boston Mountains, 734 miles to the Mississippi River.

5. Lake Taneycomo’s Name: Its name “Taney” “Co” “MO” comes from the fact that it’s located in “Taney County, Missouri.”

6. Lake Taneycomo Info: Lake Taneycomo is 23 miles long running from White River Mile Marker 506.1 to 528.8 at the foot of Table Rock Dam. It has over 52 miles of shore line and covers over 2050 surface acres.

7. Originally a Warm Water Lake: When originally formed Lake Taneycomo was a “warm water” lake which was ideal for bass and crappie fishing and other aquatic activities like swimming and waterskiing. The quite little town of Rockaway Beach, located on one of the widest portions of the Lake, soon became one of the premier vacation destinations in the Ozarks, much more so than Branson at that time, but all of that dramatically changed with the completion of the Table Rock Dam and the formation of Table Rock Lake in 1959

8. Impact of Table Rock’s Electrical Generation on Lake Taneycomo: Primarily constructed as part of the flood control system on the White River and for the generation of hydroelectric power, it is the day to day generation of electricity through Table Rock Dam’s four 50 megawatt generators that impacts Lake Taneycomo the most. The water that is used to generate the electricity is drawn from Table Rock Lake at a depth of about 140 feet which, without sunlight penetration, has a constant temperature of about 45 degrees F year round. This results in an average temperature of about 48 degree Ftemperature near Table Rock Dam and changed a warm water lake into a cold water lake virtually overnight.

9. Lake Taneycomo’s “River Lake” Characteristics: “Lake Taneycomo” is an artificial “lake” in terms of being “a large body of impounded water surrounded by land except for the waters flowing into and out of it.” However, it still retains many of the characteristics of its “White River” heritage such as its extremely narrow shore line and current. Although perhaps not apparent in the deeper water lower half of the lake, its current, depth and average 48 degree temperature are controlled day to day by hydroelectric discharges through the dam making it, “for all practical purposes, a deep, cold, fast-running river… dependent on the number of turbines generating and the volume of discharge from each.”

10. Bass to Trout: The Missouri Department of Conservation, anticipating that the colder temperatures of Lake Taneycomo caused by the generation of hydroelectric power would decimate the warm water species of fish such as bass and crappie in the main lake, built the Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery at the foot of, and in conjunction with the building of, Table Rock Dam. This decision, and the introduction of a small fresh water shrimp food supply, has made Lake Taneycomo one of the finest trout fisheries in the nation. Currently about 700,000 thousand Rainbow and 10,000 Brown Trout per year are stocked into the Lake.


What you need to know about the exciting 2014 changes at Main Street Lake Cruises

Welcome the New Year in celebrating aboard the 100 foot luxury yacht "Landing Princess."

The 100 foot luxury yacht “Landing Princess”

“There is more of everything this year, excitement, fun, romance and adventure, at Main Street Lake Cruises, downtown Branson’s one stop Lake Taneycomo activity destination,” said Steve Johnson the General Manager of Main Street Lake Cruises (MSLC). “Our goal has been to provide Branson visitors with a ‘one stop’ fun and activity destination from which they could enjoy Lake Taneycomo, the most historic and scenic of Branson’s waterways,” he added.

Whether sightseeing on the river boat replica Lake Queen or dining on the 100 foot luxury yacht Landing Princess, passengers will see a spectacular constantly changing show produced by “Mother Nature” herself. This includes the opportunity to see everything from the Bald Eagles and wildlife along Lake Taneycomo’s shore line, amazing natural bluffs stretching back into the eons of time and the spectacular majesty of Ozark vistas not seen by the vast majority of the millions of visitors who come to Branson each year. Each cruise provides a unique lakeside view of Branson Landing and its $7.5 million fountains that is as unique as it is beautiful and inspiring.

For 2014, a lunch option has been added to the “lunch time” cruises aboard the Lake Queen including a delectable choice of entrees such as Blackened Chicken Salad with croissant, Turkey Croissant with choice of chips or garden salad, Ham Croissant with choice of chips or garden salad or Caesar Chicken Wrap with choice of chips or garden salad and unlimited fountain drinks. Always a wonderful experience, in 2014 the dinner cruise seating aboard the 100 foot luxury yacht Landing Princess becomes even more romantic and intimate with its new private “individual” table seating. To make the occasion even more special there is the option to customize the occasion by adding upgrades, including items such as a bottle of Canyon Road House Wine (red or white) with 2 MSLC Logo Flutes or a half dozen Roses.

The Wilderness Ride fishing kayak.

The Wilderness Ride fishing kayak.

Kayak rentals, including fishing, single and tandem kayaks, are a new addition to the MSLC activities offered for 2014. The fishing kayaks are 11.5 foot “Wilderness Systems Ride” models that are 33 inches wide with raised seating and a stability that enables an angler to stand up and fish from them. The single and tandem kayaks are the “Perception Tribes,” sit on top models that are 9.5 feet long and 31 ¼ inches wide and 13.5 feet long and 33.25 inches wide respectively. A unique feature is that the kayak rentals will all depart from the Main Street Lake Cruises’ Dock located right off the boardwalk at Branson Landing in Branson Landing and do not require any special transportation or pick up coordination. In addition, it is anticipated that there will be an option where the kayaks and passengers will be transported upstream from Main Street Lake Cruises for a release and downstream paddle that can be customized to the desires of the customer.

Also new for 2014 will be pontoon rentals and family or small group custom charters aboard a 27 foot Regal Deck Boat piloted by a U.S. Coast Guard licensed Captain. Add a lunch option from the Paddlewheel Restaurant to either and you are set for a special memorable day on the water.

For additional information or to make reservations for Main Street Lake Cruises’ sightseeing or dinner cruises, kayaks or deck boat charters please contact them by either calling 877-382-6287 or through their web site www. MainStreetLakeCruises.com

What you might want to know about Daniel O’Donnell’s 2015-2016 sabbatical

Daniel O'Donnell.

Daniel O’Donnell.

On February 20, 2014, internationally acclaimed singer and perennial Branson favorite Daniel O’Donnell, announced, on his website, that he has “decided to take an extended break from touring after the Gertrude Byrne Caribbean cruise finishes next February 2015.” O’Donnell went on to say, “I can’t really say how long the break will be, but there will be no shows until at least the middle of 2016 and closed the announcement saying “I want to stress that ‘This is not retirement,’ it’s just a sabbatical.”

In his announcement, he thanks everyone for their support as his wife Majella has battled cancer since last July and say’s that he is “delighted she’s doing so well” and ” that her treatment and surgery has been successful.” At the same time he points out that through it all they have had a lot of time to reflect and take stock of things. O’Donnell said, “It makes us realize that life is short. For me this was a very big decision, but there are a number of things that Majella and I want to do and even if we live to be 90 (which I hope we do) I don’t want to have to say “I wish we took the time to do such and such……”

“Although Branson audiences will surely miss Daniel O’Donnell’s performances during his sabbatical, we rejoice in the fact that Majella is doing so well and that they are able to take the time to do the things they want to do together,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “We, and we are sure, his fans look forward to seeing the final performances of the Daniel O’Donnell show in Branson November 1 through November 22, prior to the start of his sabbatical, and the opportunity to wish him and Majella ‘Godspeed.'”

For information, tickets and the best seats available for Daniel O’Donnell’s November Branson performances please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.