Two for Branson shows comedy paradigm

Presleys' Country Jubilee comedian "Herkimer," Gary Presley, in the red shirt and his son "Cecil," Eric Presley with the white shirt and red tie, during one of their routines.

BRANSON, MO, May 11, 2013 – Ever since 1991 when the CBS Prime Time news show “60 minutes” called Branson “The live music capital of the entire universe” Branson’s reputation for the quality, quantity and variety of its music shows has blossomed and grown. Along with its music shows however Branson offers a variety of other types of shows such as the skill and grace of the Acrobats of China, the world class magic and ventriloquism of the Hamner and Barber Varity Show or the fun and excitement of a game show like the Price Is Right Live to mention a few.

Ever since the Baldknobbers “started it all,” comedy has been a part of most Branson shows. The paradigm established by the Branson earliest pioneer shows, the Baldknobbers Jamboree and Presleys’ Country Music Jubilee, of having heavy coordinated musical and comedy elements throughout the show, has served Branson shows well.

Branson is full of great comedians and has even more who come in for limited engagement throughout the year. However, for this article we are going to take a look at the different comedy styles from two Branson shows that not only follow that paradigm, but have hilarious comedians who are masters of their craft. In addition, although both shows remain true to their country roots they offer a variety of music presented by some of the best vocalists in Branson, live bands and are open for the full Branson season.

Gary Presley, or “Herkimer” as he is known on stage, from Presleys’ Country Jubilee helped establish the paradigm and has been entertaining Branson audiences ever since the Presleys’ opened the first theatre on what is now known as “The Branson Strip in 1967. His combination of Ozark hillbilly dress and humor delivered in the form of one liners, jokes and comedy skits with some great props, special effects and working current events and interests into his routines has made him one of Branson’s funniest men for decades. Factor in the extremely funny antics of his son, Erik, “Cecil” on stage, and some of his action routines and you have a creative comedy duo that keeps their audience laughing and wondering about what they will come up with next.

Straight man, Bobby Blackburn, and Animal Control Officer Ray Bees a.k.a. Jarrett Dougherty

Jarrett Dougherty of the Pierce Arrow Show, is another very funny man who will have you laughing from the beginning to the end of the show with his comedy. His style is one of using different characters in his comedy and wow, is he good at it. “This year Dougherty starts the show with a new character, the funniest Animal Control Officer you will ever meet, Ray Bees who is in search of a snake that has escaped from the new Promised Land Zoo being built just east of the theatre. From there, the laughs just keep coming as he makes just about the whole cast, with special emphasis on Band Leader Bobby Blackburn, “his straight man,” as his hilarious comedic journey, among other places, takes the audience to the bible, the demise of the snake and the most beautiful, funny and unforgettable version of the Nat King Cole classic “Unforgettable” you will ever experience.”

This writer has sat in the audience at both of these shows and observed the reaction of children in the audience. They seem to be having love these guys and the color and variety that add to the musical element of the show as they laugh along with their parents at their antics and humor.

For additional information on any of the shows mentioned in this article 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.

Material Connection

 

Sound of Bluegrass & aroma of BBQ permeate Silver Dollar City

Rhonda Vincent, described by the Wall Street Journal as "the Queen of Bluegrass," and her band "The Rage" will be performing at the festival.

BRANSON, Mo., May 9, 2013 — The smell of Ozark style cooking and the sound of people having fun are a routine part of a day at Silver Dollar City (SDC), but when those smells take on a BBQ aroma and the music has a distinctly bluegrass sound it can only mean one thing, it’s time for Silver Dollar City’s Bluegrass & BBQ Festival which will run through Memorial Day, May 27 and has been recognized by the “International Bluegrass Music Association” having received its “Bluegrass Event of the Year” award.

“What a combination of fun, excitement, music and food,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. She said that the festival activities are in addition to everything one expects from the 1880s styled award winning theme park such as 30 rides and attractions, including its new world breaking wooden coaster “Outlaw Run,” with its initial 162 foot 81 degree drop; dozens of demonstrating craftsmen; unique shopping and great live shows and entertainment. “When coupled with hundreds of performances by some of the best Bluegrass groups and artists in the country and the opportunity to taste just some of the finest BBQ and sauces around there’s simply no other experience like it anywhere,” she added.

The Bluegrass portion of the festival will include “more than 40 bands and hundreds of performances, from international award-winning musicians to the hottest new bands in bluegrass today.” These include Rhonda Vincent and her band “The Rage, ” as well as “the Grammy-nominated Grascals; Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, 6-time IBMA Vocal Group of the Year winners; Blue Highway, the IBMA Vocal Group of the Year; the Boxcars, featuring 9-time IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year and 5-time Grammy winner Adam Steffey; and the Gibson Brothers, winner of the 2012 IBMA Entertainer of the Year and up-and-coming bands in bluegrass, such as The Bankesters, the Snyder Family Band, the Hillbenders, Monroeville and more.” In addition there will be two national Bluegrass competitions, The Youth In Bluegrass Band Competition on May 25 featuring “amateur bluegrass musicians 21 years of age or younger” and the 7th Annual National Single Mic Championship” on May 18 which “highlights the performance skills” of each band as they perform “around a single microphone and balances their sound by moving toward or away from the microphone.”

The “BBQ” part of the festival includes the cooking and serving of thousands of  pounds of mouth watering BBQ prepared on “large outdoor charcoal grills and a custom-made 9-foot smoker.” In addition to Silver Dollar City’s famous flavor feast with “St. Louis ribs and smoked chicken to Texas brisket and sweet roasted corn on the cob” to the “all you-can-eat BBQ rib feast each afternoon” the flavors of two award winning BBQs, “Hawgwild BBQ” out of Aurora, Missouri and “Dickey’s Barbecue Pit” from Texas will also be featured. Guests will be able to sample over 100 different BBQ sauces including Silver Dollar City’s new Outlaw Run Zesty Honey sauce with a kick. The festivals BBQ offerings are in addition to the excellent food service normally available throughout the park.

Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson also points out that those purchasing their Silver Dollar City tickets through the Branson Tourism Center will receive a two day pass for the price of a one day pass. For additional information or tickets for Silver Dollar City, any of its festivals or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please contact the Branson Tourism Center by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

Material Connection

LED Iron Man-esque suit newest Haygood innovation

Michael Haygood performing in the the one of a kind eclectic suit he made to honor Iron Man.

BRANSON, MO, May 5, 2013 — Tens of thousands are discovering on You Tube what millions of Branson visitors have discovered over the years. When it comes to great entertainment, continual innovation in music, special effects and the use of technology and energy it’s hard to get ahead of the Haygoods in Branson or anywhere else for that matter.

Michael Haygood, of the Haygoods, is a huge Iron Man Fan and had been building a unique one of a type suit in hopes of getting invited to the Hollywood premier of “Iron Man 3″ on May 3, but did not have it ready on time and it’s no wonder. According to recent information released on the suit it has hundreds of LED lights, and its music, Black Sabbath’s song “Iron Man” has 77 computer cues. Haygood said, “It started as just a small idea,” and has taken four months of programming, soldering, and work “until we got it like this.”

Although he did not make it to Hollywood for their premier performance, but to the delight of those attending the midnight showing of “Iron Man 3″ he did perform at the Branson IMAX on May 2 just prior to the midnight showing of the movie. Haygood said, “I never thought in a million years, that people would care about my nerdy little project.” As of this writing almost 97,000 people have viewed the You Tube video of Haygood performing in the suit Kid builds Iron Man 3 light suit and LED guitar!…

Haygood indicates that the suit and performance will be incorporated into their show saying that they would probably end up with four or five of the suits and do an Iron Man-esque kind of light show “that’s just going to blow people away.” Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center, the seller of well over 3 million Branson show and attraction tickets, offered congratulations on the completion of the project and the success of the video on You Tube.

She said, “We advertise ‘The Haygood family recipe for success: raw talent showcased on over 20 different instruments, melodic sibling voices, and the group’s effervescent energy combined with a passion for putting on a top-notch show, every time’ and that, coupled with this kind of continual flexibility, passion, and innovation, is what makes the Haygoods one of the most popular and well received shows that we sell.”

 

Material Connection

A great Branson travel experience starts with great lodging

Whether its the unique Gazebo Inn located in the center of the famed Branson Strip, the...

BRANSON, MO, April 30, 2013 — When traveling away from home where do most days start and end? For most travelers that will usually be in their destination hotel, motel, condo, resort or other place of lodging and it makes no difference whether the travel is for business or vacation. One thing is generally certain however, the choice of lodging impacts, one way or the other, on the total enjoyment of the travel experience.

The impact when one is traveling alone or on business is one thing, but it is entirely of an different magnitude while traveling with your family on vacation. in terms of the total vacation experience, the selection of vacation lodging can be as important as the selection of the destination itself and the activities to be enjoyed.

When traveling to Branson, from lakes to live shows, attractions, shopping and so many other activities, there is not only an overwhelming choice of things to do, but of places to stay. From a secluded, but close to the strip Bed and Breakfast like the Bradford House Bed and Breakfast to the unique quaint Gazebo Hotel located right in the center of the famed Branson Strip and the “AAA Four Diamond ranked” Branson Hilton Convention Center Hotel, Branson has a choice of lodging that is amazing.

 

the AAA Four Diamond ranked Branson Hilton Convention Center or the...

Whether one wants a condo with all the amenities on a golf course, such as Thousand Hills or Pointe Royale; a lakeside resort like Stillwaters Resorts on Table Rock Lake or a hotel right on Branson Landing such as the Hilton Promanade there is a lodging choice that is perfect for just about every interest and budget. From luxury hotels, national hotel and motel chains like La Qunita Inn and unique locally owned and managed lodging facilities Branson has the ideal accommodations to meet just about every lodging and budget and need.

The Branson Tourism Center (BTC), one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services offers two convenient ways for prospective Branson visitors to select the perfect lodging for their vacation. The first is to call BTC at its toll free number 1-800-785-1550 and talk with one of their trained Branson based Travel Planners. They are available from 8 AM to 9 PM seven days a week every day of the year except Christmas and will be delighted to discuss Branson lodging options as well as shows, attractions and other Branson activities. There is no charge for this personal service. In fact, if lodging is “packaged” with show and attraction tickets it can actually save money.

 

serenity of the Bradford House Bread & Breakfast, Branson offers an amazing selection of lodging.

Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center said, “BTC’s unique approach of combining the internet with a free ‘concierge’ type of personal service should go a long way towards ensuring that Branson guests get exactly the type of Branson lodging that will an integral part of an overall great Branson experience.” Johnson also suggests that for the best availability and pricing, the earlier arrangements and reservations are made, the better.

One thing is a near certainty; the travel experience you have in Branson, or anywhere else, will be directly influenced by your lodging choice. With a little preplanning that influence can be a positive part of a pleasant, enjoyable and memorable travel experience.

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New Branson show and Walk of Fame for Barry Williams

Barry Williams with Missouri Walk of Fame Star

BRANSON, MO, April 30, 2013 — “Another well deserved honor for Barry Williams,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center after hearing of his induction into the Missouri Walk of Fame in Marshfield, Missouri on April 26 during its Cherry Blossom Festival. Johnson points out that Williams, perhaps best known for his performance as Greg Brady on the hit prime time TV series, The Brady Bunch, is in his third year of performing in Branson and is starring in a new show this year, 70′s Music Celebration Starring Barry Williams.

The show is a high energy, multimedia production full of “disco, folk and classic rock songs featuring the music and comedy of the 70s staring Williams. It features a live band and dancers as Williams uses his personal experiences and some of the greatest music of the 70s from Elton John, The Eagles and The Bee Gees to take the audience “on a nostalgic trip through the grooviest decade.” It is “a spectacular ‘Dy-no-mite’ trip back through this colorful era in a ‘Far out’ and ‘Outta sight’ kind of way that is perfect for all ages.”

Williams, who was born in Santa Monica California, has been performing in Branson for the last three years and has made Branson his permanent residence. The Missouri Walk of Fame is Missouri’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Each year “the walk” honors famous Missourians and a star is unveiled during Marshfield’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival which has been celebrated since 2006.

Williams has had an extensive career starring in hundreds of television shows and over 85 productions of Broadway Musicals including appearances on several television shows such as Dragnet, Adam-12, The Invaders, That Girl, Mission: Impossible and others before landing his role as Greg Brady on The Brady Bunch. Williams has also been involved in musical theater, touring with Pippin, Music Man, City of Angels, The Sound of Music, West Side Story and others. In 1988, he appeared on Broadway in Romance/Romance.” This versatile performer “has been a DJ on satellites’ Sirius Radio, has recorded several live CD’s and recently, starred in a 2013 Sci-Fi made for television movie Bigfoot with Danny Bonaduce and Sheryln Fenn.

For additional information on the 70′s Music Celebration Starring Barry Williams or for information or 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 through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Branson Forum reviews of “Clay Cooper” – “Rankin Brothers” – “it” shows

BRANSON, MO, April 22, 2013 — Branson has a huge number and variety of live shows and is often referred to as “The live music show capital of the world.” With so many Branson shows how does one decide what show to see? A starting point would be to go to a List of Branson Shows similar to the one provided by the Branson Tourism Center which will generally contain a description of the show, pictures, schedules, ticket prices and in many cases videos of the show.

Another way to get information is to visit the Shows Forum of Branson’s oldest and biggest Information Board 1Branson.Com to see what other people who have attended a particular show thought of it. Here are three such reviews on shows that people have visited within the last 30 days. The link under the show title will take you to the specific Branson Tourism Center Branson Show Listing where additional information is available. The “name” in bold type preceding the review is the screen name of the poster.

Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express

rjw1991A1 – “I spent my birthday evening last Thursday enjoying Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express. What a great choice. It’s hard to believe that a show so good can actually get better every time I see it. But with the talent of the entire cast, and the amazing audience interaction of Clay Cooper, it does. The range of music is terrific. From classic country to new country, and gospel. In addition to some great rock and pop, and a very moving patriotic song, written by Clay’s wife Tina, it has great entertainment for anyone. Great dance numbers by the Country Music Express Dancers led by Tina, comedy by Matt Gumm, and Clay’s son Colton, and one of the most talented bands in Branson. The amazing little Ezrah Noell is another high point of entertainment as well…

“If I would give anybody a recommendation for a Branson show I would say Clay Cooper must be on their list. In fact I would say that If you are limited by time, or budget to only one show, you can’t go wrong with Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express being that one show!”

Rankin Brothers

leftsaidted – OK, been waiting for someone to comment on the revamped for 2013 Rankin Brothers show at the Clay Cooper theater. NO one has yet, so guess I will.

So probably most people who have seen the Rankin Brothers over the last few years would agree that it has been one of Branson’s top shows, year after year. But they have really improved it for 2013, in my opinion. There are probably not a half dozen songs from their past show, the vast majority of songs are new and fresh.

Matt and Mark are in top form this year, no doubt energized by the new song performances. And the “Rankinettes, Lori and Amy, are even better than before, and somehow more beautiful, if you can believe it possible. Again, their song choices are new also. The quick change hat/beard/hair routine that Mark does is, new and very entertaining and comical at times, along with a revamped, albeit shortened, Elvis routine. To wrap this up, simply put, their show was great before, but even better this year. Way to go, Rankin Brothers and Rankinettes!

it at the Hughes Brothers Theatre

Nicola – We went to see “It” last Wednesday night at the Hughes Brothers Theater. We booked the day before and got second row center seating, so I’m not sure if it was just a quiet week or if we simply got lucky. We attended with two folks in their late 60s, myself (37), and my son (9). We all LOVED this show, start to finish. There was something for everyone. The guys were SO energetic and talented. The music was amazing, the comedy was hilarious, and the show just kept on moving forward. It started at 8pm and finished somewhere around 10:30. We were shocked at how quickly the time had passed. I loved the fact that they introduced their (huge!) families and brought that wholesome Branson feel to the show. For my parents, visiting from Southern CA, this was quite unique! The show was well-rounded with everything from country to pop to oldies to show tunes to patriotic fare to good old favorite hymns. I would not hesitate to go and see this show again — something that I’ve never done yet in Branson (discounting the Stampede which isn’t quite the same). I’ve already told my husband that we’re booking to see their Christmas show when we’re down for our annual Thanksgiving trip this year. Hopefully it shines as brightly as “It”.

For additional information on the shows mentioned in this article 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 for assistance by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com

Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express

rjw1991A1 – “I spent my birthday evening last Thursday enjoying Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express. What a great choice. It’s hard to believe that a show so good can actually get better every time I see it. But with the talent of the entire cast, and the amazing audience interaction of Clay Cooper, it does. The range of music is terrific. From classic country to new country, and gospel. In addition to some great rock and pop, and a very moving patriotic song, written by Clay’s wife Tina, it has great entertainment for anyone. Great dance numbers by the Country Music Express Dancers led by Tina, comedy by Matt Gumm, and Clay’s son Colton, and one of the most talented bands in Branson. The amazing little Ezrah Noell is another high point of entertainment as well…

“If I would give anybody a recommendation for a Branson show I would say Clay Cooper must be on their list. In fact I would say that If you are limited by time, or budget to only one show, you can’t go wrong with Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express being that one show!”

Rankin Brothers

leftsaidted – OK, been waiting for someone to comment on the revamped for 2013 Rankin Brothers show at the Clay Cooper theater. NO one has yet, so guess I will.

So probably most people who have seen the Rankin Brothers over the last few years would agree that it has been one of Branson’s top shows, year after year. But they have really improved it for 2013, in my opinion. There are probably not a half dozen songs from their past show, the vast majority of songs are new and fresh.

Matt and Mark are in top form this year, no doubt energized by the new song performances. And the “Rankinettes, Lori and Amy, are even better than before, and somehow more beautiful, if you can believe it possible. Again, their song choices are new also. The quick change hat/beard/hair routine that Mark does is, new and very entertaining and comical at times, along with a revamped, albeit shortened, Elvis routine. To wrap this up, simply put, their show was great before, but even better this year. Way to go, Rankin Brothers and Rankinettes!

it at the Hughes Brothers Theatre

Nicola – We went to see “It” last Wednesday night at the Hughes Brothers Theater. We booked the day before and got second row center seating, so I’m not sure if it was just a quiet week or if we simply got lucky. We attended with two folks in their late 60s, myself (37), and my son (9). We all LOVED this show, start to finish. There was something for everyone. The guys were SO energetic and talented. The music was amazing, the comedy was hilarious, and the show just kept on moving forward. It started at 8pm and finished somewhere around 10:30. We were shocked at how quickly the time had passed. I loved the fact that they introduced their (huge!) families and brought that wholesome Branson feel to the show. For my parents, visiting from Southern CA, this was quite unique! The show was well-rounded with everything from country to pop to oldies to show tunes to patriotic fare to good old favorite hymns. I would not hesitate to go and see this show again — something that I’ve never done yet in Branson (discounting the Stampede which isn’t quite the same). I’ve already told my husband that we’re booking to see their Christmas show when we’re down for our annual Thanksgiving trip this year. Hopefully it shines as brightly as “It”.

For additional information on the shows mentioned in this article 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 for assistance by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com

 

Silver Dollar City, a coaster riders dream come true

"Outlaw Run's" record setting 162 foot 81 degree first drop.

BRANSON, MO, April 20, 2013 — With the addition of the spectacular world record setting “Outlaw Run” wooden coaster to its world class coaster repertoire, Silver Dollar City has to be a coaster riders dream come true,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. In addition to everything else the 1880′s styled theme park offers on a day to day basis, the opening of “Outlaw Run” gives SDC five unique coasters of which four are exciting world class coaster experiences and the fifth is the most unique and entertaining coaster ride in existence,” she added.

Silver Dollar City’s five coasters along with temperature requirements to operate and minimum height restrictions for riders are:

“Outlaw Run” is the $10 million first-of-its-kind ride” that sets several world firsts for wood coasters. Its “record-breaking 3 inversions, with a 720-degree (double) barrel roll and a 153-degree outside banked turn” and its initial 162 foot 81 degree drop is a world first for a wood coaster. At speeds of up to 68 miles per hour, as it takes riders on a 2,937 foot ride in just 1 minute and 27 seconds. Outlaw Run does not operate if the temperatures are 37 degrees or below and has a minimum height requirement of 48 inches for riders.

Silver Dollar City's iconic Wildfire metal coaster.

“WildFire ®” is SDC’s iconic coaster that provides a world class coaster experience and, if one has time to appreciate it, a fantastic view of the Ozarks and Table Rock Lake. Traveling at speeds up to 66 MPH the cobra-rolling coaster incorporates high-speed spiral, a full loop with its five inversions, a vertical drop of 15 stories and corkscrew into one of the most exciting coaster rides anywhere. It does not operate if temperatures are 40 degrees F or below and the minimum height requirement is 52 inches.

“PowderKeg ® ” is a compressed air-launch coaster that accelerates from the “Powder House” going from 0 to 53 MPH in just 2.8 seconds. Its initial 110 foot drop sends riders through spiraling turns and trees at speeds up to 64 MPH exposing them to negative “G” forces on their exciting 3,500 foot journey back to the Powder House. PowderKeg ® does not operate if temperatures are 40 degrees F or below. The minimum height requirement is 42 inches . To ride unaccompanied riders must be 48 inches tall, but those between 42 and 48 inches may only ride with a ” supervising companion at least 16 years old who also meets all ride requirements.”

“Thunderation” is themed as a runaway mine train. It is a high-speed coaster that takes its riders 121 feet into the air as it sends them on a scenic view of the Ozarks at speeds up to 48 MPH before a spiraling drop and trip through an underground tunnel returning to its starting point. Thunderation does not operate if temperatures are 38 degrees F or below. Its minimum height requirement is 42 inches. To ride unaccompanied riders must be 48 inches tall, but those between 42 and 48 inches may only ride with a ” supervising companion at least 16 years old who also meets all ride requirements.”

“Fire-In-The-Hole” is the parks oldest coaster and has been a favorite of families for decades. It’s a unique indoor coaster taking its riders on a night time trip through an Ozarks town that has been set on fire by the infamous “Baldknobbers. It’s a ride filled with adventure, high-speed drops and an exciting ending that shows why the ride is called, “”Fire-In-The-Hole.” The minimum height requirement is 36 inches, but those between 36 and 42 inches may only ride with a ” supervising companion at least 16 years old who also meets all ride requirements.”

Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson reminds those interested in going to Silver Dollar City that when they purchase their ticket from the Branson Tourism Center they get two days at the park for the price of one which is quite a savings. For additional information or tickets for Silver Dollar City or any of Branson’s other 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 either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Branson Dinner cruises cannot be replicated anywhere

The Showboat Branson Belle cruising on Table Rock Lake.

BRANSON, MO, April 17, 2013 — Branson has dinner cruises on two of its three lakes, Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo. Starting with the boats themselves, they are as different and unique as the two lakes upon which the cruises take place.

The Showboat Branson Belle provides a combination dinner, sightseeing and show cruise on beautiful Table Rock Lake a warm water lake with over 857 miles of shoreline. The 278 foot long, 3 decked, 700 passenger boat is as close to the old river showboats as one is likely to get, not only in terms of its docking facility at the “White River Landing,” but in its appearance and the entertainment it provides.

The “Made in the USA Dinner show” features the world’s only aerial violinist, Janice Martin; “The Show Men,” a six-member all-male vocal group , Master of Ceremonies, magician and comedian Christopher James and is presented in a “riverboat showboat” setting. The show is a combination of Martin’s extraordinary musical and acrobatic talent, the harmonies and individual talents of The Showmen and the magic and comedy of James in as entertaining production as any “showboat” has ever seen. When combined with a delicious meal and sightseeing on Table Rock Lake a dinner cruise on the Branson Belle provides a special, entertaining and unique Branson dinner cruise that is not replicated anywhere.

Main Street Lake Cruises' "Landing Princess."

Main Street Cruise Lines Landing Princess a spectacular sightseeing and dinner cruise on Lake Taneycomo, a cold water lake impoundment of the White River that runs 23 miles from Table Rock Dam to the Power Site Dam near Forsyth. It is a lake whose shoreline is narrow and closely follows the banks and channels of the impounded White River providing an unparalleled opportunity for observing the constantly changing beauty of the Ozarks.

A sightseeing trip on either of Main Street Cruises two boats, the Lake Queen or Landing Princess, provide passengers an unparalleled opportunity to experience a spectacular show produced by “Mother Nature” herself. It includes the grandeur of the Ozarks scenery including a constantly changing show of color, deer and other animals; birds of prey such as hawks, Ospreys and Bald Eagles; as well as other birds, waterfowl, lake activity and a unique view of Branson Landing and its famous fountain show. The scenic vistas and unique bluffs carved out over eons of time are only viewable from the Lake and provide what, in its own way, may very well be the biggest and best show in Branson.

The “show” takes place aboard Main Street Lake Cruises’ Landing Princess, 100 feet of luxury, elegance and beauty. Her two fully glass enclosed climate controlled decks provide the ultimate in comfort and convenience while cruising, dining and enjoying the breathtaking scenery passing by on either side. The Landing Princess, scrumptious dinner and spectacular sightseeing show staring the beauty of the Ozarks and Lake Taneycomo provides one of the most unique and enjoyable dining experiences available anywhere.

Two vastly different lakes, “shows” and boats with each providing an extraordinary dining and entertainment experience that is unique and cannot be replicated. For additional information on either the Showboat Branson Belle or the Landing Princess 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.

International entertainment, exciting adventure in Branson at Silver Dollar City’s World-Fest

World champion fire-knife dancer from the "Island Fire" show.

BRANSON, MO, April 15, 2013 — “A wonderful part about Spring in the Ozarks is the blending of the Spring beauty of the Ozarks with the cultures, adventure, color, fun and entertainment of America’s largest international festival, Silver Dollar City’s ‘World-Fest,’” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “The recent opening of Silver Dollar City’s new record setting wood coaster ‘Outlaw Run’ adds even more excitement to an already spectacular event,” she added.

World-Fest, is the first of Silver Dollar City’s six world class festivals held throughout the year and will run Wednesday through Sunday from April 17 – May 5 at the award winning 1880′s styled theme park. Information received from Silver Dollar City indicates that this year’s international celebration will include “new shows with drummers and aerialists from Argentina, fire-knife dancers from Samoa and a Russian folk trio, plus the Italian show Spettacolo Musicale and the return of Viva Italia, an entire plaza filled with Italian entertainment. Guests can travel the world and see groups from Switzerland, Peru, Ireland and more throughout the festival.

The Los Pampas Gauchos Drummers and dancers from the "Amamos Argentina "show.

“The new show Amamos Argentina presents the Los Pampas Gauchos drummers and dancers, featuring Argentinian National Folk Dancing Champion Andres Sosa, plus aerial dancers from Buenos Aires who soar above the stage. Also new, Island Fire presents the rhythms, music and dances from Samoa, Fiji and the South Sea Islands, and features world-champion fire-knife dancers twirling flaming ceremonial knives. ‘The popular Viva Italia showcase of Italian entertainment returns, presenting Spettacolo Musicale, with tenor Aaron Caruso and Sicilian soprano Cristina Corollo accompanied by the 7-piece live band, The Gondoliers. Viva Italia, a “Little Italy” plaza, comes alive with Italian theatrical entertainment, including “living florals” and statues, stilt walkers, interactive musical comedy, live “music box” performers and colorful costumed characters. Returning groups also include Streichmusic Alder, alphorn players and yodelers from the Swiss Alps, Ireland’s premier harpist Dearbhail Finnegan and English musician Robin Slater, Austrian yodeler Kerry Christensen, plus the melodic pan flute music of Ecuador Manta.

World-Fest’s Taste of the World Menu, served in addition to the great selection of food normally available throughout the park, will be served in the “Tastes of the World Food Pavilion.” This will include a wide variety of food from around the world such as English Isles Scottish Eggs and Fish and Chips, Naples Nachos, Mexican Fajitas, French Crepes and Italian Calzone plus desserts such as French Eclairs, German Apfel Dumplings served with Cinnamon Ice Cream and much more.

Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson shares that all the activities of World-Fest are in addition to the 30 rides and attractions, including its brand new “Outlaw Run,” a world class record setting multi-looping wood roller coaster that reaches speeds in excess of 66 miles per hour; some of the best entertainment and live shows available in Branson; dozens of demonstrating craftsmen and much more that Silver Dollar City routinely offers on a day to day basis. “Especially unique and adding to the overall experience of a visit to Silver Dollar City is the way the park is seamlessly integrated into the natural wonder of the Ozarks hills surrounding it,” she adds.

She also reminds those planning to go to World-Fest that when they buy their Silver Dollar City tickets from the Branson Tourism Center they get a “2 Day Pass for the price of one day.” For further information on World-Fest, Silver Dollar City or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions please contact the Branson Tourism Center by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

Are discounted show tickets the best value for Branson vacation?

BRANSON, MO, April 9, 2013 — “Buying tickets for a Branson show is just like buying anything else,” said Tammy Johnson Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC), Branson’s largest seller of Branson show and attraction tickets. “You get what you pay for.”

As is the case with most tourist destinations, there are places in Branson that offer “2 for 1″ or other extremely discounted tickets. “This brings to mind a time tested caveat, ‘Buyer beware’ Johnson added.

In dealing with “discount ticket brokers, “among others, a potential buyer might want to consider some of the following points. Is the business offering the tickets a member of the BBC (Better Business Bureau)? If so what rating does it have? What conditions apply to receiving the discount? Are they getting the best seats available? Is there a service charge? Does the establishment selling the tickets offer tickets to all of Branson’s most popular shows and attractions? Are they a one stop provider of Branson travel services? Do they offer show, attractions and lodging packages that can result in total savings of more than just the discounted tickets they offer?

Johnson points out that the Branson Tourism Center has sold well over three million Branson show and attraction tickets, has been an accredited member of the BBBfor over a decade and enjoys an “A+” rating. BTC never charges a service fee, offers tickets to all Branson shows and enjoys an excellent relationship with the shows and attractions with which it does business. This results in getting its customers the best available seats at the time of booking as opposed to the “remnants.”

Employing over 100 people, BTC offers a full range of Branson travel services, including lodging for just about every budget and taste. The savings resulting from “packaging,” combining lodging with tickets for shows and attractions, will in many cases be much more than that of just the discounted tickets with added convenience and less risk.

The convenience and comfort factor in dealing with a full service travel provider with the reputation of the Branson Tourism Center does not cost any more, generally results in better seats and value with a savings of both time and money if packaging is used and all without any conditions or stipulations.

As Peggy Barthel, the purchaser of BTC’s 3 millionth ticket, pointed out; after spending most of the day on the internet trying to decide where to go and what to do while in Branson she discovered the Branson Tourism Center and called their 800 number,1-800-875-1550. In summing up the results of that call she said, “One call that’s all, they just took care of everything. We’re just going to go up there and have fun.” Isn’t that what you want for your Branson vacation?