Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill has legendary Branson opening

Some of the cast from the "Legends in Concert Show" "Celine Dion," Brigitte Valdez; "Johnny Cash, Paul Eve and "The Blues Brothers" Bucky Heard as "Jake Blues" and Justin Clark as "Elwood Blues" enjoying their meal at the Grill.

BRANSON, MO, August 6, 2013 —  Where can you eat fried pickles see a truly legendary show, hear Elvis sing, see a Celebrity Car Museum and experience a legendary show all at one place? All this and more is at the Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater Complex on the famed “Branson Strip.”

The Complex is “an integrated entertainment and hospitality destination” with a state of the art theatre featuring the Legends in Concert and the Bretts shows, a Celebrity Car Museum, an adjacent Ramada Inn and the recently reopened “Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill.” Among many others the Grill’s new menu includes classic signature items such as Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches, Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers and Fried Pickles.

In talking about all that the Complex offers, Legends in Concert General Manager, Jeannie Horton said that the Grill is the perfect enhancement for the Complex. It enables their guests to park their car, enjoy a truly unique dining experience at the Grill, peruse the expanded museum quality memorabilia in the theater lobby, see the Celebrity Car Museum and top it off by seeing the award-winning Legends in Concert show without ever leaving the Complex.

The opening of the Grill was made possible because local Springfield/Branson businessman and philanthropist Jim D. Morris, who purchased the Complex in 2011, entered into an agreement with Dick Clark Productions for re-opening of the Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill at the Complex. In announcing the addition of the Grill Morris said that he was ” delighted to have the Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill re-open and pleased to see it restored to its original name, concept and design within the Bandstand Complex.”

Morris also announced that the Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater Complex will continue its long-term relationship with the celebrated tribute artist production, Legends in Concert saying, “The strength of the ongoing partnership with Legends in Concert and Dick Clark Productions was instrumental in the decision to bring the Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill back to Branson.” Liz Morentin, Vice President of Corporate Communications, for Dick Clark Productions said, “Jim D. Morris is a terrific partner and we look forward to having Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill…in Branson. Our team has handpicked many unique, one of a kind memorabilia items from our archives to decorate the restaurant and to enhance the current collection of pop culture items in the theater lobby.”

For more information about Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater Complex; or tickets or information for the Legends in Concert  or Betts shows please contact the Branson Tourism Center by either calling 1-800-785-1550 or through their website, www.bransontourismcenter.com/.

“Adventures of Marco Polo” world debut in Branson

One of the many spectacular and colorful moments in the show..

BRANSON, Mo., August 2, 2013 – The story of Venetian “explorer” Marco Polo’s 20 plus years of living in China, his relationship with Kublia Kahn and first hand descriptions of the culture, history and heritage of China in the late 1200′s created a fascination with China when the “story” “The Travels of Marco Polo” was first published around 1300. On August 9 Branson audiences will have the opportunity to experience Marco Polo’s story and China as it is beautifully and spectacularly brought to life on stage in the show the “The Adventures of Marco Polo.”

Pamela Kay Critchfield, Director, Sales, Marketing and PR for the White House Theatre said that it “is one of the biggest shows that ‘China Heaven Creations International Performing Arts Co. Ltd.’ a major producer of entertainment productions in China since 1999, has ever produced. “It was especially created with American audiences in mind and to debut in Branson,” she continued.

Critchfield points out that the shows lavish sets and a 2,000 square foot floor to ceiling and side to side high resolution screen LED screen provide a spectacular, visual, and dynamic element to the show. When combined with an international cast of 66, over 100 beautiful costumes, “original orchestration, amazing dance, acrobatics and magic,” along with a story line combining history and love, the result is a show that will truly entertain all ages “from 2 to 92.” She said that Branson audiences will be treated to an entertainment spectacle the caliber of which is typically only available in New York or Las Vegas.

“We are just so excited that this epic production will be added the line-up of great shows that Branson has to offer,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Too we are honored that ‘China Heaven Creations International Performing Arts Co. Ltd.’ chose to have the world debut The Adventures of Marco Polo in Branson,” she added.

For additional information or tickets for The Adventures of Marco Polo please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website www.BransonTourism Center.com

Branson one of Condė Nast’s Top Ten Friendly Cities

Silver Dollar City associates have exemplified the standard for friendliness in Branson for over 50 years.

BRANSON, MO, July 31, 2013 – Branson was just named one of the top ten friendliest cities in America by the readers of Condė Nast Traveler in its “2013 Annual Readers Choice Survey” along with cities such as Asheville, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; Sonoma, California and Telluride, Colorado. In commenting on the results of the Condė Nast survey, Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center was not surprised. “Along with the fabulous shows, attractions, fun and excitement that Branson is noted for, one of its ‘Hallmarks’ and things that helps make Branson so special is the friendliness of its people.”

She points out something that expresses just how important “friendliness” is to all that Branson is. “The Branson Promise,” says, “We believe that new people aren’t strangers, just friends who haven’t visited. We believe that every guest can be a part of our Branson family. From headline performers to the folks who sell the tickets, we invite you to become part of the fun we create every day.”

In summarizing why Branson was chosen as one of the top ten most friendliest cities, Condė Nast Traveler said, “‘A throwback to gentler times,’ Branson, Missouri, is a popular destination for visitors looking for a Southern twist on ‘great family entertainment for all ages.’ Newcomers to Branson also find themselves falling for the ‘good folk’ who call the city home. ‘The people are terrific, the shows are fun, and the area is peaceful and beautiful,’ says one fan of the area, which plays host to dozens of theaters, wineries, and tourist-friendly attractions. ‘Fun is at every turn.’”

“What better way to make special memories for your family than to take them to a place where there is ‘fun at every turn’ provided by some of the friendliest people in America,” Johnson said.

Clay Cooper delights passengers on first 2013 Branson Cruise With The Stars

Clay Cooper "at the helm" of the Landing Princess .

BRANSON, MO, July 27, 2013 — “Just look at the way he relates to the passengers and the great time they are having with him,” said Annette Wood, Director of Group Sales for the Branson Tourism Center, one of the facilitators for Branson Tourism Center’s exclusive “Cruise With The Stars” event. She was referring to Branson star Clay Cooper, of the Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express show, as he interacted and shared with them on an individual basis during the Clay Cooper Cruise With The Stars event on July 26.

All of the passengers were part of an event combining two elements, seeing the Clay Cooper Country Music Express show and an exclusive VIP luncheon cruise with Cooper aboard Main Street Cruise Lines‘ 100 foot luxury yacht, Landing Princess. The VIP luncheon cruise with Cooper was available only as part of the Cruise With The Stars entertainment experience offered exclusively to Branson Tourism Center customers because of the special relationship it has with Clay Cooper’s County Music Express and Main Street Lake Cruises.

As each passenger boarded the Landing Princess they were greeted by Cooper who posed for pictures with them. After the cruise got underway, everyone had a chance to see Branson Landings spectacular “$7.5 million “Fountain Show” featuring the merging of music, fire, water, and light into an amazing and dazzling display of water fountains shooting 120-foot geysers and flame bursting from fire cannons all choreographed to light and music. They enjoyed a wonderful lunch as they cruised beautiful Lake Taneycomo. Fortunately, even though it was raining, the fog had lifted except for lingering wafts which added an additional element of surreal beauty to the scenery as the boat glided by.

As they ate and cruised Clay personally visited with each group and table. It was an honor watching him interact with the guests aboard the boat. When one sees his show they cannot help but be impressed with how he almost instantly established a rapport and relationship with his audience. It’s not something that is learned. One either has it or not and he has the gift. From the looks on the passengers faces and their comments it was obvious that the passengers felt that they had a special experience and one they would not soon forget.

Many asked for the schedule of future cruises because they wanted to plan to participate. Subject to change, the following Branson stars will be participating in Cruise With The Stars on the dates indicated:

Mickey Gilley – September 19th, 2013

The Haygoods – October 4th, 2013

Yakov Smirnoff – October 14th, 2013

Tony Orlando – November 7th, 2013

Legends in Concert – December 5th, 2013

As was the case with the Clay Cooper Cruise With The Stars, along with a unique view of beautiful Lake Taneycomo, Branson Landing and spectacular Ozark vistas each VIP cruise will include lunch and an unparalleled chance to interact with the star(s) on the cruise. This includes opportunities for photos, autographs and a unique up close and personal experience that is available only to those who have taken advantage of the exclusive offer and purchased Cruise With The Stars tickets.

Branson Tourism Center’s Wood advises that there are only a limited number of seats for each Cruise With The Stars and recommends making advance reservation as soon as possible. For tickets or information on the exclusive Cruise With The Stars event please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-875-1550.

Yakov Smirnoff performs limited engagement Branson shows

Yakov Smirnoff

BRANSON, MO, July 24, 2013  “Even if only for a limited engagement, it’s great news to have Yakov Smirnoff returning to the Branson stage and performing in his all new Branson show Dinner with Yakov,” said Tiffany Isnard, Director of Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “And the news just gets better,” she continued, “because it was just announced that not only will he be appearing from October 1 through November 27 in 2013, but will be returning to Branson to perform in the Fall of 2014.”

Dinner With Yakov combines a “delectable mouth-watering meal ” with side-splitting comedy that will have the audience “laughing the entire way through their meal” as Yakov shares “his insightful and laughter-filled philosophy on life, love, family and country. He takes his comedy to a new level to showcase laughter’s effects on relationships and envisions a world where sadness and tears are replaced with love and laughter. The New York Times called his one man hit Broadway show, “warm-hearted, delightful and splendidly funny.”

Between 1992 and 2012 Yakov produced “several outstanding award-winning shows” and entertained over four million Branson visitors. In 2011 he announced that 2012 would be his last full Branson season. After traveling around the U. S. with his acclaimed “The Happily Ever Laughter Tour” during most of 2013 he will be returning to Branson for his Fall season limited engagement performances with his new show.

One of America’s favorite comedians since he first hit the entertainment scene in the late 1970′s Yakov “has been a popular guest on numerous national TV shows including the Tonight Show, HBO and his highly praised Showtime special as well as co-staring ” in movies with Robin Williams in Moscow on the Hudson, Tom Hanks in The Money Pit, Meryl Streep and JackNicholson in Heartburn, and Richard Pryor in Brewster’s Millions.” He has been “invited to to perform at the White House for several presidents and honored guests and President Ronald Reagan called him a “national treasure.”

For additional information on Dinner with Yakov 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.



CPAA/Bass Pro Fall Big Bass Blast provides opportunity for amateurs to win big money

Central Pro Am Fall Big Bass Blast

BRANSON, MO, July 23, 2013 – “With a guaranteed prize of $10,000 for the biggest fish, weigh-ins and prizes every two hours and no professionals or guides permitted, the Central Pro-Am Association’s Fall Big Bass Blast (Blast), presented by Bass Pro Shops and the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB, is an excellent opportunity for amateurs to fish for a day, have fun and win a lot of money,” said Mike Webb the owner of the Central Pro-Am Association. The Blast will be held on Nov. 2, from 7 AM to 3 PM at Bass Pro Shops Long Creek Marina, 378 Long Creek Road, Ridgedale, MO on Table Rock Lake.

He further explained that the Blast is designed for non-professional fisherman and, unlike normal tournaments where there is one weigh-in and it is the total weight of all the fish that wins, in the Blast, there are four independent weigh-ins with only one Bass from each fisherman eligible to be weighed in at each. There will be cash prizes paid for the largest bass at each individual weigh-in.

Although the amounts for each will vary, depending on the number of registrations, with 300 registered participants, EACH independent Weigh-In Payouts would be 1st: $3,000 2nd: $2,000 3rd: $1,000 and progressively less from 4th to 10th place. The independent Weigh-Ins will take place every two hours at 9 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM and 3 PM. In addition to the cash prizes for the individual “Weigh-In Payouts” there will be “Big Bass Payout”, for the three biggest fish of the day of 1st: $10,000 2nd: $5,000 and 3rd: $3,000.

Webb points out that although the amounts shown as payouts above for each of the four Weigh-In Payouts and 2nd and 3rd in the Big Bass Payouts are based on 300 registrations for the Blast. If there are more or less the prizes would be adjusted up or down accordingly. The $10,000 1st for the Big Bass of the tournament is the guaranteed minimum regardless of whether or not there are less than 300 registrants.

Another unique feature of this event is the way the tournament starts. There will be no day of tournament registrations or massive “take off” from one spot. All participants must pre-register and participants can be anywhere they want to be on Table Rock Lake ready to fish when they get the text message at 7 AM that the tournament has started.

To facilitate this type of start all participants must Check-In at the Springfield Bass Pro Shops, 1935 S. Campbell Avenue, Springfield, MO between the hours of 12 PM and 7 PM on Nov. 1. Registration is $150.00 per participant and may either be done on line or at the Check-In. Click here for Registration Forms and here for Tournament Rules. All participants “must be enrolled in the Bass Pro Shops®Outdoor Rewards® Program which is free and may either be done on line at www.basspro.com/rewards or on site during the event Check-In. You may also enroll on-site during event Check-In and either way, all Blast participants received double rewards points on all purchases made at the Springfield Bass Pro Shops

There will be additional on-site activities on Nov. 2 in addition to the Weigh-Ins at the Bass Pro Shops Long Creek Marina. These include free NITRO® Boat Demo Rides, free Food and Beverages and NITRO®, Mercury®, and NASCAR® displays.

Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center, one of the sponsors of the Central Pro-Am Association reminds those attending and participating in the Blast that Nov. 2 is during the first week of Ozark Mountain Christmas and signals the beginning of one of busiest periods of the entire Branson season. She recommends making advance arrangements not only for lodging, but for shows. 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.

Lake Taneycomo’s Bald Eagles

One of the majestic Lake Taneycomo Eagles.

BRANSON, MO, July 17, 2013 –Along with viewing magnificent vistas, beautiful stone cliffs carved by the mighty White River, wild life and the constantly changing beauty of Lake Taneycomo’s shoreline thousands of passengers aboard Main Street Lake Cruises’ Lake Queen sightseeing trips have met “Lake Taneycomo’s Bald Eagles”. Although from time to time, especially during the winter months, other Bald Eagles visit Lake Taneycomo short periods of time, the pair of Bald Eagles referred to in this piece as the “Lake Taneycomo’s Bald Eagles” are have been nesting downstream from the junction of Roark Creek and Lake Taneycomo virtually year round for the last few years providing a rare opportunity to see these majestic birds in the wild on a fairly “regular” basis.

Bald Eagles, are “Raptors,” birds of prey, having an average length of 36 inches, a wing span of 84 inches and a voracious appetite for fish. Lake Taneycomo’s Bald Eagles have had their picture taken on more than one occasion feasting on one of the trout that makes Lake Taneycomo one of the finest trout fisheries in America.

Dinner time in the trees.

They have one of the largest nests of any bird which can be up to seven feet across and ten feet deep. The nest of the Lake Taneycomo’s Bald Eagles is located a short distance back from the banks of Lake Taneycomo and is best observed in the spring before the foliage blocks the view. The eagles themselves however, are often seen sitting in trees right on the banks of Lake Taneycomo providing an excellent opportunity for photos of these majestic birds.

Although many people have seen Lake Taneycomo’s Eagles at various times, including the eaglets “emerging” from the nest, according to Leah Eden, Naturalist, for the Missouri Department of Conservation, no official records have been kept of the number of eaglets born each year etc. She said that typically, each pair will have two eaglets. When asked if the parents will kill the weaker eaglet she indicated that what could happen, in a situation where food is scarce, is that the one born first, generally the stronger, will survive, because it gets the majority of the food.

When asked why, based on the number of years they have been nesting on Lake Taneycomo, there were not more Bald Eagles permanently around she said that after fledging, getting feathers and leaving the nest, there is a gradual process where they leave their home nesting area. For the next couple of years the immature eagles travel seeking food as they reach maturity and find a mate. Bald Eagles mate for life.

No one knows exactly how old Lake Taneycomo’s Eagles are, but the average life expectancy is about 20 years. Meanwhile, one of more or these majestic birds are observed quite frequently from those boating or fishing on Lake Taneycomo. Quite often, while on a sightseeing cruise aboard Main Street Lake Cruises’ Lake Queen or a dinner cruise on the Landing Princess they will stop the boat just so that people can take pictures of Branson’s natural stars, the Lake Taneycomo Eagles. How many places can one go and have the opportunity of sharing something like that with their family? Not many, not many at all and once shared, it will be a memory not soon forgotten.

New 2014 Branson show is “Unbelievable”

Dave Hamner, Tamra Tinoco and Denise Hamner at announcement.

BRANSON, MO, July 17, 2013 – At a press conference on July 15, world renowned illusionists Dave and Denise Hamner announced that their new extreme variety show, the “Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show,” will open in the renamed “Hamner Variety Theatre,” on March 11, 2014. Dave Hamner described the new show as an “extreme variety show.” When asked what an extreme variety show is, Hamner, with a twinkle in his eye, responded, “Unbelievable.” He added that “birds appear, people fly, voices soar” and audiences of all ages will be constantly amazed and entertained by an “Unbelievable” combination of talent that will have them on the edge of their seats in anticipation of what is coming next.

He said that the new variety show will feature major illusions, great vocals, dancing, close up magic, comedy, Russian acrobatics, Adagio dancing, impressions and, perhaps, a few surprises. The cast of “Unbelievable” will feature the internationally renowned illusionists Dave & Denise Hamner, comedian and impressionist Jeff Brandt, vocalist Tamra Tinoco, Russian Acrobatic Adagio father and daughter dance pair, Vadim & Mariya Serykh, comedian and close up magician Lex Pearson, ventriloquist Brenda Hahne, and dancers A.J. Heard and Ken Brown. Here’s a little more in depth look at each:

Illusionists Dave and Denise Hamner have headlined many major production shows around the world, presenting their award winning and original feats of magic; have co-owned and co-produced the Hamner Barber Variety Show for the past ten years and have received the prestigious “Magic Masters Award” by their magical peers in Las Vegas. They are best known “for their one of a kind act in which they produce several beautiful Macaws and Cockatoos that appear amid flying cards, flaming swords, falling coins and jewels. The birds then perform an incredible flight over and around the audience before gracefully returning to the stage. Other original illusions include ‘Stargate,’ ‘The Lightning Levitation,’ ‘Vertigo: The Fall of Death,’ ‘Secrets of the Lost Ark Revealed,’ and the magical finale to their Veteran’s tribute, ‘Thank You’s Not Enough.’”

Cast members Rex Pearson, left, Jeff Brandt, Tamra Tinoco, Vadim & Mariya Serykh, Dave & Denise Hamner, Brenda Hayne and Ken Brown.

Impressionist Jeff Brandt “is considered one of the top singing impressionists in the country. Jeff has co-starred in several Branson shows over the years including to the high-energy Wayne Newton show which featured Jeff’s amazing vocal talents for 13 years both in Branson and Las Vegas. Among Jeff’s other accomplishments are two appearances on NBC’s ‘Tonight Show,’ a featured spot on the TV show ‘Las Vegas,’ two featured film appearances in ‘Vegas Vacation’ and ‘Smoking Aces,’ performances at the White House in Washington DC, and the National Republican Convention.”

Vocalist Tamra Tinoco “is from Springfield, MO. She has a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from the University of Kansas City Conservatory of Music. She has performed all over the world and in 45 different states. She has produced shows such as ‘Magnificent Country,’ ‘Today’s Country,’ ‘Showcase Jubilee’, and currently the ‘Magnificent Variety Show.’ Tamra has performed with artists such as Lee Greenwood, Vince Gill, John Davidson, Jim Stafford, Ferlin Husky and was Porter Waggoner’s guest star on the ‘Grand Ole Opry.’”

The father and daughter team of Vadim & Mariya Serykh “have been performing hand balancing adagio at Cirque Montage for the past two years. Mariya’s first appearance on stage was when she was just 4 years old with her parents on the Showboat Branson Belle and she has been performing ever since in numerous events and productions throughout the country. Mariya is a natural when it comes to acrobatics but more so as a dancer in Ballet, Modern, Contemporary and Jazz. She was a competitive dancer and used her agility to learn how to soar through the air as an aerialist and had the honor of winning the title of National and World Champion in dance.”

Close Up Magician and comedian Lex Pearson has appeared in a number of Branson shows spending the last seven years with the Hamner Barber Variety Show and has been a featured artist in a number of Mexican resorts in addition to appearing in the movies ‘Surrendered’ ‘The Movie,’ and ‘Broken Faith.’ You will be amazed with his close-up magic. And won’t believe your eyes as he performs incredible tricks of the trade using cards, ropes, coins and more.”

Ventriloquist Brenda Hahne “and her cast of characters have been entertaining audiences for over 15 years. Not only a ventriloquist, Brenda is also a magician’s assistant, having worked side-by-side with her magician husband Marty since they were married in 1983. Besides performing for hundreds of family audiences across the country, Brenda has also entertained on seven different cruise ships, and internationally in New Zealand and Singapore. Originally from Ohio, Brenda makes her home in Ozark, MO.”

Choreographer and Dancer AJ Heard grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, where she started taking dance and ice skating lessons at the age of 3. “She trained with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and at age 17 joined a professional training program at the highly regarded, Randolph Dance Theater. She was hired by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a lead dancer in their multimillion dollar variety shows and this is where she met her husband, Bucky. AJ has performed and choreographed for a variety of shows including, The Van Burch and Welford Show, … and Jimmy Osmonds American Jukebox…AJ is currently the choreographer/dance captain for the Hamner Barber Variety Show.”

Assistant Choreographer Dance Captain Ken Brown “grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. He also worked alongside The Hamners in Jimmy Osmond’s American Jukebox. Affectionately referred to by the cast as ‘Downtown Kenny Brown,’ Ken is a multi-talented entertainer and gives 110% to every performance.”

“Unbelievable” will be directed by Johnny Thompson who “performs under the stage name ‘The Great Tomsoni.’ Within the magician community, ‘Tomsoni’ is considered a virtuoso, widely known as a mentor and teacher of magic, and a creator of tricks, as opposed to simply a performer. He has worked behind the scenes with magicians such as Penn and Teller, Lance Burton, and Criss Angel. In 1999, he was awarded one of the highest honors in the magician community, a Masters Fellowship with the Academy of Magical Arts. Dave and Denise are thrilled to have the expertise of such a high caliber director, producer to bring a fresh new look to their magical variety show.”

Denise Hamner said, “I am so excited. It’s not just that we have a new show that we believe will be fantastic, but for the quality and enthusiasm of all the acts that will be featured with us. It’s a show and cast that will keep people on the edge of their seats eagerly anticipating what’s coming next and leaving the theatre exhausted from the all the fun, excitement, entertainment, amazement and wonder they have just experienced.”

Ozark Mountain Christmas planning in July?

The center of Silver Dollar City's "Old Time Christmas." It's town square and five story special effects Christmas Tree.

BRANSON, MO, July 13, 2013 — “It might seem strange talking about Ozark Mountain Christmas, running from November 1 through December 31 each year, as we swelter in the heat in the middle of July ” said Tammy Johnson, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “In addition to the cooling effects that such thoughts might have on ones psyche however, it should be noted that Ozark Mountain Christmas, is the most colorful, exciting, inspirational and busiest time of the year in the Branson,” she added. “To get the ‘hottest’ deals and best availability on a trip to Branson for Ozark Mountain Christmas, planning in July might just be the ‘cool’ thing to do.”

Johnson explains that Ozark Mountain Christmas, is a unique and special Branson Christmas experience that is not available anywhere else on earth. From the Silver Dollar City’s “Old Time Christmas” to the West to the large Adoration Scene on top of Mount Branson to the East, Ozark Mountain Christmas, sets Branson aglow with Christmas lights, shows, shopping and, most important of all, the true spirit of Christmas that “resonates in the hearts of those wanting to celebrate and experience the traditional celebration of Christmas.”

Over a million sparkling Christmas lights transform Silver Dollar City into a Christmas wonderland as it celebrates its “Old Time Christmas,” as only it can do with special shows and activities in addition to everything else it offers.  The Shepherd of the Hills’ Trail of Lights and the “Branson Area Festival of Lights” both provide spectacular drive through lighting displays with millions of glowing Christmas lights and numerous beautiful displays. And the glow of Christmas lights doesn’t stop there as Christmas decorations and lights adorn utility poles, the Branson Landing Roundabout, the Titanic Museum Attraction as the ship celebrates Christmas with the Fantasy Princess, Branson Landing and many of Branson’s shops and theatres.

And speaking of theatres, the vast majority of Branson’s shows share the spirit of Christmas by devoting a portion of their shows 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 staring Osmond Brothers and Lennon Sisters, Sight and Sounds spectacular production of the Miracle of Christmas presented on a 300 foot surround stage, Christmas in Hollywood, Tony Orlando staring in the final Branson season of his Great American Christmas show and others.

“Its large variety of unique boutiques, specialty shops, galleries and craft shops, Branson Landing and discount malls like the “Tanger Factory Outlet Center” and “The Shoppes at Branson Meadows” provide a great shopping experience in Branson year round,” Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson continued. “Mix in a little Ozark Mountain Christmas, and it’s not hard to see why many do their Christmas shopping in Branson.”

She points out that during Branson’s regular season there are periods when shows and lodging fill up, but that during Ozark Mountain Christmas, particularly with the more popular shows and lodging establishments, the situation increases exponentially. Johnson explains that not only do the chances of nonavailability 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. She reiterates, “To get the ‘hottest’ deals and best availability on a trip to Branson for Ozark Mountain Christmas, planning in July might just be the ‘cool’ thing to do.”

For additional information on Ozark Mountain Christmas, 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 http://www.bransontourismcenter.com/ .

Branson’s Twelve Irish Tenors stand alone

Twelve Irish Tenors performing Scarborough Fair.

BRANSON, MO, July 11, 2013 – There is no lack of variety in the types of live shows that Branson offers on a daily basis during its season. The Official Branson.Com Branson Show Schedule, powered by the Branson Tourism Center, shows almost 100 shows, from acrobats to outdoor dramas and music shows of every genre, but, after seeing the July 10th performance of the Twelve Irish Tenors this writer can say that it stands alone in terms of the harmony, power and beauty of its vocals; and the unique and exciting entertainment experience it provides.

Individually the 12 performers making up the Twelve Irish Tenors are Jay McManus, Justin Sassanella, Jeff Wait, Chism Ruden, Cory Seay, Tony Turner, Alex Webster, Alex Oberholzer, Clark Roberts, Martin Bennett, Gavin Rees and Rhys Tees. As some perform solos during the show their individual vocal talent becomes obvious, but from their very first number, it is the power and beauty of those voices singing in combination that brings “goose bumps” and makes one realize that they are hearing and experiencing something very special.

The simply beautiful and powerful rendition of “Danny Boy” the 12 opened the show with is a perfect illustration as it sets the tenor for the unique wonderful musical entertainment experience that follows. The key words here are “musical entertainment experience.” As I was taking notes the words “powerfully and beautifully sung” were used a lot and if that was all there was this would still be a great show, but it’s not. Whether it’s the whole group or part of the group, each number is choreographed to combine different additional elements and actions such as dancing humor, special effects, sets and audience interaction. This enhances the total audience enjoyment of the show.

A perfect example would be their performance of one of my favorite segments of the show, a three number medley from “Les Miserables.” It starts with a darkened stage and Cory Seay sitting at a table with a single “candle” as he sings the poignant “Empty Chairs and Empty Tables,” which expands into the full group singing a rousing version of “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from which Tony Turner emerges as the featured singer in the group’s performance the beautiful and moving “Bring Him Home.” Wow, talk about a powerful and inspirational experience!

And that’s just one segment of the show. It makes no difference if the song is an Irish folksong like “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” “An Irish Lullaby (Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra),” the Barry Manilow hit “I Write The Music,” the Bette Midler classic “The Rose” or the aria “Nessun Dorma,” it is simply one amazing performance after another from both a musical and total entertainment perspective.

Realizing that my show highlights might not be the same as someone else’s, I generally mention one or two of my favorite highlights. That would include, in addition to the “Les Miserables” segment noted above, their performance of Josh Groben’s “You Raised Me Up,” and “The Prayer.” Ok, I just have to mention one more, their performance of “Phil The Flutters Ball” was a fun high energy piece with some great dance moves by all, but especially the Irish Dancing display put on by Jay McManus.

The show’s creator and producer David King said, “The music will make you melt and the individual voices would be enough to hold their own on any stage, but when you combine twelve the result is breathtaking.” That it is, as well as unique, fun, inspirational and extremely entertaining.

For additional information or tickets for the Twelve Irish Tenors or any of Branson’s other shows, attractions and activities or for lodging arrangements please contact the Branson Tourism Center (BTC), one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services. BTC can be reached by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website.



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