“Buzzin in Branson” buzzes for November 2014

Branson “Buzz of the Month”

The first week of November features Branson Veterans Home Coming Week, the start of Ozark Mountain Christmas, and the premiering of Branson’s 2014 Christmas Shows.

“Buzzin in Branson” is produced monthly by the Branson Tourism Center as a service to its customers and others interested in what’s going on in Branson. It is in a concise and easy to read format that conveniently provides pertinent and timely comments, information and a list of the major special events, shows and activities for the month being “Buzzed” which, in this case is November 2014.

 

Veteran's Memorial Garden, located at the junction of Roark Road and Hwy. 76, provides  a special  welcome those attending Branson's Veterans Home Coming Week.

Veteran’s Memorial Garden, located at the junction of Roark Road and Hwy. 76, provides a special welcome those attending Branson’s Veterans Home Coming Week.

Branson’s Veterans Homecoming Week is a seven day celebration running from Nov. 5 through Nov. 11 of each year, is America’s biggest ‘Veterans Day’ tribute and, among many other events honoring Veterans, will feature the traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall at the Welk Resort and one of America’s longest running Veterans parades, the 81st ‘Branson’s Veterans Day Parade,’ through historic downtown Branson starting at the 11th Hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Click here for more information and a schedule of most of the major events.

The  "Andy Williams Christmas Show" is just one of the spectacular Branson Christmas shows.

The “Andy Williams Christmas Show” is just one of the spectacular Branson Christmas shows.

Branson’s great live shows premier their Christmas shows during the first week of November. Except for those shows such as the Shoji Tabuchi Show, Andy Williams Christmas Show and Christmas Wonderland that are strictly Christmas shows. Most Branson Christmas shows will be a blend of highlights from their 2014 regular season show with a special Christmas segment that is generally presented during the second half of the show. These shows, especially those from the “family performed shows” such as Presleys, Coopers, Haygoods, Six, Duttons, Hughes Brothers, Gabriels and Dyers, to mention a few, are as unique as the families presenting them and are a special Christmas blessing. Click here for complete information, scheduling and prices for Branson’s shows. It should be noted that the Sight and Sound Theatre will be presenting its spectacular new show Jonah throughout the Christmas season.

 

Silver Dollar City lights up for its  "An Old Time Christmas" celebration.

Silver Dollar City lights up for its “An Old Time Christmas” celebration.

Ozark Mountain Christmas runs from November 1 through December 31, is a wonderful unique Christmas experience combining the very best of what Branson has to offer into a community wide traditional American Christmas celebration that is not available anywhere else. In addition to Branson’s Christmas shows, other highlights include Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas; millions of Christmas Lights and beautiful decorations throughout Branson highlighted by theBranson Area Festival of Lights and the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights; great shopping and the celebration of the true meaning of Christmas highlighted by the 66th annualAdoration Lighting Ceremony and Parade,dedicated to “Keeping Christ in Christmas,” which will be held on December 7 in historic downtown Branson.

Some of the stars making Nov. Limited Engagement Appearances in Branson.

Some of the stars performing Nov. Limited Engagement shows in Branson.

The following list of major November events, limited engagement shows and activities is sorted by date and contains a link or other contact for further information.

Nov 1 – Dec 7: Dinner With Yakov
Nov 1 – Dec 31: Titanic Museum Attraction – Tribute to Musicians
Nov 1 – Dec 30: Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas Festival
Nov 1 – Dec 30: Branson Limousine Christmas Light Tour
Nov 1 – Dec 31: Branson Area Festival of Lights
Nov 1 – Jan 15: White Flight at The Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure
Nov 2: 24th Annual Branson Motorcycle Toy Run
Nov 4 -23: Limited Engagement Oak Ridge Boys
Nov 5 – Nov 11: Branson Veterans Homecoming Week
Nov. 5 – Nov 6: Limited Engagement Roy Clark
Nov 7: Limited Engagement – Charlie Daniels
Nov 8 – Nov 9: Limited Engagement Mollie B Christmas Show
Nov 9: Limited Engagement – Don Williams
Nov 12: Limited Engagement – Crystal Gayle
Nov 12 – Nov 13:Limited Engagement – Neal McCoy
Nov 13: Branson Tourism Center Preferred Event with Neal McCoy
Nov 14 – Nov 15: Limited Engagement – Johnny Mathis Christmas
Nov 16: Limited Engagement – Charley Pride
Nov 19 – Nov 20: Limited Engagement – Neal McCoy
Nov 21 – Nov 22: Sandi Patty Christmas Featuring 100 Voices Choir
Nov 25: Limited Engagement – Neal McCoy
Nov 27: Thanksgiving Day
Nov 27: Thanksgiving Brunch at Chateau on the Lake
Nov 27 – Nov 30: Tanger Mall Moonlight Madness Sale – Begins 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Night
Nov 30: Limited Engagement – Martina McBride

Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center points out that the month of November is one of the busiest, if not the busiest, month of the Branson season and suggests making advance reservations for shows and lodging to ensure not only availability, but the best seats and accommodations available. For information on any of Branson’s events or shows please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-785-1550 and talk with one of their Branson based trip planners who will be delighted to answer questions as well as  assisting with show ticketing or lodging reservations.

 

Why Presleys’ Country Jubilee is an unequalled Branson entertainment experience

 

Three generations of Presley comedy Herkimer, Cecil and Cecil Jr.

Three generations of Presley comedy Herkimer, Cecil and Cecil Jr.

Going to Presleys’ Country Jubilee is more than going to a show, it’s an experience that is unequalled in Branson. Where else in Branson can you see three generations of performers spanning from today back to the original cast who opened “Branson’s first show on the Strip” in 1967? In what other theatre in Branson can you walk into a lobby that’s as comfortable and inviting as Presleys’, join in a live gospel sing along, and enjoy the smell of roasting “Glazed Almonds and Pecans” made from a “secret” recipe developed by “Cecil,” Eric Presley?

Obviously the way the questions are crafted, the answer is, “None,” but that’s the point. From its lobby to the show itself seeped in history and talent, there is nothing else in Branson offering the total entertainment experience for the whole family that a night at Presleys’ Country Jubilee offers. Its unique hilarious comedy, with a familial flair, combined with some of the best vocalists and instrumentalists in Branson, colorful costuming and great production provides an entertainment experience that demonstrates why this show has achieved legendary status and has been a consistent favorite of Branson audiences for over 47 years.

Since the Presleys’ opened on the Branson strip, Gary Presley, known on the stage as “Herkimer,” has been performing his unique blend of Ozark comedy. In combination with his son, Eric, “Cecil” in the show, their comedy is a unique blend of Ozark humor, one liners, action and skits that always seem to be relevant to current events and keeps the audience, kids and adults alike, laughing throughout the show.

Jay Wickizer, one of the shows vocalists, acts as the “straight man” or go-between in much of the comedy. One of my favorite comedic moments was the reconciliation of Herkimer and Cecil and what “being ‘open’ to reconciliation” meant to them. Another was the skit when young Master Benjamin Presley, the son of Eric, appeared as “Cecil Jr.”

The show is a well-coordinated mixture of music and comedy. Its format of one or two musical numbers followed by a comedy segment, coupled with the variety of ways each is performed, holds the audience’s attention, including kids, throughout the whole show. From their all cast opening number, “Take Me Back To The Country” to their finale, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” the music in this show, while definitely favoring country, has something for everyone including gospel, rock and roll and more, all performed by superb musicians and vocalists.

Ambrus Presley performing  "Over the Rainbow."

Ambrus Presley performing “Over the Rainbow.”

To say the vocal performances were outstanding would be an understatement. The shows vocalists Ambrus Presley, Kimberly Barber, Devonna Wickizer, Lauren Presley, Jay Wickizer, Tim Gregg, Chuck Crain, Scott Presley and Bruce Haynes performed a range of music in a variety of ways, solos, duets and quartets. A few of my personal favorite vocal highlights would be the performance by the Gospel Quartet composed of Jay Wickizer, Tim Greg, Chuck Crain and Bruce Haynes; Kimberly Barber’s performance of Patsy Cline’s hit “Crazy;” the duet by Jay and Devonna Wickizer of “Together Again” and Ambrus Presley’s performance of “Over The Rainbow” from the “Wizard of Oz.”

Over six years ago someone told me that I had to hear “Ambrus” at Presleys’ sing “Over The Rainbow.” Since then she has married John Presley, had a son and is expecting again in March of 2015, but until now, although I have heard her sing countless times, I had never heard her sing that song. It was worth the wait!

The Gospel Quartet of Tim Greg, Chuck Crain, Bruce Haynes and Jay Wickizer.

The Gospel Quartet of Tim Greg, Chuck Crain, Bruce Haynes and Jay Wickizer.

The shows band is composed of Steve Presley, Drums; Scott Presley, Guitar and Fiddle; Greg Presley, Harmonica; John Presley, Piano and Keyboard; Bruce Haynes, Bass Guitar; Kevin Clemens, Steel Guitar and Cortland Ingram, Fiddle. Absent, but there in spirit, after over 25 years of never missing a performance, was Mark Walker, who played Fiddle, Guitar, Banjo and Saxophone and is recovering from a recently suffered stroke. Godspeed, Mark.

The band and vocalists just blend together so beautifully and comfortably, whether it’s the band accompanying the vocalists, featured as part of a vocal performance or an instrumental solo. From many, here’s a few of my favorite “instrumental” highlights. Every time I hear John Presley on the piano I am amazed and this was no exception. I just loved his performance of the Floyd Cramer medley. Two others would be the cast’s performance of “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” featuring Cortland Ingram on the fiddle and Greg Presleys’ performance on the harmonica. Wow can he ever play!

Alone, its origin and the faithfulness of four generations in maintaining the traditions and heritage of that origin make the Presleys’ Country Jubilee unique. Combined with the shows genuineness, the talents of the Presley family and the shows other cast members, its musical variety, the uniqueness and humor of its comedy, and their blending into a show that seamlessly flows from one entertaining segment to another there can be only one result; an evening spent with the Presley family and their cast will be a special unforgettable Branson entertainment memory.

For additional information on Presleys’ Country Jubilee 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.

 

Five reasons Branson will get you in the Christmas Spirit

The Light Parade winds its way through Silver Dollar City's Town Square.

The Light Parade winds its way through Silver Dollar City’s Town Square.

“Although it might seem a bit early to be talking about Christmas,” said Tammy Johnson, the General Manager for the Branson Tourism Center, “the start of ‘Ozark Mountain Christmas,’ one of the most festive and, without a doubt the busiest time of the year in Branson, is just over a month away.” She advises those planning on coming to Branson for Ozark Mountain Christmas to make advanced reservations as soon as possible to insure not only the availability of lodging and show seats, but increasing the chances of getting the best show seats, choice of accommodations, and prices.

Johnson said that Branson is always a great place for families to visit, have fun and create memories that can last for a lifetime. “Even by Branson standards however, its celebration of Ozark Mountain Christmas is special and is a wonderful way for families to get in the Christmas spirit,” she added.

Ozark Mountain Christmas, running from November 1 through December 31, is a wonderful unique Christmas experience combining the very best of what Branson has to offer into a community wide traditional American Christmas celebration that is not available anywhere else. It is easily Branson’s biggest and most popular event every year.

Johnson attributes the success of the event to what it celebrates and how that resonates in the hearts of those wanting to experience the joy of the traditional American Christmas. From Silver Dollar City’s “An Old Time Christmas Festival” to the lit “Adoration Scene” on top of Mount Branson, Branson glows not only in the color and beauty of millions of lights, entertainment, shopping and fun but in the true spirit of Christmas.

Here’s five great ways that a visit to Branson will help get you in the Christmas spirit:

1. The Celebration of Traditional American Christmas Spirit: The spirit of the traditional American Christmas is prevalent during of Ozarks Mountain Christmas in most shows, attractions and businesses. It’s OK to say “Merry Christmas” and socially acceptable to acknowledge that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. One of the major annual highlights of Ozark Mountain Christmas is the annual Adoration Lighting Ceremony and Parade dedicated to “Keeping Christ in Christmas. The 66th annual lighting of the huge Nativity Scene on top of “Mount Branson” and night “light parade” will be held on December 7 in historic downtown Branson.

2. Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas Festival: Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas Festival with its over 5 million Christmas lights and shows has been recognized nationally by “Yahoo Travel’s Top 10 Destinations for Holiday Lights,” “MSN’s Top 10 Extreme Holiday Lights” and Mainstreet.com’s “10 Best Holiday Light Displays in the U.S.” One of the major features of this event, weather permitting, is the Light Parade. This year there will be a new parade the “Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade” featuring “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer & Friends.” The activities for “Old Time Christmas” are in addition to the parks other activities including, weather permitting, its 30 plus rides and attractions.

3. Millions of Christmas Lights: The Branson Area Festival of Lights and the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights provide separate drive through lighting displays with millions of colorful sparkling Christmas lights and numerous beautiful displays. In addition, Silver Dollar City is aglow with over 5 million beautiful Christmas lights as part of its “Old Time Christmas” celebration. That strong Christmas lighting theme is continued throughout Branson and Branson Landing with Christmas decorations and lights on utility poles and in many Branson businesses.

One of the colorful and exciting production numbers from the Andy Williams Christmas Show.

One of the colorful and exciting production numbers from the Andy Williams Christmas Show.

4. Branson’s Christmas shows: Generally, starting with their first performance in November Branson shows will start performing their Christmas shows. For the majority of Branson’s regular shows that is a blend of the best from their regular season show and Christmas which is generally performed during the second half of the show. Each show’s Christmas segment is presented in their own unique way and is a special Christmas blessing. Other shows such as the Andy Williams Christmas Show,” Christmas on the Trail or Christmas Wonderland, Christmas with the Hughes Brothers or the Shoji Tabuchi Christmas Show are totally Christmas shows.

5. Shopping: Branson is known for its great variety of shopping. From its huge variety of unique boutiques, specialty shops, and craftsmen making one of a kind items to its factory outlet malls and Branson Landing, Branson is a shopper’s paradise and the perfect place to pick up that one of a kind gift for that special person.

For additional information about Ozark Mountain Christmas or any of Branson’s shows, attractions or lodging facilities please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 and talking with one of their Branson based Travel Planning Specialists. There is no charge for this service and there is never a service fee of any kind when purchasing tickets or lodging through the Branson Tourism Center.

 

Lakin HS Class of 56 comes to Branson the easy way

Lakin Kansas  High School Class of 56 at the opening night of their Branson Class Reunion.

Lakin Kansas High School Class of 56 on the opening night of their Branson Class Reunion.

Whether it’s the natural beauty and lakes, shows, attractions, shopping or just plain down home American spirit, millions of people come to Branson each year to enjoy what it has to offer. Many of those visitors come as part of a “group” ranging from 20 to hundreds of people and covering everything from meetings and conventions to bus tours; church, bank and student groups and reunions of every type including class, military and family.

The Lakin High School, located in Lakin, Kansas, just west of Garden City, had 26 graduates in the Class of 1956. About 14 of those graduates and eight of their spouses decided to celebrate their class reunion in Branson this year. The reunion was held on September 22 – 24 and was a delightful combination of fellowship, renewing of acquaintances, reminiscing and sharing of fond memories all woven together with an opportunity for them, as a group and as individuals, to relax and experience all that Branson has to offer.

Although the events described below were seamless to the attendees because all they had to do was show up and enjoy themselves, there a lot of planning and effort by others to make that happen. “As in just about every group coming to Branson there is one or more people, ‘Group Leader(s)’ or ‘Planners’ who, whether designated as such formally or not, shoulder the responsibility for planning the trip and making sure that everything goes as planned,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC).

“The mission of the BTC Groups Department is to help the Group Leader provide their group with a greatest Branson experience possible by providing as much assistance as they want or need so all they have to do is show up with their Group and everything is ready for the event. When the ‘co-chairs’ (Group Leaders) for the ‘Lakin Class of 56 Reunion,’ Ron Edgington, Pat LeClerc and Jim Smith”contacted BTC, Preston Garrison, one of BTC’s Group Sales Managers, worked with them to help plan the reunion. After finding out exactly what they wanted he worked with them to make it happen exactly the way they wanted it at an affordable price.

LeClerc said, “With all there is to do in Branson we wanted to plan an itinerary that provided an opportunity to experience some of Branson’s shows together as a group and give our classmates an opportunity to do other things on their own, fellowship and just relax.” Edgington said that during the planning of the event, they would tell Preston what they wanted, he would give them ideas and recommendations which they reviewed, decided on and he took it from there. He said, “Basically, ‘one call’ took care of it all.” When asked if he would recommend the Branson Tourism Center for others planning a reunion he said, “Absolutely, in fact I would recommend them to individuals planning a trip to Branson.”

They were especially pleased with the service and help provided by BTC’s Garrison. LeClerc said, “Preston was very helpful, knowledgeable and attentive. We were very pleased with everything he did.” She shared that when they got the written proposal it was so low that they thought Preston had left the shows off. They were presently surprised to find out that wasn’t the case. As I attended events during the reunion there were numerous comments of appreciation about the services provided by “Preston” and BTC that helped make the event so successful.

On Day 1 the Class of 56 and their guests arrived in Branson, checked into the Stone Castle Hotel and had free time until their welcoming dinner in the Excalibur Room of the hotel that evening. After dinner the group saw a video that took them back to their youth in Lakin and some great memories of the past, pictures of their last reunion and just relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company. The Excalibur Room was heirs for the entire time of the reunion so that they could get together and fellowship with each other at their convenience.

Along with ""SIX the Class of 56 went to see the spectacular production of "Jonah" and the "Bretts."

Along with “”SIX the Class of 56 went to see the spectacular production of “Jonah” and the “Bretts.”

Day two started off with breakfast and a free morning. In the afternoon they went to see one of Branson’s hottest shows, SIX and that evening went to see the spectacular presentation of Jonah on the 300 foot surround stage of the Sight and Sound theatre.

Day three was a free day, until 4:45 p.m., for them to just relax or experience, on an “individual basis,” some of fun and excitement of Branson. Some went on Ride The Ducks, some just relaxed, some went shopping and 18 of them spent their morning at the Bretts show. I just have to share one comment made by Pat LeClerc, one of the co-chairpersons who planned the trip. While commenting on how great the show was, she said how impressed she was at the Brett’s forward thinking about the entertainment of the generation “that will come after us” and their commitment to providing a show that entertains all ages from three to 90.

At 4:45 the group all boarded the 100 foot luxury yacht “Landing Princess” for a dinner cruise on beautiful Lake Taneycomo in the glimmer of the setting sun. The service was excellent, as was the smoked chicken and brisket dinner topped off by “Famous Dave’s Bread Pudding.”

After the cruise everyone met back at their hotel for a cake and coffee reception, entertainment provided by their class mates and more fellowship. The one thing that was obvious at all the events I attended was that they were having a great time and truly enjoyed each other.

This is the story of one small group and their Branson experience. The neat thing about Branson’s tourism industry and the Branson Tourism Center in particular, is its dedication to making sure that every visitor and group, large and small, has a great Branson experience that will leave them with great memories. Although my wife, who was one of the graduates in the Class of 56, and I live in Branson, if her reaction is any indication, I just have to believe that the Class of 56 left Branson with some wonderful memories of what they shared together and of Branson.

 

Future’s so bright for Branson comedian Paul Harris he’s “gotta wear shades”

Paul Harris, 3rd from left, and the "Cleverlys."

Paul Harris, 3rd from left, and the “Cleverlys.”

“Branson is well known for the quality and variety of its live shows and entertainment,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Its great music shows, covering just about every genre of music, are legend, but, while perhaps not as well known, Branson is also blessed with a variety of some of the funniest comedians anywhere. From Branson’s longest performing comedian, the incomparable Gary Presley as “Herkimer” in Presleys’ Country Music Jubilee to the comical characters of Jarrett Dougherty at the Billy Dean Live show, the antics of Jamie Haage of the Grand Jubilee , the great standup comedy of Paul Harris from  Paul Harris and the Cleverlys and many others, Branson audiences are full of laughter every day,” she added. Wood said that the announcement this week about the future of Paul Harris, one of Branson’s longtime favorites, is both an example of the quality of comedians Branson has, but also their wit and humor. The announcement of his future plans, which still involves doing shows in Branson, was accompanied by a photo featuring him wearing a “standout” pair of sunglasses and Paul saying, “The futures so bright I gotta wear shades.” Recently Harris and The Cleverlys have had to make some changes to their Branson show schedule at the Starlight Theatre to accommodate some of the opportunities coming their way. One of those opportunities is touring” with the most awarded band in country music’s history, “Alabama.” In addition, Harris has become the national spokesman for Bad Boy Mowers,”the mower with an attitude,” built by American workers “right in the middle of the country in the Ozarks Mountains” and has a recording deal and a TV project in the works. The Starlite Theatre said that they are ecstatic about the possibilities for Paul and have been working with him on scheduling to free up time for these opportunities that are beneficial to both Paul and Branson. Harris said that he is appreciative of not only the theatres flexibility, but that of his fans. Branson Tourism Center’s Wood reminds those coming to Branson of the advice contained in the announcement saying, “Don’t miss your chance to see Paul before his craziness is unleased upon America in a big way!” She points out that even while taking advantage of these opportunities Paul Harris and the Cleverlys are scheduled to perform a number of Branson performances between now and the end of December. For their latest schedule, information and tickets please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550.

Buzzin in Branson during October 2014

The beauty of the Ozark's Fall foliage at its peak is something to behold.

The beauty of the Ozark’s Fall foliage at its peak is something to behold.

Branson “Buzz of the Month” - The Branson autumn foliage will reach its peak color from the middle to the end of October

Buzzin in Branson” is produced monthly by the Branson Tourism Center as a service to its customers and others interested in what’s going on in Branson. In a concise and easy to read format, it conveniently provides pertinent and timely comments, information and a list of the major special events, shows and activities that are timely for the month being “Buzzed.”

Although it’s not on any event calendar etc., it is worth noting that typically, depending on the weather, the autumn foliage will reach its peak color from the middle to the end of October.

October is also an important month for those who want to see the full 2014 regular season performances of most Branson shows because it is the last month many shows will be performing their full regular season shows. Starting with their first November performance, most shows will be shifting into their Christmas show format. Except for those shows such as the Andy Williams Christmas Show, Christmas Wonderland and the Shoji Tabuchi Show that are strictly Christmas, most shows will be a blend of Christmas and highlights from their 2014 regular show.

Kids, locals and visitors alike, will enjoy the free “Harvest Festival” at “Branson Hills” near the “Home Depot” on Oct. 4 from Noon to 3:00 p.m. Sponsored by the Shoppes at Branson Hills & Branson Hills Plaza, it promises fun for all ages with free pumpkins for the kids, games prizes, face painting, a Bounce House, crafts, and candy for kids in costumes. On Halloween Day, Oct. 31 there will be a safe trick or treat event for kids, local or visitors, in costumes at both the “Tanger Outlets Mall” and “Branson Landing.”

Another unique October event is College of the Ozarks’ “Farm to Fork” event, on Oct. 25. It is a combination educational and culinary experience providing “a day of farm-to-table cooking with award-winning Executive Chef Robert Stricklin. Call the college at 417-690-2122 for costs and additional information.

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby

The following list of major October events and activities is sorted by date and contains a link or telephone contact for further information.

Oct. 1 – 31: Titanic Museum Attraction – Tribute to Musicians
Oct. 1 – 25: Silver Dollar City National Harvest & Cowboy Festival
Oct. 1: Titanic Jewelry Collection on Jewelry Television 12 – 2 p.m.
Oct. 4: Harvest Festival at Branson Hills near Home Depot Noon to 3:00 p.m.
Oct. 10: Limited Engagement – Bill Cosby
Oct. 11: 5th Annual Paint the Landing Pink Day for Breast Cancer Awareness 417-239-3002
Oct. 11:Makenna & Brock Breast Cancer Benefit Concert, Branson Landing, 417-239-3002
Oct. 15 – 20:  Titanic Museum, Book Signing, Bruce Caplan, “The Sinking of Titanic,” 800-381-7670
Oct. 17 – 19: Branson Classic: 2014 Pickleball Tournament, 417-334-5927
Oct. 19: Limited Engagement - Charley Pride
Oct 22: Limited Engagement – John Conlee & Ronnie McDowell
Oct. 24 – 25: Limited Engagement – Clint Black
Oct. 25: Farm to Fork, Keeter Center College of the Ozarks 417-690-2122
Oct. 31: Halloween TangerStyle or Treat at Tanger Mall
Oct. 31: Halloween Safe Street Trick or Treat at Branson Landing 417-239-3002

Please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 for further information on what’s “Buzzin” in Branson or for assistance with show and attraction reservations or tickets or for lodging.

 

Quality Inn on the Strip dedicated to a quality Branson experience

 

Quality Inn On the 76 Strip.

Quality Inn On the 76 Strip.

The Quality Inn On the 76 Strip is a prime example of the quality, service and amenities offered at the Combs family of Branson hotels,” said Tammy Johnson, the General Manager for the Branson Tourism Center.” Their commitment and dedication to the quality of their properties and making sure each of their guests has the best Branson experience possible makes them a great lodging partner and their properties a great choice for Branson visitors.”

The Inn is centrally located in the heart of the Branson Strip just across the street from the Baldknobbers and between the Grand Village and Presley’s Country Jubilee. It offers 113 clean comfortable rooms including 2 family suites, a leisure suite, eight Jacuzzi rooms and eight traditional king rooms with the balance consisting of traditional double queen rooms.

The Inn's sparkling indoor pool.

The Inn’s sparkling indoor pool.

The Inn is open all year round, features a guitar shaped outdoor pool and an indoor pool with a hot tub; has a limited number of smoking rooms; is pet friendly and offers a full complement of other amenities. These include free wireless internet throughout the property, a meeting room, 32 inch flat screen televisions in each room, a guest laundry and one of their most popular items a complementary “Hot Deluxe” breakfast each morning.

During a recent interview with Kirk Paige and Amanda Turney, the Inn’s General Manager and Assistant General Manager, respectively, they pointed out an important intangible the Inn offers. Its central location in the middle of the famed “Branson Strip” provides easy access to all of Branson’s Alternate Colored Routes making it easy to get to when arriving in Branson and exit when leaving.

In terms of what Branson offers, by car its location is minutes away from shows, attractions, restaurants, shopping and everything else Branson offers; less than 15 minutes from Branson Landing, three minutes from the Tanger Outlet Mall and a straight shot out Highway 76 to Silver Dollar City. Better yet it is within walking distance of shows like the Baldknobbers, Presley’s Country Jubilee, Clay Cooper‘s Country Express, The Haygoods, Billy Dean, The Texas Tenors and more; attractions such as the Titanic Museum Attraction and Hollywood Wax Museum; shopping at the Grand Village and a variety of restaurants and other shops.

Paige said, “As important as our facility, amenities and location are, it is our customer service and the commitment of our staff in insuring that each guest has the best lodging experience possible as part of a great Branson experience. Turney added, “We are as fully concerned about our guests enjoying their time in Branson as they are and want to be a positive part of their positive Branson experience.”

For additional information or reservations for The Quality Inn On the 76 Strip please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

Shoji Tabuchi returns to Branson after great summer tour

Shjoi Tabuchi performing "How Great Thou Art."

Shjoi Tabuchi performing “How Great Thou Art.”

After one his of his most successful Summer Tours ever, Shoji Tabuchi has returned to Branson and is again performing the Shoji Tabuchi Show at his theatre. From the Deep South to New England, Shoji and his 14 vocalists, dancers  and musicians gave his audiences a taste of the live entertainment that Branson is famous for.

Branson’s consummate entertainer said that many of the dates were sold out and that he was amazed that everywhere they went, and as far away from Branson as New London, CT, people were aware of Branson. In fact they were so aware that he had two near sold out performances at the “Garde Arts Theatre in New London CT” on August 20. His tour took him from Midland, TX to New London, CT; Lancaster and Greenburg, PA; Mentor and Columbus, OH and Shipshewana, IN.

Everywhere they went people were excited to see the show and experience a bit of what Branson is all about. “I was so happy to have the chance to talk with so many people about Branson,” he added. After seeing the show many were so impressed that they said they would be coming to Branson to see more of what it has to offer.

Tabuchi said, “It was a great tour and we met a lot of wonderful people. We could not have asked for anything more.” He went on to say that as exciting as it was, he is thrilled to be back in Branson performing at his theatre.

Shoji will be performing his regular show through Oct. 23. On November 1 they will premier their spectacular Christmas Show which will run through Dec. 10 when Shoji will go on his Christmas Tour.

For additional information or tickets for the Shoji Tabuchi Show please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com

Silver Dollar City ablaze with fall foliage and National Harvest & Cowboy Festival

Silver Dollar City's National Harvest & Cowboy Festival

Silver Dollar City’s National Harvest & Cowboy Festival

“The Fall foliage in Branson is a spectacular sight to see and there’s not a better place to become immersed and surrounded by it than Silver Dollar City,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center.”From the very beginning, the park was designed to blend in with the surrounding Ozarks hills whose heritage it celebrates and the Fall foliage surrounding the parks visitors everywhere they look is proof positive of how successfully that has been done,” she added.

Johnson said that the Ozarks Fall foliage season starts and normally peaks during, Silver Dollar City’s annual “National Harvest & Cowboy Festival” (Festival), which will run from September 12 – October 25 providing the parks visitors with an excellent opportunity to view the Branson’s Fall foliage up close and personal. In addition, they will have a first hand opportunity to see why the U.S. Congress proclaimed Silver Dollar City as ‘The Home of American Craftsmanship” in honor of its five decades of presenting and promoting that craftsmanship.

The Festival will feature not only the 100 demonstrating craftsmen of Silver Dollar City, but “125 top craftsmen from around the country, including ‘Best of Missouri Hands’ juried artists and a showcase of Western artists” and is one of the largest gatherings of American craftsmen and artists in America. It is an unparalleled opportunity to experience and see demonstrations on a variety of American crafts all in one place including copper enamel jewelry, gourd carving, blacksmithing, pottery, copper and stone sculpture, basket weaving, soap making, stained glass, quilt making, knife making and dozens more.

The Festival also celebrates the history and tradition of the American Cowboy. This will be the final year for “The Pinkerton Man,” an original Western stunt show that debuted during the 2012 Festival filled with “high-flying action and special effects, including dramatic 3-story falls, high-slide rappels, hero fights, pyrotechnic effects and explosions, with professional stunt men and women leading a cast of 16, plus live animals, comedy and original live music performed by the ‘Sons of the Silver Dollar.’”

Reminiscent of the Wild West shows of the 1880s, the new “Silver Dollar City Wild West Show” will feature “a trick riding troupe, a horse-riding female sharpshooter, trick roping, bullwhip artistry, comedy canines and Native American hoop dancing.” The show will be “hosted by rodeo rider and roper A.J. Silver, named Act of the Year by the International Rodeo Association and features “Nakotah LaRance, 6-time world champion Native American Hoop Dancer whose skills were showcased in Cirque du Soleil’s touring show ‘Totem.’”

The Festival’s entertainment also includes Western and Bluegrass music performed by musicians including “Home Rangers,” “Nothin’ Fancy,” “Horse Crazy Cowgirl Band,” “Link Union,”” Southern Raised” and “The Bankesters.”Other featured events include the “Extreme Mustang Makeover,” with mustang expert Fred Woehl taming and training rescued wild mustangs; Kent Rollins, a ranch owner whose chuck wagon cooking talents have been featured on the Food Network’s “Chopped” and “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” demonstrating trail-side cooking; three-time winner of the Academy of Western Artists’ “Will Rogers Award,” Cowboy Poet Chris Isaacs presenting cowboy stories and poems and the return of the popular “Barn Dance” with Silver Dollar City’s own “Horsecreek Band,” who are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, providing the music.

 

Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson points out that all of the activities of the National Harvest & Cowboy Festival are in addition to everything else the award winning 1880′s theme park offers on a daily basis. This includes 30 rides and attractions and the park’s Outlaw Run wooden coaster “which was named Best New Ride of 2013 worldwide in an industry poll conducted by ‘Amusement Today’ magazine, winner of the ‘Travel Channel’s Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination’ in Episode 2, and recently named one of the 12 biggest game-changers in the history of theme park attractions by CNN.com.”

In terms of value and being able to enjoy all that Silver Dollar City has to offer at your leisure, Johnson points out that the Branson Tourism Center offers a two day Silver Dollar City Pass that is a great value and offers a discount over buying two separate one day passes. For additional information or tickets for Silver Dollar City, the “National Harvest & Cowboy Festival” or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please contact BTC by either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website http://www.bransontourismcenter.com/.

 

Branson’s George Dyer Show is an amazing unforgettable entertainment experience

George Dyer during the shows opening number "You Are Loved."

George Dyer during the shows opening number “You Are Loved.”

Having seen and written about the George Dyer Show for each of the five years it has been in Branson and having just seen his 2014 show on September 5, I can say, without a doubt, this is his best Branson show ever and that’s saying a lot! I have previously described George as “Branson’s tenor extraordinaire” not only because of the power and beauty of his voice, which is one of the finest tenor voices I have ever heard, but his ability to connect to the audience and draw them into their own entertainment experience with a genuine warmth and charisma that provides an amazing and unforgettable entertainment experience.

We’ll comeback to George in a minute, but first let’s look at some of the other major elements in the show starting with his amazingly talented family, wife, Clarisse; daughters Kendra and Kassidy and son Mitchell who all perform during the show. Three of my favorite “family” numbers were the “Flower Duet, “from Léo Delibes’ opera Lakmé performed beautifully by Clarisse and Kendra; the performance of the song “At Last” from the 1941 movie “Orchestra Wives” by Kassidy, which was remarkable not only in terms of its vocal acuity, but a presentation that belies the fact that she is still in high school and Mitchell’s entertaining performance of the Fred Astaire classic “Singing In The Rain.”

Kendra Dyer singing her original song, "Surrender."

Kendra Dyer singing her original song, “Surrender.”

It has been my pleasure to watch Kendra Dyer develop as a performer over the last five years and in this show she really blossoms forth. From “Habanera,” the famous aria from the opera “Carmen,” to “I Dreamed A Dream” from “Les Misérables,” her original song “Surrender” and others, her performance was a joy to see and hear.

The shows live band consists of Ricki Holmes, Pianist and Band Conductor; Bogie Bohinc, Lead Guitar; Rob Wilson-Drums and Maryann Daversa, Keyboard. They were phenomenal not only in terms of their considerable musical talents, but in interacting with George and the audience at key times all of which combined to help make the George Dyer show the great entertainment experience it is.

From his opening number “You Are Loved,”  to the last note of theAndrea Bocelli‘s “It’s Time to Say Goodbye,” the power and beauty of not only his singing, but his genuine warmth, gives combine to give his audience something special   that I just have to believe will become a favorite Branson memory. Another  really neat thing is the way he gives a little “back story” on most numbers before he sings them which not only lets the audience know a little bit about the number itself , but helps set the mood.

Kassidy  Dyer during her performance of "At Last."

Kassidy Dyer during her performance of “At Last.”

I have previously written, “The magnificent rich tenor voice of George Dyer is just a joy to hear as he covers a variety of music as only he can. His singing would be enough, but when combined with his personality, interaction with the audience and the unique way he introduces each number the end result is a wonderful and unique musical entertainment experience without equal.” That has not changed one iota. From among many, three of my personal favorite performances would be “Bring Him Home” from “Les Misérables;””Hallelujah” with the delightful way he used the audience to set the performance up and “They Call the Wind Mariah” from “Paint Your Wagon.”

Although the vast majority of the show has no opera in it there is a unique and powerful opera segment featuring George, Clarissa and Kendra. Strangely, although I can’t read a note of music and didn’t have a clue what they were singing, two of my favorite performances were from that segment, Kendra’s solo of “Habanera” from “Carmen” and the “Flower Duet, “from the opera “Lakmé” that she sang with her mother. Although every number George sings in the show demonstrates why he is “Branson’s Tenor Extraordinaire,” it takes on a special relevancy when he sings opera. There couldn’t have been a better way to demonstrate that than to close the segment and first half of the show with his extraordinary performance of the popular “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s opera “Turandot.”

The use of the Josh Groben song “You Raised Me Up” as the basis of the Veteran’s Tribute was inspired. The acapella performance of the family singing “Nearer My God To Thee” was as soul touching as it was inspirational and exquisitely performed. As George sang the closing number, “Time To Say Goodbye,” it seemed as if the two hours had flown by and that the time to say goodbye had come all too soon. If you love great vocals, a beautiful tenor voice and want to be entertained and inspired you don’t want to miss this show.

For tickets or additional information on the George Dyer Show contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

 

 

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