There’s a lot more than turkey on the menu in Branson for Thanksgiving!

Silver Dollar City's Main Street aglow in Christmas lights celebrating of its "Old Time Christmas."

Silver Dollar City’s town square aglow in Christmas lights celebrating of its “Old Time Christmas.”

“Branson’s Thanksgiving menu offers a lot more than turkey,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “It’s filled with feasting, which may or may not include turkey, great live entertainment, excitement, Christmas lights, adventure, great shopping, and so much more,” she added.

“And speaking of feasting, visitors who spend Thanksgiving in Branson will have a cornucopia available of great places to eat,” Wood said. She points out that whether it’s non-traditional Thanksgiving fare, such as the Italian cuisine at Florentina’s Italian Ristorante; a more traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the Stage Door Restaurant, or a mouthwatering Thanksgiving buffet like that served at the Keeter Center, Branson diners will have a wonderful choice of Thanksgiving meals for every palette and budget.

Here’s a list of many of the Branson restaurants and buffets that will be open on Thanksgiving Day:

Chateau on the Lake Thanksgiving Day Brunch
Devil’s Pool Thanksgiving Brunch Buffet
Golden Corral Thanksgiving Day Buffet
Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks Thanksgiving Day Brunch
Plaza View Restaurant at the Grand Plaza
Osage Restaurant & Arnie’s Barn at Top of the Rock Thanksgiving Buffet
Shorty Smalls
Paradise Grill & Steakhouse
Wildwood Bistro at Radisson Hotel Branson Thanksgiving Brunch
Worman House

Stage Door Restaurant at Welk Resort

Baldknobbers Restaurant, 417-334-7202
Bob Evans, 417- 336-2023
Branson’s P’sghetti’s Restaurant & Attraction, 417-335-0690
Buckingham’s Restaurant, 417-337-7777
Cracker Barrel, 417-335-3003
Denny’s Restaurant, 417-339-3670
Fall Creek Steak House, 417-336-5060
Florentina’s Italian Ristorante, 417-337-9882
Grand Country Buffet, 417-335-2434
Great American Steak & Chicken House, 417-335-6699
I.H.O.P., 417-339-4467
Lonestar Steakhouse, 417- 336-5030
McFarlain’s Family Restaurant, 417-336-4680
Texas Land & Cattle, 417-337-8200
Shoney’s, 417-335-6855

How about some of that famous Branson live entertainment, either before or after a great Thanksgiving meal? Although some of Branson’s shows will not be performing on Thanksgiving Day, many of its most popular shows, including the Hughes Brothers Christmas Show, Million Dollar Quartet, Puttin’ on the Ritz, The Andy Williams Christmas Show and many more will be. Here’s a list of 17 of Branson’s Most Popular Shows that will be open Thanksgiving Day:

10:00 AM
Hughes Brothers Christmas Show
12:30 PM
Dixie Stampede
2:00 PM
Puttin’ on the Ritz
The Lettermen
3:00 PM
Acrobats of China
Amazing Pets
Legends in Concert
4:00 PM
Showboat Branson Belle
7:30 PM
Grand Jubilee
Shoji Tabuchi
The Haygoods
8:00 PM
Acrobats of China
Andy Williams Christmas Show
Duttons
Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety
Legends in Concert
Million Dollar Quartet
New Jersey Nights
Pierce Arrow

And that’s just some of the shows that will be open. (Click here for a more complete list.)

On Friday, November 27, those Branson shows closed on Thanksgiving Day will join those listed above as they resume their normal performance schedules for the remainder of the season. These include such popular shows as Billy Dean In Concert With Jarrett, Christmas Wonderland, Clay Cooper’s Country Express, Grand Jubilee, Jonah, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, SIX, The Texas Tenors, and many more.

Great food and Branson’s famed live shows isn’t all Branson has to offer Thanksgiving visitors; from golf to Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas, the Titanic Museum Attraction, Drive-thru Christmas Lighting displays, and more, most of Branson’s major attractions will be open on Thanksgiving Day. Here’s a list of 15 Branson Attractions scheduled to be open on Thanksgiving Day, along with a link to additional information, schedules, and pricing:

Silver Dollar City
Titanic Museum Attraction
Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights & Village
Trail of Lights
Branson Limousine Christmas Light Tour
The Track Family Fun Parks
Thousand Hills Golf
Branson Dinosaur Museum
Branson Limousine Wine and Shine Tour
Branson Hills Golf Club
Harold Bell Wright Museum
Shepherd Inspiration Tower
Veterans Memorial Museum
Vigilante Extreme ZipRider
World’s Largest Toy Museum

On Friday, November 27, those Branson Attractions not open on Thanksgiving Day will join those listed above and resume their normal operating schedules.

Chances are that Black Friday, and other shopping opportunities, will play a major part of Thanksgiving plans for many people throughout the entire Thanksgiving weekend. Branson’s major shopping areas, such as Branson Landing, historic downtown Branson, Grand Village Shops, Tanger Outlets, Branson Mill Craft Village, The Shoppes at Branson Meadows, and its more than 250 different boutiques, specialty shops, national chain stores, flea markets, craft malls, and famous-name outlet stores, will make it easy to find that long sought after item or unique gift. National chain stores in Branson will have the same Thanksgiving sale hours as elsewhere, and just about all Branson retailers and shops will be having Black Friday specials. Not surprisingly, the Friday after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year in Branson.

For additional information on Thanksgiving in Branson, for information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website www.Branson Tourism Center.com.

 

Experience why It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year at the Andy Williams Christmas Show

The Osmonds and Lennon Sisters opening the show, Jimmy, left, Cathy, Merrill, Janet, and Jay.

The Osmonds and Lennon Sisters opening the show, Jimmy, left, Kathy, Merrill, Janet,  Jay and Mimi.

I’ve just come from seeing the 2015 edition of the Andy Williams Christmas Show; all I can say is, “WOW!” It’s a spectacular, unique, and magical Christmas production that is as beautiful and inspiring as it is entertaining, exciting, and fun.

Recently, during separate interviews with Jimmy Osmond and the Lennon Sisters, they expressed what an honor it was to remember and honor Andy Williams by continuing his style of Christmas show. From the very first number, to the last, the show is a variety of music, dancing, color, magic, and more, moving from element to element as I eagerly awaited what was coming next.

The hallmark of an Andy Williams Christmas show is the combination of color, excitement, variety, fun, and the way various elements are woven together to simultaneously hold the interest of all ages throughout the entire show. From dancing reindeer and beautiful dancing, to the quick change artistry, magic and, of course, the amazing vocals of the Osmonds and Lennon Sisters, this show does just what the song implies; it leaves no doubt that It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

From the show’s opening number to its final number, the Osmonds and Lennon Sisters sing a variety of Christmas and other music as only they can. The distinctive style of each group has been entertaining audiences for decades and is wonderful, but when they join together in numbers like “The Christmas Song,” their two different familial voices combine into a special Christmas experience that is a joy to hear and experience.

Many of their numbers are mini productions involving dancers, special effects, and more. During one such number, the audience was surprised and delighted when the Lennon Sisters were joined by three of Janet’s talented granddaughters who danced and sang with them.

Surround the wonderful vocals with the adagio dancing and quick change artistry of Pasha & Aliona, and the magic of Rick Thomas at strategic points throughout the show, and the result is like opening presents under the tree on Christmas morning. You don’t know what’s in the next package, but what a wonderful surprise it is when the package is opened and you discover what’s inside!

Kids and adults alike will be amazed at the magic and charisma of Rick Thomas. Although he performed other illusions, I must mention the “Air Adagio” illusion he performs with his lovely wife, Tara. To see her magically dancing in the air so gracefully high above the stage is as beautiful as it is amazing, not only from an illusion perspective, but from an appreciation for her grace and the skill of the dancing itself. It will leave you wondering, “how do they do that?”

Well you might not know how he did it when you walk out of the show, but you will know two things for certain; that you just had a wonderful entertainment experience, and that It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

 For additional information or tickets for the Andy Williams Christmas Show, or 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 by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Five ways to have an exciting shopping adventure in Historic Downtown Branson

Dick's 5 & 10 in hisotirc downtown Branson provides one of the most unique shopping "adventures" available anywhere.

Dick’s 5 & 10 in historic downtown Branson provides one of the most unique shopping “adventures” available anywhere.

“Branson is known for the quality and variety of its live shows, attractions and other exciting activities,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “In addition, it’s a fabulous shopping destination offering an unparalleled shopping adventure at its hundreds of different national chain stores, boutiques, flea markets, craft malls, famous-name outlet stores, and specialty shops,” she added.

Wood points out that there’s one often overlooked shopping opportunity; one that virtually hundreds pass through on their way to Branson Landing every day…historic downtown Branson …it has dozens of unique and exciting shopping opportunities offering gifts, art, and crafts that are available only downtown. From among many, here’s a list of five that illustrate this point:

1. Dick’s 5 & 10, 417.334.2410, one of Branson’s most popular shopping attractions, illustrates the uniqueness and excitement that shopping in historic downtown Branson offers. Steve Hartley, the son of the store’s original founders, Dick and June Hartley, points out that it’s not just the number of items they have in the nostalgic “5 & 10,” over 175,000, or their low prices; it’s the breadth of their selection that makes the shopping experience in Dick’s so unique. He said, “In candy alone, we have one of, if not the, largest selections in Branson. We specialize in old-time and hard to find candies such as Rocky Road, Big Hunk Candy Bars, and Abba-Zaba. In addition, we feature novelty candies such as Wax Lips and Nickle Nips, and a full selection of regular candy.”

2. Crain Creations Gallery, features the work T. (Thomas) Morgan Crain, Branson’s preeminent wildlife, bird, western, outdoor and nostalgia artist. He can be found, and viewed while painting, most Mondays through Saturdays in his downtown studio, located just inside the window of the gallery. The gallery and studio are as warm, comfortable, and inviting as the artist and his wife, Susan.

3. The Burlington Annex, 417.335.4789, features artist and gift lines that are unique and not available anywhere else in Branson. Its wide selection of unique gifts, glassware and jewelry, coupled with the expertise, friendliness, and helpfulness of their employees make shopping at the Burlington Annex a special shopping experience only available in downtown Branson.

4. The Hollywood Studio Store & More, 417.243.7660, is yet another example of the unique and fun-filled shopping experience available in the historic downtown shopping district. Its selection of Hollywood collectibles, jewelry, gifts, art glass, wind chimes, and much more is as phenomenal and interesting as it is value priced.

5. The Copper Coin, 417.551.1208, is operated by Susan Abar, the author of “Against All Odds,” and her husband Ron. The shop sells many gifts, but its spirit is based on our National Motto, “In God We Trust,” and the shop features a line of custom jewelry and other gift items incorporating a single copper penny into their design, delivering that message in an exclusive and beautiful way.

 

5 things you need to know about Branson’s beautiful drive-thru Christmas Light displays

Just a few of the beautiful  Christmas light displays lighting up the Ozark Hills.

Just a few of the beautiful Christmas light displays you will experience.

From Silver Dollar City to Branson Landing and the top of Mount Branson, Branson will be aglow with the spirit and lights of Christmas on trees, poles, and displays during Ozark Mountain Christmas. Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas is by far Branson’s biggest light display, with more than five million Christmas lights transforming the 1880’s styled theme park into a glittering Christmas wonderland.

Next, in terms of total lights and displays, as well as excitement and fun, would be the Drive-thru Christmas light displays. Here are five things you should know about Branson’s Drive-thru displays:

1. The two largest and most unique: Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights and Village and Trail of Lights are the biggest and most unique Branson Drive-thru displays, with each providing a totally different experience from the other.

2. Operation Schedule/Hours of operation: Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights and Village will be open from 5:30 PM to 11:30 PM, seven days a week from November 5 through December 27. The Trail of Lights will be open from 5:30 PM to Midnight, seven days a week from November 1 through December 31.

3. Trail of Lights Overview: Drive through the historic Shepherd of the Hills Homestead with Christmas light displays that run from touchingly subtle to elaborate and exciting, themes from traditional to contemporary, and employing brilliant lights, delightful animation, and your favorite holiday music. They include characters in different types of buildings…you can take a peek at the Christmas-time activities taking place inside; many animated scenes, and many magnificently lighted displays. Also included is a trip to the top of the 230 foot Inspiration Tower with it’s a sensational view of Branson all aglow with holiday cheer!

4. Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights and Village Overview: Your adventure starts with a leisurely drive through, a magical musical mile and a half of hundreds of thousands of glittering, glowing Christmas lights on amazing displays. This unique drive-thru offers options other than driving through in your own vehicle, such as two-seater scooters, or in a carriage or wagon pulled by a Clydesdale!

And the amazing holiday experience at Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights and Village isn’t over after you drive through; an incredible Christmas village awaits you at the end! Discover 6,000 square feet of holiday cheer that stimulates the senses…hear the Christmas music…see the beautiful decor…smell the delicious aromas…taste the tantalizing treats like gourmet hot chocolate or hot cider, freshly made kettle corn and Bavarian nuts, and other tempting sweets and treats.”

In addition, the village has several complimentary features, like Selfies with Santa, occasional storytelling sessions with Branson historian, author, and storyteller extraordinaire, Bud Lynn; and a stunning, life-sized animated nativity to remind us all of the true reason for this glorious season. And, for a few belly laughs, check out the cacklin’ animated chickens that sing Christmas songs! Other activities available include family photos taken by a professional photographer, and the North Pole Express, a train ride that kids and adults can enjoy together!

5. Branson Christmas Shows and Drive-thru Christmas displays: The hours of operation of the drive-thru displays allow plenty of time to see one of Branson’s Great Christmas shows, whether you go to the show before or after; what better way to experience Christmas in Branson than by combining both!

For additional information on Branson’s drive-thru Christmas light displays or shows 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 by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Branson Up Close and Personal with Dana Parker, the 5th member of the Million Dollar Quartet!

Dana Parker as Dyanne, with Elvis, Tyler K. Hunter, in scene from the  "Million Dollar Quartet."

Dana Parker as Dyanne, with Elvis, Tyler K. Hunter, in scene from the “Million Dollar Quartet.”

Branson’s newest hit show, Million Dollar Quartet, brings a legendary night to the Branson stage in a show that combines music everyone already knows with a great story, creating a one of a kind entertainment experience. It’s based on one of the greatest jam sessions in rock n’ roll history; an impromptu gathering of four young recording legends-to-be: Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis, that took place on December 4, 1956 in the Memphis storefront recording studio of Sun Records.

With the four, soon to be stars, that night was a young Las Vegas dancer who accompanied Elvis Presley. Dana Parker, as Dyanne in the Million Dollar Quartet, does a great job of not only representing that girl, but of interacting with the four musical icons and Sam Phillips, both musically and dramatically, adding a special dynamic to the other elements that make this show a not-to-be-missed Branson experience.

“Branson – Up Close and Personal” is a service of Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services, and is intended to provide readers with an up close and personal look at a Branson star or personality. The interview with Dana Parker (DP) uses a “Question and Answer” format, and was conducted for Branson Tourism Center (BTC) by Gary Groman, a 29 year resident of the Branson area, and a local columnist and freelance writer.

BTC Just for fun opener: If you were marooned on a desert island, what three things would you hope you had?
DP: Something to listen to music, my yoga mat and, right now, a book by Kent Huruf.

BTC: Where were you born?
DP: Deerfield, IL.

BTC: When?
DP: August 26, 1990.

BTC: Any comments about your childhood that you think would be of interest to our readers?
DP: I had a really blessed childhood with two wonderful parents and two older brothers. I feel very lucky to have the childhood that I had.

BTC: When did you realize that you wanted to be an actor professionally?
DP: When I was about six years old, I did a play in the basement of a church, and I really fell in love with the art of storytelling. The name of the play was “The Reluctant Dragon,” and I played the part of Jennifer.

BTC: When did you become interested in music?
DP: In the third grade, I had a solo. It was a random song that the teacher had written, but when I sang it, my mom said, “You can sing,” and things just naturally progressed from there.

BTC: Do you have any formal training in theatre or acting?
DP: Yes. I graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with a BFA in Acting.

BTC: What type of roles do you enjoy performing the most?
DP: I enjoy roles that take me outside of myself and force me to take on characteristics and qualities that do not manifest themselves every day in my daily life.

BTC: Have you ever been to Branson before you started rehearsal for MDQ?
DP: Never. I had never even heard of Branson, but I am so glad that I did, because it’s an awesome place.

BTC: What do you like best about Branson?
DP: I love the nature and how beautiful the Ozarks are with its lakes, trails, and mountains.

BTC: What is your favorite thing to do in Branson when you are not involved with MDQ?
DP: Hiking and I have found an amazing yoga studio, Kom Hot Yoga, which I try to go to every day.

BTC: Have you seen any Branson shows? If “Yes” which ones?
DP: Yes, I have been to see the noon show at the Showboat Branson Belle, Clay Cooper’s Country Express, and Legends in Concert…twice.

BTC: When did you first hear about the musical Million Dollar Quartet (MDQ)?
DP: When it first started in Chicago a number of years ago.

BTC: Where did you audition for the Million Dollar Quartet?
DP: Chicago.

BTC: What made you decide to audition for the part of Dyanne in MDQ?
DP: I do a lot of musical theatre and have a singing background. As I researched the show prior to the audition, I fell in love with the story and the songs Dyanne sings in the show; “Fever” and “I Hear You Knocking.”

BTC: They used the real names of everyone else in the show. Why do you think that they used the name “Dyanne” instead of her real name, “Marilyn,” in the show?
DP: It’s theater; the character of Dyanne in the show is embellished for the show in terms of her involvement and participation with what actually went on at the jam session. As far as I know, Marilyn was a dancer and played no active role that night other than she was accompanying Elvis Presley. The rest of the roles, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Jay Perkins, Fluke, and Sam Phillips were actively involved in the events that transpired.

BTC: Did you do any research on the historical jam session, that is the basis for the show, prior to the audition or beginning of the rehearsal for the show?
DP: Yes. I try to get as much information as possible.

BTC: What did you know about Marilyn Evans (Knowles-Riehl) prior to deciding to audition for MDQ?
DP: There’s not a lot of information about her, but I knew that she was not a very serious girlfriend of Elvis, was a dancer not a singer, and that, unlike many others, she did not try to gain anything from her association with Elvis.

BTC: What is your favorite Elvis Presley song? Why?
DP: I Love “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.” I just love its melody.

BTC: What part do you like most about playing Dyanne in the Million Dollar Quartet? Although I love performing the songs I sing, I enjoy the jamming, singing, and dancing in the background.

BTC: What is your favorite part in the show?
DP: That would be “Party” with Elvis and Carl right after I sing “I Hear You Knocking.” It’s a fun jam song that I have so much fun doing.

BTC: Why should someone coming to Branson plan to see MDQ?
DP: Because it is a perfect combination of amazing music that people love and have grown up with, along with a really incredible story about a real event that a lot of people have never heard.

BTC” Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you or the show?
DP: The show has an amazing cast that is supported by an equally amazing and incredible crew behind the scenes. They take such good care of us and what they do contributes so much to the audience’s overall enjoyment of the show.

For additional information or tickets for the Million Dollar Quartet, or any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550, or by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

How many of these November 2015 Branson highlights would you like to see?

Silver Dollar City's Main Street aglow with Christmas lights.

Silver Dollar City’s Main Street aglow with Christmas lights.

“With Branson’s Veterans Week, Ozark Mountain Christmas, Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas, Branson’s Christmas shows, and Thanksgiving, the month of November is easily one of the busiest and most exciting months of the year,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “From the nation’s largest Veteran’s Day Celebration, to what may very well be its biggest celebration of the traditional American Christmas, and so much more, Branson will be bursting at the seams with special events and other activities during November,” she added.

Here’s our Featured Show, Event, and Limited Engagement of the Month, along with a list of the major, limited engagement performances and special events you can enjoy in Branson during November, 2015:

Featured Show: Andy Williams Christmas Show: It’s the most wonderful time of the year as the tradition and legacy of “Andy Williams Christmas Show” continues in Branson. The Osmonds and The Lennon Sisters honor Andy’s favorite time of year! Everything that made television’s Andy William’s Christmas Show special is here; music, dancing, and beautiful sets filled with holiday cheer, all backed up by the incomparable Moon River Orchestra!

Featured Limited Engagement: Moon River and Me pays tribute to the life, the music, and the man himself…Andy Williams! Enjoy memorable video footage, the voice of Britain’s Got Talent singing sensation, Charlie Green, performing his songs, and masterful magic that’s cleverly combined with laugh-out-loud comedy, courtesy of the versatile Chipper Lowell! This is one powerful show!

Featured Events:

Branson Veterans Homecoming Week is one of the the biggest, Veterans Day tributes in America, and is celebrated from November 5 through November 11. It features dozens of events all keyed toward honoring those who have served our nation and sacrificed so much.

Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas celebrates the true meaning of this special magical season amidst the glow of over 5 million dazzling lights. Heralded “The Most Illuminated Park on Earth” by the Travel Channel and “One of the most sparkly, lively holiday celebrations anywhere” by Midwest Living, you’ll take home beautiful holiday memories destined to last a lifetime!

LIMITED ENGAGEMENT HIGHLIGHTS (Sorted by starting date.)

Nov 1 – 30                  Yakov – Wake Up with Yakov
Nov 2 – 30                  Jerusalem performed by Dudu Fisher
Nov 4 – 24                  Neal McCoy
Nov 4 – 30                  Moon River andMe
Nov 5 – 8                    Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers
Nov 6                          Charlie Daniels Band
Nov 7                          Ricky Skaggs
Nov 8                          Pam Tillis & Lorrie Morgan
Nov 8                          Rich Little
Nov 11                        Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy
Nov 11                        Lee Greenwood
Nov 13 – 14                Johnny Mathis Christmas Show
Nov 14                        Michael English
Nov 15                        Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone
Nov 16 -17                  Boot Daddy Presents Jimmy Fortune
Nov 18:                       Kellie Pickler
Nov 19 – 21                Boot Daddy Presents Dailey & Vincent
Nov 20                        Little River Band
Nov 21                        Wynonna Judd
Nov 22                        Charley Pride

 

Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights & Village is Branson's newest drive through lighting display and much more.

Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights & Village is Branson’s newest drive through lighting display and much more.

SPECIAL EVENT HIGHLIGHTS (Sorted by starting date.)

Nov 1 – Nov 30           Christmas and Winter Celebration at Titanic Museum Attraction
Nov 1 – Nov 30           Branson Landing’s Winter Wonderlanding!
Nov 1 – Nov 30           White Flight at The Butterfly Palace
Nov 1 – Nov 30           Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights
Nov 1                           26th Annual Branson Motorcycle Toy Run
Nov 5 – 11                   Branson’s Veterans Home Coming Week
Nov 5 – Nov. 30          Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights & Village
Nov 7 – Nov 30           An Old Time Christmas Festival at Silver Dollar City
Nov 11                         83rd Annual Veteran’s Day Parade
Nov 14                         Most Wonderful Time of Year Parade, Branson Landing, 417-239-3002
Nov 23 – Nov 29         Thanksgiving Week in Branson
Nov 26                         4th Annual Branson 5K Turkey Trot
Nov 26                         Chateau on the Lake – Thanksgiving Day Brunch
Nov 26 – Nov 29         Moonlight Madness & After Thanksgiving Sales

For additional information on these events, or 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 by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

You should share a Branson Christmas show with your family because…

From the "Grinch" to the Nativity and true meaning of Christmas, Branson's Christmas shows are full of color, fun, and the "Reason for the Season."

From the “Grinch” to the Nativity and true meaning of Christmas, Branson’s Christmas shows are full of color, fun, and the “Reason for the Season.”

“…it will create wonderful Christmas memories that will last a lifetime,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Christmas is one of the most exciting times of the year in Branson, and nowhere is that more obvious than at our shows. Each is like an exquisite ornament on a Christmas tree, adding unique beauty, fun, and spirit to the Christmas season.”

Here’s a list of things about our Christmas shows you might want to consider while planning your visit to Branson:

They’re part of Ozark Mountain Christmas: Branson’s live shows are an important part of all that Branson has to offer every day, but during Ozark Mountain Christmas, they share the true spirit of Christmas, the reason for the season, with their audiences in a very special and personal way. Ozark Mountain Christmas runs from November 1 through December 31, and Branson’s Christmas shows generally start with their first November performance.

There are two Christmas show formats: It can generally be said that Branson’s Christmas shows follow one of two formats. First are shows that are totally Christmas, such as the Andy Williams Christmas Show, Christmas on the Trail, Christmas Wonderland, Shoji Tabuchi, and the Hughes Brothers Christmas Show. The second, and by far the more prevalent format used, involves a mixture of their regular season show and their Christmas show. Typically, one half of the show is devoted to the best of their regular season show, and the other half, usually the last half, to their Christmas show.

Most Christmas shows end their season in mid December: Many shows hold their last Christmas performance by the end of the third week in December. These include some of Branson’s most popular shows: Presleys’ Country Jubilee, Andy Williams Christmas Show, Christmas Wonderland, Dublin’s Irish Tenors and the Celtic Ladies, Duttons, Mickey Gilley, New Jersey Nights, Shoji Tabuchi, SIX, and George Dyer. Other popular shows such as Billy Dean in Concert With Jarrett, Clay Cooper’s Country Express, Grand Jubilee, Haygoods, Hughes Brothers Christmas Show, Legends in Concert, Paul Harris and the Cleverlys, Christmas on the Trail, and Dixie Stampede are open through the third week in December or beyond.

Early reservations are highly recommended: Ozark Mountain Christmas is not only one of the most special seasons for a visit to Branson, it can also be one of the busiest. The limited Christmas show schedules can make the demand for tickets even greater; so early reservations are very important, not only to ensure availability, but to get the best seats. Branson Tourism Center, a company that’s sold more than 4.5 million Branson show and attraction tickets, has a special relationship with its theatre partners. This relationship helps their customers not only get the show tickets they desire, but also the best possible seats available at the time the tickets are purchased. Branson Tourism Center can be reached by phone at 1-800-785-1550, or through their website at www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

 

Pierce Arrow is BTC’s Featured Show of the Week for Oct. 19, 2015

Pierce Arrow, Tony Turner,left, Travis Spratt, Scott Fraker, and Dan Britton.

Pierce Arrow:, Tony Turner,left, Travis Spratt, Scott Fraker, and Dan Britton.

Pierce Arrow is our Show of the Week for October 19, 2015,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center, Branson’s premier vacation planning service that’s sold more than 4.5 million Branson show and attraction tickets. “Performing two entirely different shows each day, Pierce Arrow combines stunning vocals, by the Pierce Arrow; the talents of vocalist Shonna Bonds; the hilarious comedy of James Sibley, and a great live band to create a state-of-the-art, high energy show, often referred to as ‘Branson’s Hottest Show.'”

The award winning quartet, consisting of Tony Turner, Travis Spratt, Scott Fraker, and Dan Britton, perform a variety of music including gospel, pop, and country. The group’s talent includes powerful vocals, beautiful harmonies and, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, one of the world’s lowest bass singers – Dan Britton.

Shonna Bonds, the show’s female vocalist, boasts a clear, powerful voice, a vocal range that has been described as ‘off the charts,” and a dynamic style. The end result is a performance that is a joy to see and hear.

To be family funny, it helps to have a great comedian; Pierce Arrow has just that in James Sibley. A comedian for over 20 years, Sibly’s been on TV shows like My Name is Earl, and The Gilmore Girls, and in the movie Mr. Woodcock with Billy Bob Thornton, as well as other films. He now keeps audiences in an almost constant state of laughter with his comedy routines in the Pierce Arrow show. Not only will you laugh hysterically, you’ll have a new appreciation for the term “Gene Pool.”

A recent review of Pierce Arrow in the Shows Forum on www.1Branson.Com, Branson’s largest message board, said that it was one of the best shows they’d seen in quite a while; “the singing of Pierce Arrow was tight and full of energy. The comedian was a master at his craft and had everyone laughing at, and with, him; and that Shonna Bonds brought the house down with each and every song.” They highly recommend this show for all ages, saying, “It’s a top 5 for me!”

For more information or tickets for Pierce Arrow, or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550, or by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

What’s the last show you saw in Branson?

SIX, Kevin, left, Owen, Curtis, Lynn, Barry, and Jak,  is perennially one of Branson's most popular shows.

SIX, Kevin, left, Owen, Curtis, Lynn, Barry, and Jak, is perennially one of Branson’s most popular shows.

“When you ask the question, ‘Whether yesterday or 10 years ago, what’s the name of the last Branson show that you saw,?’ you’d expect a variety of answers, and that many of the shows mentioned would be listed on Branson Tourism Center’s List of Most Popular and Highly Recommended Shows,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “That’s just what we got when we posed the question to more than 25,000 Branson fans participating on our Facebook page.”

Although the answers ranged from, “I’ve never been there,” to shows that are no longer in Branson, and covered a wide variety of shows, the vast majority of those mentioned were on BTC’s most popular list. The following four shows were mentioned the most; they’re listed in alphabetical order along with a brief description, and include a link to where you can get more information on their schedule, pricing, and content. In most cases, videos and pictures are included:

Clay Cooper’s Country Express has everything you want in a great Branson show! With 24 veteran entertainers, there’s a variety of singing, dancing, comedy, and music. Backed by a live, 7 piece band, you’ll hear country and pop hits from the likes of George Jones, Hunter Hayes, the Doobie Brothers, and Bruno Mars!

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede will take your family on a wild ride! Dixie features their world famous racing ostriches, 32 horses in some amazing equestrian feats, a stampede of buffalo, the Rumble in the Treetops lumberjack relay, and friendly competition all wrapped up in a fabulous four-course feast!

Jonah is an epic adventure, delighting audiences young and old with its powerful and timely message. This beautiful Sight and Sound production depicts the journey of “Jonah,” a faithful, righteous prophet of God. Enjoy spectacular staging, immersive special effects, and beautiful original music. Note: Time is running out to see Jonah in Branson. Its last Branson performance will be on December 29. Another Sight and Sound spectacular, Moses, will be performed in Branson starting on March 5, 2016.

SIX is Branson’s sensational sibling singing group that quite simply defines the art of performing music without instruments! Sensational harmonizing, polished professionalism, zany on-stage antics…it’s the most talented half dozen guys you’ll ever meet! They’ll charm you right from the opening note!

Branson Tourism Center’s Wood points out that these four, along with others, were at the top of a similar list compiled a couple of months ago when we asked the question – “If a good friend or close relative, age 30, was coming to Branson, what one show would you tell them not to miss?”

For additional information or tickets on these or any of Branson’s other 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; call 1-800-785-1550 or visit www.BransonTourismCenter.com

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‘Branson Veterans Homecoming Week’ honors America’s Veterans from the heart

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“Honoring America’s Veterans, those currently serving in its Armed Forces, and their families for their service and sacrifice is an inherent part of what Branson is,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Even by Branson standards however, ‘Branson Veterans Homecoming Week’ is special,” she added.

The annual event is one of the, if not the biggest, Veterans Day tributes in America, and is celebrated from November 5 through November 11. It features dozens of events all keyed toward honoring those who have served our nation and sacrificed so much.

The following is a schedule of most of the major events sorted chronologically and by starting time. A telephone number or link is included to provide access to additional information on specific events:

November 5, 2015

0900 – 1600 Veteran Registry, Tactical Operations & Vendor Village, 417-337-0563
0900 – 1530 Veterans Events & Reunions Registry Mill Craft Village, 417-230-2278
0900 – 1800 Day Room 9am – 6pm at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0900    Walls of Heroes – Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1000 – 1800 Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall opens at Welk Resort, 417-336-3575
1130 – 1330 Mess Hall Lunch at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1400    Vets for Vets Celebration Show” at the Baldknobbers Theatre

November 6, 2015

0700    Reveille at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0800 – 1800 Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall at Welk Resort, 417-336-3575
0800    POW/MIA Service of Remembrance, Vietnam Wall at Welk Resort, 417-336-4232
0830    IMAX Military Film Festival “Ghost Army,” 417-335-3533
0900 – 1600 Veteran Registry, Tactical Operations & Vendor Village 417-337-0563
0900 – 1530 Veterans Events & Reunions Registry Mill Craft Village – 417-230-2278
0900 – 1800 Day Room 9am – 6pm at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0900    Walls of Heroes – Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1000    Fourth Annual Navy Memorial at Golden Corral
1100    Veterans Grove Tree Dedication, College of the Ozarks
1130 – 1330 Mess Hall Lunch at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1700    Retreat at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387

November 7, 2015

0700    Reveille at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0800 – 1800 Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall at Welk Resort, 417-336-3575
0830    Veterans Sporting Clay Shoot, Ozarks Shooter Complex
0830    IMAX Military Film Festival “We Answered the Call: Building the Crown Jewel of Afghanistan,” 417-335-3533
0900 – 1600 Veteran Registry, Tactical Operations & Vendor Village 417-337-0563
0900 – 1530 Veterans Events & Reunions Registry Mill Craft Village – 417-230-2278
0900 – 1800 Day Room 9am – 6pm at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0900    Walls of Heroes at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1000    Musical Fun with Twang, Veterans Military Museum
1130 – 1330 Mess Hall Lunch at Ballparks of America, 417-337-83871200
1200    West Plains High School Marching Band “Veterans Tribute,” Branson Landing
1400 – 1800 4th Infantry Division Social, Savannah House Hotel
1400    Musical Fun with Twang, Veterans Military Museum
1600    Women Veterans Mini Reunion at Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center
1700    Retreat at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1900    Memorial Service for Lost Submarine/Tolling of the Bells, Branson Landing

November 8, 2015

0700    Reveille at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0800 – 1800 Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall at Welk Resort, 417-336-3575
0900 – 1600 Veteran Registry, Tactical Operations & Vendor Village 417-337-0563
0900 – 1530 Veterans Events & Reunions Registry Mill Craft Village – 417-230-2278
0900 – 1800 Day Room 9am – 6pm at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0900    Walls of Heroes at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1000 – 1200 Vietnam Veterans Mini Reunion, Clay Cooper Theatre
1000    Tribute to Veterans Sunday Worship, Doug Gabriel Theatre
1130 – 1330 Mess Hall Lunch at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1200 – 1400 12th Annual Tribute to Women Veterans & Rose Petal Ceremony, Clarion Hotel & Conference Center
1400 – 1600 Gold, Silver & Blue Star Mothers Afternoon Dessert, Shindigs
1700    Retreat at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387

November 9, 2015

0700    Reveille at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0800 – 1800 Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall at Welk Resort, 417-336-3575
0830    IMAX Military Film Festival “We Answered the Call: Building the Crown Jewel of Afghanistan,” 417-335-3533
0900 – 1600 Veteran Registry, Tactical Operations & Vendor Village 417-337-0563
0900 – 1530 Veterans Events & Reunions Registry Mill Craft Village – 417-230-2278
0900 – 1800 Day Room 9am – 6pm at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0900    Walls of Heroes at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1000    Transition Assistance at Military & BB Gun Museum, 417-239-0719
1130 – 1330 Mess Hall Lunch at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1400 – 1700 Korean War Veterans Mini Reunion, Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center
1700 – 2300 19th Annual Military Gala & Banquet, Chateau on the Lake
1700    Retreat at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1900    Flag Retirement Ceremony, Veterans Memorial Museum

November 10, 2015

0700    Reveille at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0800 – 1800 Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall at Welk Resort, 417-336-3575
0830    IMAX Military Film Festival “Honoring The Valley of the Tears,” 417-335-3533
0900 – 1600 Veteran Registry, Tactical Operations & Vendor Village 417-337-0563
0900 – 1530 Veterans Events & Reunions Registry Mill Craft Village – 417-230-2278
0900 – 1800 Day Room 9am – 6pm at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
0900    Wal-Mart Tribute to Veterans, Oak Ridge Boys Theatre
0900    Walls of Heroes at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1100    Celebrity Waiter Fundraiser, Doc’s Hickory Roadhouse
1130 – 1330 Mess Hall Lunch at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
1400    Railway to Heaven, Royal Oak Auditorium, Keeter Center, College of the Ozarks
1500 – 1700 15th Anniversary Celebration of the Veterans Memorial Museum, Veterans Memorial Museum
1700    Retreat at Ballparks of America, 417-337-8387
2100    Railway to Heaven, Jones Auditorium College of the Ozarks

November 11, 2015

0700    Flag Raising/Wreath Laying Ceremony, Main Flag Pole, Chapel Lawn, College of the Ozarks
0800 – 1800 Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall at Welk Resort, 417-336-3575
0830    IMAX Military Film Festival “Honoring The Valley of the Tears,” 417-335-3533
1100    82nd Annual Veterans Day Parade in historic downtown Branson, 417-239-6511
1700    All Hands on Deck! Show, Branson Star Theater
1700 – 2000 Free Golden Corral Dinner for Veterans, Golden Corral

For information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.