Ozark Mountain Christmas – Branson’s unique traditional American Christmas celebration

Silver Dollar City's "City Square" with its five story special effects Christmas Tree and the "Gifts of Christmas Holiday of Lights" parade passing through.

BRANSON, Mo., October 27, 2013 When Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center, was first asked, “What exactly is ‘Ozark Mountain Christmas?” she said, “It’s not just one thing. It is a unique Branson wide celebration of the true spirit of a traditional American Christmas that has been celebrated for over two decades.”

From its live Christmas Shows to drive through Christmas lighting displays with millions of lights, Santa, Fantasy Princess, decorations, all sorts of shopping Branson is aglow with the festive look and feel of the season and everything one would expect from a world class holiday celebration. If that was all however, Ozark Mountain Christmas would be just another politically correct “holiday,” but that’s not all!

Ozark Mountain Christmas is the celebration of the traditional American Christmas filled with the spirit and message of the true meaning of Christmas as it has been traditionally celebrated. Its roots go back to a community celebration dating back 65 years as its 65th Annual Adoration Parade, and Nativity Scene Lighting, dedicated to “Keeping Christ in Christmas,” is held on Sunday December 8 in Historic Downtown Branson.

While appreciating and respecting those who celebrate other holidays associated with that time of the year such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and others, Ozark Mountain Christmas, is unique in that it is one of the few open and public community celebrations for those who celebrate the traditional American Christmas and the reason for the season. Each year, between November 1 and December 31 hundreds of thousands come to Branson for this special celebration and to experience Ozark Mountain Christmas and all that it has to offer.

Silver Dollar City’s world class festival, An Old Time Christmas, running from November 2 through December 30, is a major focal point of Ozark Mountain Christmas and is constantly recognized as one of the nation’s top theme park Christmas celebrations. The 1880s-style theme park is transformed into a glowing Christmas spectacular with a twice nightly 100,000 light “Gifts of Christmas Holiday Light Parade; over four million sparkling lights throughout the park; one-of-a-kind handmade gifts made and showcased by Silver Dollar City’s 100 demonstrating craftsmen; foods of the season and special shows including the Broadway style production of an original musical adaptation of “A Dickens’ Christmas Carol,” produced by Silver Dollar City; “The Living Nativity” and a special production of “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

The Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights and the Branson Area Festival of Lights are the two major drive through lighting displays. The Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights is a two and a half mile journey through hundreds of gorgeous displays, millions of Christmas lights, holiday music, and animated scenes most of which have been integrated into the natural terrain of the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead. It is one of the most unique and memorable drive through lighting experiences anywhere and also includes a trip to the top of Inspiration Tower where guests can ride glass elevators 230 feet up for a ‘Santa’s eye view’ of the lights from one or the highest points in southwest Missouri. The Branson Area Festival of Lights is a one mile trip through more than 175 sparkling lighting displays, many of which are animated. It is conveniently located a few blocks off the heart of the Branson Strip.

One of the many spectacular scenes from Sight and Sounds "Miracle of Christmas."

As would be expected in the place that many call the “Live music show capital of the world” there is a wide selection of Christmas Shows that are only available during Ozark Mountain Christmas. Some such as Miracle of Christmas; Hughes Brothers Christmas Show, Christmas in Hollywood, The Andy Williams Christmas Show starring the Osmonds and the Lennon Sisters; The Toy Shoppe, Tony Orlando’s Great American Christmas and many others are totally Christmas shows. Most of Branson’s regular season shows also have Christmas shows which include a mixture of their regular season show and a major Christmas segment, usually during the second half of the show. Each is unique and special. This includes some of Branson’s most popular shows such as Clay Cooper’s Country Express; Duttons; George Dyer; Hamner and Barber Variety Show; Haygoods; Legends in Concert; Mickey Gilley; Pierce Arrow; Presleys’ Country Jubilee; Rankin Brothers; Shoji Tabuchi; SIX and many more. Click here for a complete list of Branson Shows or call the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-785-1550 for information about any Branson show.

Many of Branson’s attractions have special activities for Ozark Mountain Christmas. A partial list includes the Titanic Museum‘s with its Fantasy Princess starting Thanksgiving weekend,, Ride the Ducks Land and Lighting Tour With Splash’s Winter Wonderland and White Flight at the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest.

Branson’s shopping is legendary and the Christmas shopping during Ozark Mountain Christmas is no exception. From the shops at Branson Landing on the shores of Lake Taneycomo to handcrafted items by the craftsmen and artists at Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas, three outlet malls and specialty shops for just about every interest, Branson is a Christmas shopper’s paradise.

Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson suggests that Ozark Mountain Christmas is a wonderful way for locals and visitors alike to get into the true Christmas spirit, reminds everyone that it is one of the busiest times of the year in Branson and advises advance reservations for shows and lodging.

For additional information on Ozark Mountain Christmas please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling their toll free number, 1-800-785-1550.

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