“I can safely say that, although every week in Branson is full of excitement, entertainment, natural beauty, shopping and dozens of things to see and do, it is extremely unlikely that any other week compares with the one two punch of what happens during the week of Nov. 5 through Nov. 11 each year,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center “The combination of Branson Veterans Homecoming Week with the first full week of Branson’s Ozark Mountain Christmas provide visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the heart and spirit Branson has for Veterans and the traditional American Christmas blended together in a manner that enhances the great live entertainment, attractions, shopping and the dozens of other activities that makes Branson such a great place to visit,” she added.
“Although Veterans are honored every day in Branson, Branson’s Veterans Homecoming Week is a special time, dedicated to honoring Veterans, active duty Armed Forces personnel and their families throughout the community,” Wood said. The week long celebration runs from November 5 through November 11 of each year, is America’s biggest ‘Veterans Day’ tribute and features dozens of events dedicated to remembering, thanking and honoring those who have given so much for our Country. One of the major events will be, one of America’s longest running Veterans Day parades, the 81st “Branson Veterans Day Parade,” through historic downtown Branson starting at the 11th Hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Ozark Mountain Christmas is the annual Branson wide celebration of the traditional “American Christmas,” with literally millions of Christmas lights, many colorfully decorated businesses and the true spirit of Christmas “honored” throughout the area. The center point of Ozark Mountain Christmas is Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas Festival. With over 5 million Christmas lights, the festival has been recognized nationally by “Yahoo Travel’s Top 10 Destinations for Holiday Lights,” “MSN’s Top 10 Extreme Holiday Lights” and will premiere a new light parade the “Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade” featuring “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer & Friends” this year.”
In addition to the Christmas lights on utility poles, many Branson businesses, including Branson Landing, with its large Christmas Tree, and other decorations, there are two drive through Christmas light displays, Branson Area Festival of Lights and the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights filled with millions of colorful sparkling Christmas lights and beautiful Christmas displays.
As would be expected in a town noted for the quantity and quality of its live shows, a major component of Ozark Mountain Christmas are the Christmas Shows presented by most Branson shows. For many, the week of Nov. 5 – 11 is the first full week of these shows. In the majority, the Christmas shows are a blend of the best from their regular season show and Christmas which is generally performed during the second half of the show with each show celebrating Christmas in their own special way. Other shows such as the Andy Williams Christmas Show,” Christmas on the Trail or Christmas Wonderland and Christmas with the Hughes Brothers are totally Christmas shows.
Wood points out that although Veterans Home Coming will end on Nov. 11 the synergy and impetus of the week, coupled with the continued celebration of Ozark Mountain Christmas until Dec. 31, and everything else Branson offers makes Branson a wonderful place for families to start the celebration of their Christmas in a very special and memorable way.