Category Archives: Branson Events

Best Branson Insider Highlights for October 2017

Chuck Wagon Cooking from Silver Dollar City’s Nation Crafts & Cowboy Festival, “The Texas Tenors”, and the “Million Dollar Quartet.”

“Branson’s beautiful fall foliage season will peak sometime between the middle and end of October,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “That, coupled with smaller crowds, cooler temperatures, and most of its Attractions and Shows being open, make October an ideal time to visit Branson. It’s also the last opportunity to see the biblical spectacular Moses and the regular season productions of many of Branson’s most popular shows before they start their Christmas shows during the first week of November,” he added.

Here’s an insider’s highlight list, containing some of the best of what’s going on in Branson during October including our Featured Show, Limited Engagement, and Event of the Month.

Featured Show of the Month: The Million Dollar Quartet is one of Branson’s most popular shows. It tells the story of one of the greatest jam sessions in rock n’ roll history. A once in a lifetime impromptu jam session of four young recording legends-to-be, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis that would have been a forgotten page of history, but for the discovery of an unknown recording of it decades later. It became the inspiration for the Tony Award winning musical Million Dollar Quartet that shares the music, spontaneity, and drama of what happened that December 4, 1956 day, as these four legends performed together for their first and last time. Its outstanding cast, timeless music that everyone knows, and great storyline combined with the show’s unique set and great production to create an incredible entertainment experience for the whole family.

Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: Since their national debut on NBC’s hit prime time show America’s Got Talent in 2009, The Texas Tenors have become one of the most popular singing groups in America. In addition, to a full concert schedule and many hit recordings, they have filmed two PBS Specials, “You Should Dream” and, just recently their newest, “Rise.” The show is in concert format containing many covers and original music including country, classical, gospel, Broadway, and more. From their first number to the last, the power, beauty, and intensity of each totals up to an unforgettable entertainment experience that should not be missed!

Featured Event of the Month: Silver Dollar City’s National Crafts & Cowboy Festival showcases the largest gathering of demonstrating craftsmen in the country. It features a Buffalo Bill style Wild West Show; chuck wagon cooking by Kent Rollins; expert horse trainer Fred Woehl taming beautiful wild mustangs; Silver Dollar City’s Barn Dance, and much more all in addition to all the other rides and activities the world class 1880s styled theme park offers daily.

Limited Engagements (Sorted by starting date)

Oct 4-5: Oak Ridge Boys
Oct 5: Dailey and Vincent
Oct 6-7: Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone, & B.J. Thomas
Oct 8: America
Oct 11-12: Oak Ridge Boys
Oct 12-13: Boot Daddy Presents Gene Watson
Oct 13: Neal McCoy
Oct 13: Roots and Boots Tour starring Pam Tillis, Sammy Kershaw and Collin Raye
Oct 14: John Michael Montgomery
Oct 14: Sawyer Brown
Oct 15: Sara Evans
Oct 17-18: Boot Daddy Presents Jimmy Fortune
Oct 18: Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Dennis Tufano, and La La Brooks
Oct 20: Bill Engvall
Oct 21: Neil Sedaka
Oct 26: Oak Ridge Boys
Oct 28: The Golden Boys
Oct 27: William Shatner: Shatner’s World
Oct 30-Nov 18: Daniel O’Donnell
Oct 31: Oak Ridge Boys

Special Event Highlights (Sorted by starting date.)

Oct 1-28: National Craft & Cowboy Festival at Silver Dollar City
Oct 1- 31: The Urban Cowboy Reunion – Select Dates
Oct 1: Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team – Kids Camp Reunion
Oct 1: Annual TangerStyle Fit for a Cure 5K Run/Walk
Oct 1: Grand Country Half Marathon & 5K
Oct 3-Nov 16: ‘Flames of Freedom’ Play – Select Dates
Oct 6: Movie in the Park – Hocus Pocus
Oct 7: Harvest Moon Festival
Oct 10: Cops for Kids Open Buddy Bass Tournament
Oct 13-15: 2017 Outlaw Invitational Ledgestone Country Club
Oct 13-15: Ballparks of America – Ozark Mountain Fall Championship (7U-13U)
Oct 13-15: Our Lady of the Lake Annual Arts & Crafts Festival
Oct 14: Hollister Grape & Fall Festival
Oct 14: Branson’s Center Stage Presents Classic Rumble
Oct 14: Hollister Color Me Grape 5K
Oct 17-22: The Branson Collector Car Auction
Oct 20: Edina High School Marching Hornet Band Performance
Oct 27: Little River Band
Oct 27-29: Ballparks of America – Field of Screams (9U-13U)
Oct 28: Halloween BOOnanza at the Branson Recplex
Oct 28: 4th Annual Trout Team Tournament
Oct 28: Halloween Boogie Bash @ The Atrium
Oct 31: Trick or Treat Tangerstyle
Oct 31: Branson Landing’s Annual Safe Street Trick or Treat

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 visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com, or calling 1-800-785-1550.

 

Best Branson Insider Highlights for September 2017

One of the over 115 craftsmen who will be demonstrating at Silver Dollar City’s National Harvest & Cowboy Festival; Clay & Tina Cooper performing in “Clay Cooper’s Country Express;” and the “Oak Ridge Boys.”

“Branson’s beautiful fall foliage season starts in mid-September. The colorful show continues through the middle or end of October,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “That, coupled with cooler temperatures, smaller crowds, and most of its Attractions and Shows being open, make September an ideal time to visit Branson.”

Here’s an insider’s highlight list, containing some of the best of what’s going on in Branson during September, our Featured Show, Limited Engagement, and Event of the Month.”

Featured Show of the Month: Clay Cooper’s Country Express combines the vocal talent and audience charisma of Clay Cooper, with the best dancers and choreography on any Branson stage. This amazing show also includes, the vocal talents of featured female vocalist Kari Garrison, the talent and comedy of Matt Gumm, the rope and gun handling performance of Johnny Lonestar, one of the most talented live bands in Branson, and so much more. It’s two hours of great music, dancing, fun, laughter, and variety that whisks adults and children alike, “down the tracks” on a delightful entertainment journey.

Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: Country music legends, the Oak Ridge Boys return to Branson, with their harmonies and an amazing career spanning several decades. It’s a career including five Grammy Awards, the Song of the Year, from both the “Country Music Association” and the “Academy of Country Music,” for their hit Elvira. Their hits include Touch a Hand, Make a Friend, Make My Life with You, American Made, (I’m Settin’) Fancy Free, It Takes a Little Rain (To Make Love Grow), Bobbie Sue, and many more.

Featured Event of the Month: Silver Dollar City’s National Harvest & Cowboy Festival showcases the largest gathering of demonstrating craftsmen in the country. In addition it features  a Buffalo Bill style Wild West Show; chuck wagon cooking by Kent Rollins; expert horse trainer Fred Woehl taming beautiful wild mustangs; Silver Dollar City’s Barn Dance; and much more.

Limited Engagements (Sorted by starting date)

Sep 1: Ben & Noel Haggard and The Strangers
Sep 16: Tanya Tucker
Sep 18: Larry’s Country Diner-T. Graham Brown
Sep 19: Larry’s Country Diner-Rhonda Vincent
Sep 20-21: Oak Ridge Boys
Sep 20: Larry’s Country Diner-Gene Watson
Sep 21: Larry’s Country Diner-Jimmy Fortune
Sep 22: Larry’s Country Diner-The Isaacs
Sep 23: Righteous Brothers
Sep 29: Charley Pride

Special Event Highlights (Sorted by starting date.)

Sep 1 – Sep 4: Branson Landing’s Annual School Shoes For Kids
Sep 1 – Sep 4: Silver Dollar City Southern Gospel Picnic Festival
Sep 1 – Sep 3: Showboat Branson Belle Labor Day Weekend Cruises
Sep 1: Resurrection: A Journey Tribute – Live in Concert
Sep 1 – Sep 2: American Independent Tae Kwon Do Tournaments
Sep 1 – Sep 2: Treasure Lake RV Resort Wood Carvers Club Show and Sale
Sep 1 – Sep 2: Labor Day Weekend Open House – Branson Mill
Sep 1 – Sep 4: Labor Day Weekend Sale at Tanger Outlets
Sep 1 – Sep 4: Branson Landing Labor Day Weekend Sales
Sep 2: Stars & Stripes K-Life Run
Sep 2 – Sep 3: Generations Tour Hosted by Reflections Art Gallery
Sep 3: Chateau on the Lake Celebrates Labor Day
Sep 4: Doggie Dive-In-Branson RecPlex
Sep 8: Clubs for a Cause Benefiting HOPE Foundation
Sep 8 – Sep 9: Orphan Car Show
Sep 8 – Sep 10: Table Rock Lifted Truck Nationals
Sep 8 – Sep 10: Silver Dollar City Country Music Weekend
Sep 9 – Sep 10: SHOW ME Shakeup 4 Car, Truck, & Bike Show
Sep 10: 9/11 Observance Ceremony
Sep 11: 9/11 Memorial Ceremony
Sep 11: 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony
Sep 11: 9/11 Branson Remembers at the Branson Landing
Sep 13 – Sep 17: CAF AirPower History Tour
Sep 13 – Oct 28: National Craft & Cowboy Festival at Silver Dollar City
Sep 14 – Sep 16: Autumn Daze Arts, Crafts, & Music Festival
Sep 15: Makenna & Brock – Live in Concert
Sep 16: Fall Community Garage Sale
Sep 23: Blues, Brews, & Barbeque Festival
Sep 28 – Oct 1: Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team – Kids Camp Reunion
Sep 30: Memorial Stair Climb

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 visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com, or calling 1-800-785-1550.

 

Best Branson Insider Highlights for August 2017

The cast of “Broadway’s Greatest Hits” during the Finale.

“With school starting, August is a transitional month for younger visitors with families. It’s also an excellent time for that last summer getaway before the school starts,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center.

Here’s an insider’s highlight list, containing some of the best of what’s going on in Branson during August, our Featured Show, Limited Engagement, and Event of the Month.

Featured Show of the Month: Broadway has burst upon the Branson Strip in a spectacular new production, Broadway’s Greatest Hits. The show adds a unique new dimension to the scope of entertainment Branson’s live shows offer. It’s a show of “bests.” It’s Broadway’s “best” presented in one of Branson’s “best” productions by some of the “best” vocalists and dancers on any stage in Branson. Each segment has its own choreography, style, special effects, costuming, and more. The timelessness of the music, the interaction between the vocalists and dancers, their talent and energy, the many styles of dancing, colorful costuming and more, appeal to both adults and kids alike and have them waiting for what’s coming next.

Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: Don’t miss this chance to see Terry Fator, the outstanding entertainer who packs the house in Las Vegas and won the top prize on Season 2 of the NBC’s prime time hit, “America’s Got Talent.” His exceptional talent as a puppeteer and singer is unbelievable. With his natural technique, you will quickly come to think of each puppet as more than a doll, and his fantastic skill as a vocalist will have you looking forward to every song! It’s one of the funniest, most unique, and enjoyable shows you will ever experience. Two days only, August 11-12 at the fabulous Welk Theatre.

Featured Event of the Month: Branson’s 29th Annual Fiddle Festival & Mid-America Fiddlers Championship will be held at the Grand Country Water Park Resort. August 25-27. The fun starts in the Grand Country Parking Lot at 6:30 PM on August 25 with the “Anything Goes Contest” and a free concert starring Melody Hart and a live band. The Mid-America Fiddlers Championship starts on the morning of August 26. Six Divisions, from Pee-Wee to Senior and Open, will compete for thousands of dollars in prizes and the coveted title of the “Mid-America Fiddle Champion.” The title will be decided in a Round Robin Play Off at 4:00 PM on August 27. The actual competition will be conducted in the Grand Country Music Hall, the home of all Grand Country’s shows, and will be hosted by noted Branson Fiddler Wayne Massengale.

Terry Fator and “friends.”

Limited Engagements (Sorted by starting date)

Aug 11-12: Terry Fator
Aug 12:  Grand Funk Railroad
Aug 13: Richie McDonald

Special Event Highlights (Sorted by starting date.)

Aug 1 – Oct 31: Branson Farmers Market Every Tuesday
Aug 1 – Sep 4: Branson Landing’s Annual School Shoes For Kids
Aug 1 – Aug 12: Night Water at White Water
Aug 1 – Aug 4: Ballparks of America – Week 10 Back to School Bash 12U-13U
Aug 3 – Aug 10: Cal Ripken Major/70 World Series
Aug 4 – Aug 5: G.R.O.O.V.E. Presents Wagens at the Wheel
Aug 4 – Aug 6: Missouri State Tax-Free Holiday Sale
Aug 4 – Aug 6: Tax Free Holiday Shopping at Tanger Outlets
Aug 5: ROCK THE SPECTRUM – A BENEFIT EVENT & CONCERT
Aug 5: Reeds Spring Annual Tomato Festival
Aug 6 – Aug 7: Shakespeare in the Park – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Aug 6: Back to School Bash
Aug 6: Ballparks of America – Week 11 Baseball Youth Majors Championship 10U-13U
Aug 9 – Aug 13: Shepherd of the Hills Super Summer Cruise Weekend
Aug 11: Tanger Club Member Exclusive Event – Bring a Friend
Aug 11 – Aug 13: Unique Home & Wedding Show
Aug 12: Summer Movies in the Park at the Branson RecPlex
Aug 18: PRINCE IVAN – LIVE IN CONCERT!
Aug 20: “Keepin’ it Real in Branson” Cruise In
Aug 24 – Sep 4: Silver Dollar City Southern Gospel Picnic Festival
Aug 25 – Aug 27: Annual Fiddle Festival Presented by Grand Country

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 visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com, or calling 1-800-785-1550.

 

Celebrating 50 years of the Presleys’ Branson tradition!

Presleys’ 50 year Branson tradition started here in 1967 and…

Friday, June 30, 2017, is a special day in Branson’s storied entertainment history. Fifty years ago to the day, on Friday, June 30,1967, the Presleys opened Branson’s first live music theatre on the now famous “Branson Strip.” Over the last 50 years, “Presleys’ Theatre” has become a Branson landmark and the Presleys have continued to entertain audiences with their unique mix of comedy and country, bluegrass, and gospel music in Presleys’ Country Jubilee.

As the Presleys celebrate the 50th Anniversary of that opening, it’s almost impossible to imagine that in 1967 there was no “Branson Strip.” Highway 76 was a curvy two-lane stretch of blacktop tourists used to get from Branson to the growing “Silver Dollar City,” “Shepherd of the Hills,” and “Table Rock Lake.” Except for the “Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Play,” located well west of Branson, there were no music shows or other live entertainment anywhere on Highway 76 for tourists to go to in the evening.

The Presleys, who had been entertaining audiences with their music and comedy for years, in caves and other places around the Ozarks, recognized the opportunity to achieve the dream of owning their own theatre. Gary Presley said, “We thought that if we could put a building on Highway 76 we might have a few people show up.”

The “we” was a partnership. It was composed of Lloyd and Bessie Presley; Gary and Pat Presley; Deanna, Gary’s sister, and husband David Drennon; and Francis and Larry Drennon, David’s parents. Thanks to their cooperative efforts and sacrifices, the “Mountain Music Theatre,” built about three and one-half miles from Branson, opened on Friday night, June 30, 1967.

The show’s format that night, short sets of country, bluegrass, and gospel music, broken up by hilarious comedy, was an ideal fit for the talents of the Presleys. In fact, it worked so well, that’s it’s still used today. And that’s not the only thing that hasn’t changed! Two of the original cast that night, the shows comedian, Gary Presley as “Herkimer,” and drummer, Steve Presley, have been performing with the show continuously since that night.

and continues here today.

The success of the theatre was no sure thing. At the time, not only were there no theatres or attractions on Highway 76, but it was largely unpopulated with only a few non-tourist related businesses on 76 between downtown Branson and Shepherd of the Hills.

Well, here we are 50 years later, in hind sight, looking back in amazement at what has happened since that day in 1967. Within a couple of years, the name of the theatre was changed to the “Presleys’ Theatre.” Through the years it has undergone many renovations making it one of the most unique, comfortable, and state of the art theatres in Branson.

Even more remarkable was the number of theatres and attractions that soon started to join the Presleys up and down Highway 76. So many, that the portion of Highway 76 running by Presleys’ Theater is now called the “Branson Strip.” In the middle is its “first show,” the iconic Presleys’ Country Jubilee, still featuring the Presley family and celebrating 50 years of working together to entertain Branson audiences.

 

Branson’s 4th of July fireworks displays are an absolute blast!


Branson’s skies will be bursting with beautiful fire works displays in celebration of America’s Birthday.

“One of the most common questions we receive about this time of year is, ‘Does Branson have any 4th of July fireworks displays?’” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “It sure does! Starting with the College of the Ozarks ‘Honor America’ on June 25, Branson visitors will have several great fireworks displays celebrating and honoring America’s Birthday,” he added.

Here is a list of six of Branson’s major “4th of July” fireworks displays, with “Suggested Viewing Areas,” and other information. They are listed in order of date:

College of the Ozarks “Honor America”
Place: College of the Ozarks
Phone: 417-690-2212
Date/Time/Comment: June 25 starting at 5:30 PM with a BBQ picnic and children’s activities. These will include balloons, face painting, and an area where “guests can make thank-you cards for Veterans.” Starting at 6:00 PM AYO, Starring the Voices of Glory, and Red, Hot and Blue, and the Hunt Family Band will perform. The Patriotic Program begins at 8:30 PM including the Presentation of Colors and a patriotic music program by the College of the Ozarks Concert Band. The band will also provide the music for the spectacular fireworks display that will follow.
Suggested Viewing Area: At Lake Honor on the campus of the College of the Ozarks. Guests are advised to bring their own chairs. Alcohol, tobacco products, fireworks, and pets are strictly prohibited.

30th Annual Fireburst Fireworks Display
Place: Kimberling City
Phone: Table Rock Lake Chamber of Commerce – 417-739-2564
Date/Time/Comment: July 1 at dusk.
Suggested Viewing Area: On Route 13 in downtown Kimberling City, near the Kimberling City Shopping Mall, about 6 miles south of Branson West. It can also be viewed very well from Table Rock Lake near the north end of the bridge.

Fireworks at Chateau on the Lake
Place: Chateau on the Lake just north of Table Rock Dam on State Highway 165/265
Phone: Chateau on the Lake – 417-334-1161 or 888-333-5253
Date/Time/Comment: July 2 at dusk. It follows an outdoor BBQ with live music.
Suggested Viewing Area: Table Rock Lake via boat or park in loop just south of new overrun floodgates on Table Rock Dam or the Chateau’s public areas.

Branson Landing 10th Annual “Liberty Light Up Concert and Fireworks”
Place: Branson Landing Town Square by Fountains
Phone: Branson Landing – 417-239-3002
Date/Time/Comment: July 3, starting at 7:00 PM with a concert featuring “Jason Pritchett & Steel Horses-LIVE In Concert!”  The spectacular Branson Landing “Liberty Light Up” fireworks display takes place over Lake Taneycomo after the concert. It’s “an amazing choreographed Fireworks Display Show produced by Gateway Fireworks Displays, from St. Louis, MO.” From its opening, to its “closing with a Gateway Fireworks Signature Grand Finale,” it will have you in awe.
Suggested Viewing Area: The Public Square by the Fountains, along the Branson Landing Board Walk, where permitted, and from a boat on Lake Taneycomo. One of the best seats in the house for this display is aboard Main Street Lake Cruises Lake Queen or Landing Princess.

Hollister’s 64th Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration
Place
: Downtown Hollister
Phone: City of Hollister – 417-334-3262
Date/Time/Comment: July 4 beginning at 6:00 PM with the 4th Annual Little Miss Firecracker Pageant. It will be followed by the area’s oldest 4th of July Fireworks Show at dusk. Each display is hand fired by members of the Western Taney County Fire District.
Suggested Viewing Area: Chad A Fuqua Memorial Park next to the Hollister City Hall or Business 65 in downtown Hollister.

52nd 4th Of July Rockin’ Rockaway Beach Celebration
Place
: Rockaway Beach
Phone: City of Rockaway Beach
Date/Time/Comment: July 4 with events starting at 4:00 PM. These fun events include a Lawn Mower Parade, the crowning of the Little Mr. & Miss Rockaway, the King & Queen of the Rock Arm Wrestling Contest, Dunk A Cop, kids games & prizes, and an Historic/Art Walk of Rockaway Beach. The celebration concludes at dark with a fantastic Laser Display & Grand Finale Fireworks.
Suggested Viewing Area: Downtown Rockaway Beach or from Lake Taneycomo. One of the best seats in the house for this display is aboard Main Street LakeCruises Lake Queen or Landing Princess. View the Laser and Fireworks display from Lake Taneycomo after a unique dusk cruise down to Rockaway Beach from Branson.

Branson Tourism Center’s Garrison reminds those planning to see any of the fireworks displays that the 4th of July period is one of the busiest times of the year in Branson. He points out the displays are popular, suggests planning to arrive as early as possible, and bringing your own chairs.

He also recommends making reservations for Branson lodging, attractions and shows in advance. Please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services, for information or help with reservations for lodging, shows and attractions as well as ticketing. Contact them either through their toll-free number 1-800-785-1550 or website.

 

There’s nothing in the world like an “Ozark Mountain Christmas!”

Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas is a beautiful “centerpiece” of Ozark Mountain Christmas.

“Do you want to celebrate the simple beauty of the traditional American Christmas?” asks Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “If so, there’s no better place for you to be than in Branson, Missouri for its spectacular, one of a kind, celebration of Ozark Mountain Christmas.

Running from November 1 through December 31, Ozark Mountain Christmas blends the best of what Branson offers into a unique community wide celebration of the traditional American Christmas. It’s combination of Christmas lights, displays, spirit, inspiration, fun, and live entertainment is unlike any other in the world!

The centerpiece of Ozark Mountain Christmas is Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas Festival. Its 5 million plus glittering Christmas lights perennially receives national recognition as one of the best Christmas light displays in America.  It also features a 5 Story Special Effects Christmas Tree, two Broadway productions, and the Holly Jolly ™ Christmas Light Parade with “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer & Friends,” and more. In addition, weather allowing, its 30 plus rides and almost everything else the world class 1880s styled theme park features, is open to enjoy. Silver Dollar City’s Ozark Mountain Christmas is celebrated from November 4 through December 30.

Even in a town that’s famous for the quality of its live shows, Branson’s Christmas shows are a special. There’s excitement in the air as most of its most popular shows start their Christmas shows during the first week of November.

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.”

For most of Branson’s shows, that’s a combination of the best from their regular season show and Christmas. Some share a mix of their ‘regular’ shows combined with special Christmas numbers throughout. These include shows such as Daniel O’Donnell, Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies, Legends In Concert, and Puttin’ On The Ritz. Shows such as Clay Cooper’s Country Express, Grand Jubilee, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, and The Haygoods, feature the best of their regular season show for half of the show and their Christmas show during the other half. Regardless of how it’s done, each show is like a snowflake, sharing Christmas in their own special way, giving Branson audiences a unique Christmas blessing and glimpse of what Christmas means to them.

Other shows are totally Christmas and only available during Ozark Mountain Christmas.  These include shows such as the Andy Williams Christmas Extravaganza, Christmas Wonderland, Hughes Brothers Christmas Show, Shoji Tabuchi, and The Texas Tenors Deep In the Heart of Christmas.

How about Christmas shopping? Branson offers a year-round world class shopping experience including Branson Landing; a large variety of unique galleries, craft shops, boutiques, and specialty shops; as well as discount malls such as the Tanger Factory Outlet Center and The Shoppes at Branson Meadows. Wood said that opportunities abound to find that special one of a kind Christmas gift, for that special person, in Branson.

One of the most unique aspects of Ozark Mountain Christmas is the spirit of the traditional American Christmas that underpins it. It’s OK to say “Merry Christmas.” It’s even 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 69th annual lighting of the huge Nativity Scene on top of Mount Branson and night “light parade,” will be held on December 3 in historic downtown Branson.

Wood points out that Ozark Mountain Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year in Branson and that not all shows and activities are available throughout the entirety of Ozark Mountain Christmas. To help ensure, not only availability, but getting the best available show seats and lodging, she suggests calling one of Branson Tourism Center’s Branson based Vacation Specialists at 1-800-785-1550. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM to 9.30 PM.

Best Branson Insider Highlights for May 2017

The Million Dollar Quartet; dresses worn by “Rose”, Kate Winslet,  in the movie “Titanic;” and White Water’s KaPau Plummet.

“May is the month when all of Branson’s shows and attractions are fully open and running for the 2017 season,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “From our lakes to our great live shows, there’s fresh excitement, adventure, and entertainment for everyone to enjoy in Branson during 2017,” she added.

Along with our highlight list, containing some of the best of what’s going on in Branson during May, here’s our Featured Show, Limited Engagement, and Event of the Month:

Featured Show of the Month: The Million Dollar Quartet has quickly become one of Branson’s most popular do not miss shows. Live on the Branson stage, the musical that the hit CMT TV drama “Sun Records” is based on. It’s a show about one of the greatest jam sessions in rock n’ roll history. A once in a lifetime 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. It would have been a forgotten page of history, but for the resurfacing of an unknown recording of it decades later. It became the inspiration for the Tony Award winning musical Million Dollar Quartet that shares the music, spontaneity, and drama of what happened that day, as these four legends performed together for their first and last time.

Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: The last 42 days to see the Titanic Museum Attraction’s display of actual costumes worn in the “Titanic.” 2017 is the 20th anniversary of the premier of the blockbuster hit movie. It went on to win eleven Academy Awards including “Best Picture” and “Best Costume Design.” Now, for the first time, and only through June 11, 2017, visitors to the Museum can view a collection of the actual costumes worn in the movie.

The costumes are displayed throughout the museum. Each is in an appropriate setting that enhances the viewing experience. During a recent tour of the exhibit with First Class Maid Jamie, she said, “Everyone comes to the Museum and asks, ‘Where’s Jack?’ Well we don’t have ‘Jack,’ but what we do have is one of the costumes that Leonardo DiCaprio’s, ‘Jack,’ wore in the movie.” They will be on display in Branson through June 11, after which they will moved to the Pigeon Forge Titanic Museum Attraction, where they will be displayed from June 17 through Labor Day.

Featured Event of the Month: White Water, Southwest Missouri’s largest water park, opens with two million gallons of cool wet fun ensconced in a 13 acre Polynesian themed “island” in the middle of the Ozarks. Its $1.7 million thrill ride, KaPau Plummet, launches riders from a drop-floor, four stories in the air, into a 70-degree plunge into a thrilling 240-foot spiraling loop slide to the bottom. And that’s just one ride! When you add in the iconic seven story multiple slide Kalani Towers; Aloha River at Hula Bay, with “over 800 feet of unexpected twists and turns, fountains, misters, bubblers, geysers, a 30-foot tall tiki water tower; and so much more, it’s easy to understand why White Water is sometimes referred to as “Mid-America’s Nearby Island Adventure.”

Limited Engagements (Sorted by starting date.)

May 1: Larry’s Country Diner-T. Graham Brown
May 2: Larry’s Country Diner-Jimmy Fortune
May 3: Larry’s Country Diner-Gene Watson
May 4: Larry’s Country Diner-Mo and Holly Pitney
May 5: Larry’s Country Diner-Mark Wills
May 14: Vicki Lawrence and Mama
May 18-21: Menopause The Musical
May 31: The Bellamy Brothers

Special Event Highlights (Sorted by starting date.)

May 1-31: Ozark Mountain Shindig Festival
May 1-31: Trail of Art
May 4-29: Bluegrass & Barbecue Festival at Silver Dollar City
May 5: Cinco de Mayo
May 5-6: Scott’s Challenge Firefighter Combat in Branson!
May 6: MDA Muscle Walk
May 12: Wanda Durant to Speak
May 14: Mother’s Day Cruise on Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess
May 14: Happy Mother’s Day
May 14: Keeter Center Mother’s Day Brunch
May 14: Mother’s Day Brunch at Chateau on the Lake
May14: Level 2 Steakhouse Mother’s Day Brunch
May 14: Big Cedar & Top of the Rock Mother’s Day Brunches
May 14: Branson Center Stage Mother’s Day Brunch
May 18: Shindig Festival – Jammin’ at Area 57
May 20: Armed Forces Day
May 20: Kayak Branson’s Biggest Flotilla Adventure on Lake Taneycomo
May 20: Reeds Spring Cajun Days
May 20: Annual Casino Night, BBQ, and Silent Auction – VVA Chapter 913
May 20-21: Summer Splash In-Water Boat Show
May 22: Annual Veterans Benefit Show
May 26-27: Treasure Lake RV Resort Wood Carvers Club Show and Sale
May 26-29: Memorial Day Weekend Sidewalk Sale at Tanger Outlets
May 27: Shindig Festival – The Shindig Shuffle
May 27-Jun 2: Ballparks of America – Memorial Day Classic (10U-13U)
May 28: Celebrate Memorial Day with Chateau of the Lake
May 29: Memorial Day
May 29: Memorial Day Service
May 29-30: Branson Landing’s Annual School Shoes For Kids

For additional information on these events, Branson’s shows and attractions, or lodging please contact the Branson Tourism Center by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com, or calling 1-800-785-1550 and talking with a Branson-based vacation planning specialist. They will be delighted to answer any questions, and assist you with show or lodging reservations and there’s absolutely no charge for this service.

 

Best Branson Insider Highlights for April 2017

There just something special about Spring in the Ozarks!

April is the month where our Ozark Hills bloom into the full freshness and beauty of spring,” said, Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “April is also when Branson’s shows and attractions ‘burst into the bloom’ of their 2017 seasons,” she added.

Here’s our Featured Show and Event of the Month, with a list of the highlights of special events you can enjoy in Branson during the month of April:

Featured Show of the Month: The Haygoods are celebrating their 25th year of entertaining Branson Audiences in 2017. Starting as youngsters at Silver Dollar City, these incredible artists have developed a unique iconic style of quality high energy entertainment. They are constantly re-energizing and changing their performances throughout the year to meet the expectations of their anticipated audience. How good is this show? When I saw it, I wrote, “Based on over 30 years of seeing Branson shows, I can testify to the fact that it’s, “Really terrific!” A WOW, WOW, and WOW, on a Three WOW Scale with three WOWs being as high as you can get! From the “Get go,” its two hours of the most unique, innovative, talented, energetic, personable, and exciting entertainment you will ever experience on a Branson stage.

Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: Kris Kristofferson for one night only! Heralded as an artist’s artist, the three-time GRAMMY winner wrote and recorded the hit songs Me and Bobby McGee, For the Good Times, Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down and Help Me Make It Through the Night. In addition to many other awards, Kristofferson is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, winner of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriter Hall of Fame, and was honored with the American Veteran’s Association’s “Veteran of the Year Award” in 2002.

Featured Event of the Month: Branson.com Honors Purple Heart Recipients, Thursday, April 20 through Saturday, April 22. It’s a unique event remembering, honoring, serving, and entertaining those receiving the ‘Purple Heart’ as the result of combat wounds suffered while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. It’s designed to allow time for the attendees to spend time with one another, experience Branson, and participate in events that honor, entertain and support them. All the activities are free to Purple Heart Recipients. For additional information or to Register, please call 1-800-268-4014 or go to the Branson.Com Honors Purple Heart Recipients website.

Limited Engagements (Sorted by starting date.)

Apr 7: Kris Kristofferson
Apr 7: The Dean Z Show
Apr 8: Ultimate Elvis Tribute Contest
Apr 12: Ricky Nelson Remembered
Apr 19-20: Boot Daddy Presents Gene Watson
Apr 21-22: Oak Ridge Boys
Apr 21-22: Branson Music Fest

Special Event Highlights (Sorted by starting date.)

Apr 1-2: Big Bass Tour Table Rock Tournament
Apr 1-May 31: Ozark Mountain Shindig Festival
Apr 6-8: 2017 Kenneth Copeland Branson Victory Campaign
Apr 6-30: Silver Dollar City Presents a Festival of Wonder
Apr 8: FLW Ozark Division Bass Fishing Tournament
Apr 8: C.A.M. Benefit Trout Tournament
Apr 8: Easter Bunny Festival
Apr 15: MCDA Cheer and Dance Championships
Apr 15: Hollister Easter Egg Hunt
Apr 15: Branson RecPlex Easter Egg Hunt
Apr 15: Easter Egg Hunt – Rockaway Beach
Apr 16: Easter Cruise on Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess
Apr 16: Easter Shopping at Tanger Outlets
Apr 16: Easter Brunch at Chateau on the Lake
Apr 16: Easter Weekend in Branson
Apr 16: Keeter Center Easter Brunch
Apr 17-Apr 23: Legends of Golf Presented by Bass Pro Shops
Apr 19: College of the Ozarks to dedicate The Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial
Apr 20: Hootenanny in the Park
Apr 20-22: Branson.com Honors Purple Heart Recipients Weekend
Apr 21-22: Branson Music Fest
Apr 21-22: The Branson Collector Car Auction
Apr 21-23: Taneycomo Throwdown
Apr 27-28: JMH Righteous Revolution Rally
Apr 29: Kayak Branson’s Biggest Flotilla Adventure on Lake Taneycomo

For additional information on these events, or any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com, or calling 1-800-785-1550 and talking with a Branson-based vacation planning specialist. They will be delighted to answer any questions, and assist you with show or lodging reservations and there’s absolutely no charge for this service

“Family” starts Presleys’ amazing 50-year Branson odyssey

Gary , left, and Steve Presley sharing memories about their first 50 years on the Branson Strip .

The first 2017 performance of Presleys’ Country Jubilee, on March 10, will be the beginning of the Presley family’s 50th year performing in Branson. During a recent interview, Gary Presley said, “When we originally opened, as the ‘Mountain Music Theatre,’ on June 30, 1967, it was a cooperative family effort. That same family effort, our love for one another, and what we do, has blessed us throughout these first 50 years,” he continued.

Going back to those early days, Presley said that he; his two sisters, Deanna and Janice; and dad, Lloyd played at “Fantastic Caverns” in Springfield, Missouri. In about 1962, separately, he also played “Herkimer” and was the comedian in the “Underground Theatre Show” near Kimberling City. It was in a cave located in the same valley as “Talking Rock Caverns.” The show featured Bob White, Slim Wilson, Speedy Haworth, others, and occasionally, Red Foley.

Around 1964, some of the cast members quit. Lloyd and his two sisters, Deanna and Janice, came and performed a few shows with us in the cave. The idea for a theatre on Highway 76 in Branson started to take root around that time.

Highway 76 was a two-lane road, outside of the Branson City limits, that tourists used to travel to the growing “Silver Dollar City,” “Shepherd of the Hills,” and “Table Rock Lake.” Presley said that the theatre becoming a reality was a family effort involving four couples. The original partners were his Mom, Bessie, and Dad, Lloyd; he and his wife Pat; his sister Deanna and her husband David Drennon; and Larry and Francis Drennon, David’s parents.

“We got together and decided that if we could put a building on Highway 76 we might have a few people show up,” he said. He points out that the move from that point to opening the theatre was a co-operative effort of all the partners. “It never would have been built without the effort and sacrifice of the total family,” he added.

As the theatre took form, a show was developing along the format that Lee Mace’s “Ozark Opry” was using so successfully in the Lake of the Ozarks. Based on short sets of country music broken up by comedy, it fit in ideally with the Presley family’s talents.

The musical talent of the Presley family Lloyd, Janice, Deanna and her husband David, Steve, and Gary, supplemented with other cast members, addressed the music. Add the comedy of Gary as “Herkimer” and the result was an ideal fit for the Presley family.

Steve Presley pointed out that, if show didn’t make it, they had a backup plan. Although only ten years old at the time the building was built, he recalled that it was built with a flat floor and huge double doors in the back. The thinking was that if things didn’t work out with the show the building could be used to store boats. Well, it’s worked pretty good so far! As Lloyd Presley once, smilingly said to his sons, “Tell you what…we never had to store any boats in the theatre, did we boys?”

“No sir, you sure didn’t!” That building, and the Presley family has become a constant beacon for the spirit of Branson’s family entertainment and what it represents. Their talent and that of the cast performing with them in Presleys’ Country Jubilee has entertained, and continues to entertain, millions of Branson visitors.

It’s an entertainment experience blessed with the innate ability of the Presleys to communicate their genuine love for what they are doing, each other, and family, to their audience. For 50 years, and counting, they have created wonderful Branson memories as they inspire and entertain Branson audiences. Congratulations and thank you!

Best Branson Insider Highlights for February 2017

The Hughes Brothers from our Featured Show of the Month, “It starring the Hughes Brothers.”

“Valentine’s Day and President’s Day Weekend provide February’s focus for romance, fun, shopping, and entertainment,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “It’s hard to imagine a more romantic spot for Valentine’s Day or a better shopping destination during President’s Day Weekend. And it just gets better, as many of Branson’s most popular shows open their 2017 Season,” she added.

Here’s our Featured Show and Event of the Month, with a list of Special Event Highlights you can enjoy in Branson during February, 2017:

Featured Show of the Month: As words go, “it” is a short word. The show it Starring the Hughes Brothers, shows how big “it” can be, with music, fun, inspiration, and entertainment for every member of the family!

It’s one thing to be “world’s largest performing family.” It’s entirely something else when that performance results in a show listed on Branson Tourism Center’s Most Popular and Highly Recommended Show List. The majority seeing “it,” hearing “it,” and experiencing “it,” as I did, know why. From the opening curtain to the finale, “it” is one of the most energetic, unique, colorful, and inspirational shows in Branson, entertaining all ages simultaneously.

Featured Event of the Month: The beginning blush of Branson’s 2017 live show season with the opening of some of its most popular shows including:

Amazing Pets
Branson Country USA
Comedy Jamboree
Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies
Grand Jubilee
The Haygoods
it starring the Hughes Brothers
Legends in Concert
New Jersey Nights

Special Event Highlights (Sorted by starting date.)

Feb 4:     Father/Daughter Valentine Dance
Feb 5:     Super Bowl LI at The Paddlewheel
Feb 7-14:  Tanger Outlets Share the LOVE Event
Feb 10-14: Valentine’s at Chateau Grille
Feb 11:    Hot Winter Fun at Trophy Run
Feb 12:    2017 Branson Bridal Show
Feb 14:    Valentine’s Day
Feb 14:    Valentine’s Weekend in Branson
Feb 14:    Valentine’s Day Dinner at Keeter Center
Feb 15:    The Massacre at Ledgestone Country Club
Feb 17-19: Tri Lakes Building & Home Show
Feb 17-20: President’s Day Weekend Sale – Tanger Outlets
Feb 23-26: VisionCon – Gaming, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Anime Convention
Feb 25:    Vince Elfrink Memorial Tournament – Lilleys’ Landing

Branson Tourism Center’s Wood said that weather and seasonal show, attraction and lodging availability are important when planning a trip to Branson during the winter months. She suggests calling the Branson Tourism Center, toll-free at 1-800-785-1550, and talking with one of its Branson-based Vacation Planning specialists. They’ll answer any questions and help with show reservations, ticketing and lodging. There’s no charge for this service.