2017 is an exciting time to experience the progress and preservation going on in Downtown Branson, and the centerpiece of Branson’s multi-year downtown streetscape project is the new Liberty Plaza. The open-air park and gathering space occupies half a city block and is located at the corner of Veterans Boulevard (Business U.S. 65) and Pacific Street.
The $4 million project features a new parking lot, a trolley stop, a large public restroom facility and a performance stage with a fountain backdrop. There also will be a drop-off driveway for cars and motor coaches that is accessible from Veterans Boulevard.
The city is planning a ribbon cutting for the new plaza on Friday, May 26, 2017. Although some sections may not be completed by that time, the public will be able to explore the site for the first time.
The remainder of the plaza will be completed by early Summer 2017.
Venue for smaller events
Liberty plaza will be available for anytime public use, as well as for scheduled events like concerts and weddings involving smaller groups.
Among the types of events that the plaza is ideal for:
- Jam sessions and live music events
- Weddings and receptions
- Birthday parties
- Company and team-building events
- Engagement and senior photos
- Hootenannies, hoedowns and other shindigs!
The plaza is also a great spot for picnics, spontaneous selfies and “wish you were here” social media posts!
Contact the Downtown Branson Betterment Association at (417) 334-1548 or 1-866-523-1190 for information about how to reserve the plaza for an organized event.
New Sparky Trolley Stop
Liberty Plaza is home to a new covered trolley stop, which replaces the previous Stop #12 just a few yards away on Pacific Street. The “Ride Sparky” trolleys are a free transportation system for Branson’s visitors and residents. The trolleys operate year-round, and more information is available at RideSparky.com.
Liberty Plaza’s Rich History
Liberty Plaza is located on a site that is very significant in the history of Branson. Although vacant for many years, the land was the original location for Branson’s city hall, community center and the Taneyhills Library. The Mabe Brothers, later known as the Baldknobbers, started Branson’s first music show in a 50-seat basement auditorium that used to be on the site.
You also will see the image of the Liberty Tree around the new plaza (and throughout downtown, for that matter). The Liberty Tree was an old-growth oak along the banks of Lake Taneycomo that had served as a landmark and gathering place since Branson’s founding in the 1800s. The tree received its official name in 1976 during America’s Bicentennial. Plans called for incorporating the historic tree into the new Branson Landing development that was being built in the early 2000s. However, arborists determined that the tree had become diseased and had to be removed for safety reasons.
Pieces of the historic tree were made into tables and other furnishings that can be seen around Branson even today, and a coin was created from the tree’s wood and sealed in the city’s centennial time capsule in 2012.
Now the name and legacy live on in Liberty Plaza.
About Downtown Branson
The Downtown Branson district is comprised of the area roughly between U.S. Highway 65 and Lake Taneycomo. This includes the historic downtown centered around Main Street, the Branson Convention Center and the Branson Landing development. Downtown Branson is home to a number of unique venues and numerous retail shops, restaurants, hotels and attractions.
You can find more information about Downtown Branson at ExploreBranson.com/Downtown