Enjoy Summer Family Fun In Branson
The Associated Press calls Branson “one of the top family destinations in the country,” and the reviewers on TripAdvisor picked Branson as a 2011 Travelers' Choice Destination. There are three lakes offering an abundance of recreational opportunities from water skiing, jet skiing, parasailing, wakeboarding and scuba diving to fly fishing or catching that big lunker.
In addition, a line-up of family-friendly live shows and attractions gives vacationers affordable fun. It’s easy to plan a fun-filled vacation packed with outdoor recreation, theme parks, shopping, dining, amusement centers, attractions and more live shows than anywhere in the country! And with the new Branson airport, located just 10 miles south of Branson, everyone has a more convenient way to travel to Branson with some of the lowest fares available.
While many visitors to the Ozarks will be enjoying a long Memorial Day break this weekend, Branson also will be remembering the brave servicemen and servicewomen who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. At 11 a.m. on Monday, May 30, American Legion Post 220 will hold a ceremony at the Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery, East Hwy 76.
And be sure to look for Memorial Day fireworks at Chateau on the Lake Resort and Big Cedar Lodge!
For a complete list of shows, attractions, lodging, dining, shopping and the many special events and festivals happening in Branson visit www.ExploreBranson.com.
Updates about Elevated Water Levels in Branson Area
Branson’s shows, attractions, restaurants and other businesses are OPEN FOR BUSINESS
And it's important to note that Branson is not flooded.
This Spring's heavy rainfall has brought high water levels to the area's lakes and streams. Lake levels continue to be high and are expected to remain that way for some time.
Some low-lying residential areas along Lake Taneycomo are seeing increased water levels (see notes below). Aside from that, all highways in and out of town are open, and our businesses are open and looking forward to your visit!
It's also important to note that Branson was not directly affected by the tornado that devastated Joplin (which is about 90 miles west of Branson). We keep in our prayers our neighbors in the Joplin area who are dealing with Sunday's tornado, as well as all of this Spring's destructive weather. Keep reading this newsletter for ways that you can help with Joplin tornado recovery efforts.
Lake Level Issues that may affect Branson visitors:
- All businesses at the Branson Landing are open. Performances of the Water and Fire Spectacular fountain have been postponed. Visitors are advised to not cross cordons if portions of the parking lot or Boardwalk are closed off due to high water levels.
- Table Rock Lake, Lake Taneycomo and Bull Shoals Lake continue to be at or near floodstage, so boaters are advised to watch for swift currents and submerged objects and to always wear lifejackets while on the water.
- Boating on Lake Taneycomo is not advised while Table Rock Dam is releasing water at a high rate.
- Those who want to fish any of the lakes while water levels are elevated should consult a professional guide and be prepared to deal with fast-changing lake conditions.
- Shadowrock Park and Campground in Forsyth remains flooded by Bull Shoals Lake and likely will remain closed for some time. Moonshine Beach park and boat ramp on Table Rock Lake remains closed because of high water levels.
- The Taney County Fair, scheduled for June 14-18, has been relocated from Shadowrock Park to Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park west of Forsyth on Hwy 76.
For more information and for continuing updates, please visit ExploreBranson.com
How you can Help Tornado Recovery in Joplin
About 90 miles to the west of Branson, our neighbors in the Joplin area have been affected by strong, destructive storms. Rescue and medical support equipment and personnel from all over Southwest Missouri, including the Branson area, have already made their way to Joplin to assist recovery efforts there.
We keep our friends and neighbors in our thoughts and prayers as they deal with this devastating loss.
You can help immediately to support the purchase of medical supplies, food and other basic necessities by making a cash donation to these organizations that are already on the ground serving in the Joplin area:
If you are in the Branson area over the next few days, you also can help with donations of blood and supplies for the people of Joplin. The following blood drives are scheduled around the Branson area in coming days:
- Saturday, May 28 (1-6 p.m.) – Jubilee Foods in Branson
- Tuesday, May 31 (Noon-6 p.m.) – Skaggs Regional Medical Center
Also, the following sites in the Branson area are accepting donations of clothing and supplies:
- Branson Travel Office (120 N. Commercial St.) - Accepting donations during office hours through 9 p.m. Wednesday (417-544-1944)
- First Baptist Church Branson Community Life Center (400 S. Sunshine, Branson) - Accepting donations through Thursday afternoon
- Love INC (Call 417-336-7056 to coordinate donation)
- Pregnancy Life Line (15765 State Hwy, 13, Suite 5, Branson West) - Expected that ongoing donations will be needed (417-272-5210)
- Tri-Lakes Motors (Parts Department) - Accepting donations though 5 p.m. Wednesday
Branson News and Updates
AirTran Airways shareholders approve merger with Southwest Airlines
In May of 2009 the Branson Airport opened its doors and began offering discount air service into Branson provided by AirTran. In September of 2010, Southwest Airlines announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of AirTran Airways. Southwest has said combining with AirTran will serve more than 100 destinations, including four new airports added by the carriers in 2011. More information and updates about Southwest Airlines coming in future months.
AirTran Airways Flies Nonstop to Branson from Chicago Midway
The air service is offered nonstop service to and from Branson on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Midway International Airport is conveniently located 10 miles from downtown Chicago. The Chicago Department of Aviation celebrated the completion of the historic Midway Airport Terminal Development Program, an eight year program that transformed Chicago’s southwest side airport. For more information visit www.flybranson.com
Paul Harris Featuring The Cleverlys Moves to The Oak Ridge Boys Theater
Comedian Paul Harris will perform his show along with the World-Famous Cleverlys at the prestigious Oak Ridge Boys Theatre for the 2011 season. He has been cutting his comedy teeth on Branson stages, even headlining his own show, for several years and at the same time making quite a name for himself on the mid-South comedy circuit. He attributes a lot of his material to his family, friends and world events. Harris is also an accomplished musician having recently had his family bluegrass band, The Cleverlys performing at various music festivals across the country. The Cleverlys have become a YouTube sensation and have gotten a lot of international attention lately. For more information visit www.themansiontheater.com
New Dinner Experience at The Legend of Kung Fu Show
Enjoy an enticing Chinese experience with The Legend of Kung Fu at The White House Theatre in 2011 with their new dinner selection! Before the show take pleasure in a three-course Chinese meal, topped off with Kung Fu cupcakes. The Legend of Kung Fu opened in Branson in 2010 and has amazed audiences worldwide with its unique combination of traditional martial arts skills, aerial ballet, dance and music. Designated as the main show of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Chun Yi –The Legend of Kung Fu has been performed more than 3000 times worldwide. With a cast of 65 performers, it is one of the largest theatrical productions in Branson, immersing audiences in magnificent scenery, lighting, sound and special effects as the tale unfolds. For more information visit www.kungfubranson.com
2011 is the Last Chance to see “Noah–The Musical” in Branson
Sight & Sound Theatres is thrilled to be celebrating 35 years of bringing the Bible to life. Join their year-long celebration that reflects on the theatres' heritage and casts a vision for a bright and spectacular future. For a limited time, through June 2011, you can purchase the anniversary tickets in Branson for only $35.00 plus tax. This is the last chance to see “Noah – The Musical.” For more information visit www.sight-sound.com
“Joseph” Premiere Season Opens in Branson in April, 2012
Joseph, a never-before-seen, original production that premiered on the Lancaster County stage in 2010, has quickly become a new favorite among patrons. Joseph’s story has taken flight onstage and like his famous coat, a brilliant color scheme has been woven into this production with truly extraordinary music, costumes, special effects, sets and animals. Most importantly, Joseph’s epic story presents a powerful example of character and forgiveness. Joseph premiers in Branson April 14, 2012, and runs through December 29. For more information, visit www.sight-sound.com
Yakov’s 19th Season In Branson Features New Dinner Production
The Yakov Branson Theater presents its newest production, Yakov’s Dinner Adventure, created, produced and narrated by Yakov. He leads you on this incredible journey inspired by a true story via big screen video. Enjoy performances by outstanding acts that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The menu is beef brisket, chicken breast, Yukon Gold potatoes, Tomato and Smoked Gouda Bisque and dessert. Guests dine on tray tables at their seats. For more information visit www.yakov.com
Bluegrass & BBQ Continues Through May 30; National KidsFest begins June 11
Bluegrass & BBQ is America’s premier bluegrass and barbecue event that includes top names in bluegrass music and hundreds of performances, along with the House of BBQ. Try the nation's most popular flavors from Memphis dry rubs and sweet and tangy Carolina vinegars to smoky Texas-style tastes and the Midwest's own Kansas City-style meats. Come hungry and sink your teeth into this smokin' all-American pastime.Performers include award winners, Rhonda Vincent, The Grascals and IIIrd Type Out, plus two national competitions.
On June 11, Silver Dollar City begins its National KidsFest. And front-and-center for KidsFest will be the new Half Dollar Holler, a million-dollar addition that's all about big adventure for little explorers! This woodland wonderland with treetop fun houses, climbing nets, sand play and more. Plus, back by popular demand, the hand-carved carousel returns in a whole new way! Located across from the Frisco Silver Dollar Line Train Depot, Half Dollar Holler is designed especially for kids ages 3-7, with a safe single-access entry and kid-friendly structures.
For more information visit www.silverdollarcity.com
The Track Family Fun Parks Announces Grand Opening of New Attractions: Experience the Multi-Million Dollar Upgrades On Saturday, June 4
After 30 years of providing family entertainment to local residents and area visitors, The Track Family Fun Parks is ready to officially unveil its two-facility capital upgrade totaling almost three million dollars. The new facilities are open now, but the grand opening ceremonies will take place on Saturday, June 4 starting at 10 AM at the Track 4 (3345 W. 76 Country Blvd.) and Track 3 (2505 W. 76 Country Blvd.) facilities. The day's festivities will include live radio remotes with KRZK 106.3 and KSPW 96.5, as well as giveaways throughout the day.
Heavy Metal High Rise at Track 4 is the latest addition to The Track’s high-rise go-kart track family. The new track’s state of the art steel and concrete construction is more weather-friendly and offers a completely different experience than its wooden counterparts. Heavy Metal High Rise is 1,200 linear feet long, and it contains over 200 tons of steel and 700 cubic yards of concrete. The Track 3 facility also features several additions in 2011: The Tri-Oval Track will be unlike any other at The Track facilities with a banked, 275 linear foot tri-oval design, the most popular track shape in the professional race car driving circuit. Track 3 also features the Road Course Track, which offers tighter and higher banked curves than the traditional classic go-kart track and has more elevation changes.
Exhibits at Bonniebrook Honors Women
The Missouri Women’s Council exhibit, “Outstanding Women of Missouri,” features 60 Missouri women who made a difference. The exhibit opens Saturday, May 7th and runs through June 30th, at Booniebrook, the home of Rose O’Neill. The museum houses hundreds of dolls and other memorabilia belonging to Rose and her era along with artifacts pertinent to her life and Bonniebrook. For more information, visit www.RoseOneill.org
Legends in Concert Hosts Michael Jackson Tribute Week in June
The Michael Jackson Tribute Week at the Legends in Concert show is June 18-25, 2011. Internationally acclaimed Legends In Concert is known as the pioneer of live celebrity impersonator shows and possesses the greatest collection of celebrity tributes ever assembled. Featuring live concert shows of famous musicians and celebrities of yesterday and today. With an always-evolving cast of legendary superstars with original choreography and extravagant costumes, Legends In Concert is the original and largest live celebrity tribute show in the world. For more information visit www.legendsinconcert.com