In 2012 Summer Fun Is Waiting For You In Branson!
The Associated Press calls Branson “one of the top family destinations in the country” and for good reason. 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 groups and individual vacationers affordable fun at interactive exhibits, festivals, waterparks and mini-golf courses. 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, groups and individual clients now have a more convenient way to travel to Branson with some of the lowest fares available. For a complete list of shows, attractions, lodging, dining, shopping and the many special events and festivals happening in Branson in 2012, visit www.ExploreBranson.com.
2012 BRANSON AIRPORT UPDATE
Branson announces non-stop service to Nashville
Branson, Missouri is officially on the other end of a direct flight from the Smyrna-Rutherford County Airport. The Branson airport announced earlier this year a three day per week operating schedule care of Branson AirExpress. This new nonstop service will allow airline passengers the ability to visit Branson, Missouri with more flight options available. For more information visit www.flybranson.com
Southwest Airlines Expands Service In Branson From Houston & Chicago
AirTran Airways, which will be converted to Southwest Airlines over time, began daily nonstop service from Branson to Chicago and Houston this past April. Chicago and Houston are major Southwest markets with connecting service to many great destinations. While the airlines' networks are not connected at this point, both carriers are working together to publish the best flight schedules to places customers want to go. When the networks are connected, people traveling to and from these areas will have access to many more cities. For more information visit www.FlyBranson.com
WHAT’S NEW AND UPDATES FOR BRANSON IN 2012
Welk Resort Theatre Presents "The Price is Right, Live"
The Welk Resort Branson continues its legacy of providing legendary, live entertainment by announcing the 2012 season schedule of “The Price Is Right, Live!” the on-stage, audience-interactive version of the longest running game show in TV history.
Since 2006, “The Price is Right, Live!” has packed-in audiences around the country, including runs in Atlantic City and a permanent show in Las Vegas, providing all of the games, excitement and fun of “The Price is Right” television show. Starting July 2, 2012, Branson audiences can be a part of the live stage show: more than 50 audience members have a chance to win prizes like cash, appliances and even a new car, by playing the same games that made the television show such a success.
The Price Is Right, Live! schedule covers July through December 2012. Performance times are 8 pm Monday through Saturday. Box Office price for adults is $29.95 + tax and Children 17 and under are FREE! with paid adult. For more information visit WelkBranson.com.
Named World's Top Bluegrass Event, Silver Dollar City’s Bluegrass & BBQ Is Park's Biggest Ever Music Festival
With top accolades showing Silver Dollar City leading in the presentation of American bluegrass music, the Branson theme park is launching its biggest ever Bluegrass & BBQ festival, adding more days, more bands and more barbecue to the event, May 10 – June 3.
The festival celebrates the all-American music genre, presenting more than 60 bands and hundreds of performances, featuring top artists and award-winning performers in bluegrass today, including Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, the Grascals, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, and the Kruger Brothers. Plus, guests can see the top up-and-coming bands in bluegrass, such as the Gibson Brothers, Balsam Range, Little Roy & Lizzy and Jerry Butler and the Blu-J’s, and bluegrass comedy kings, The Cleverlys. The festival highlights two national competitions featuring entrants from across the country.
The 6th Annual National Single Mic Championship, May 19-20, highlights performance skills as each band gathers around a single microphone and balances their sound by moving toward or away from it, a technique revived by many of today's top bluegrass bands. The Youth In Bluegrass Band Competition, May 26-27, promotes and encourages amateur bluegrass musicians 21 years of age or younger as they compete for top honors and cash prizes.
The House of BBQ serves up Silver Dollar City’s famous flavor feast from St. Louis ribs and smoked chicken to Texas brisket and sweet roasted corn on the cob -- direct from large outdoor charcoal grills and a custom-made 9-foot smoker. Another back-by-popular-demand feature is an all-you-can-eat BBQ rib feast each afternoon with fall-off-the-bone ribs in four flavors, plus SDC’s signature 18-hour smoked brisket.
Silver Dollar City is open daily during Bluegrass & BBQ, May 10 – June 3, except for Wednesdays May 15 & 22. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (9:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and Sunday, May 27). For information and performers’ schedules visit www.silverdollarcity.com.
Dudu Fisher Returns to Branson with Limited Engagement
Dudu Fisher opens a three week limited engagement at the Caravelle Theatre in Branson, MO on Tuesday May 1 and will present a total of seventeen performances of his “Jerusalem” show, closing his spring engagement on Sunday May 20th. Through 18 songs, stories and visual effects, Dudu tells the story of Jerusalem and its people. Dudu Fisher is known throughout the world for his stirring performance as Jean Valjean in the hit show “Les Miserables.” In addition to a long run in his home country of Israel, he starred in “Les Miz” on Broadway and in London’s West End. During his long career, Dudu Fisher has recorded thirty-eight albums. He sang the role of Moses in the Hebrew version of Stephen Spielberg’s “The Prince of Egypt.” He has sung with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded an album of show tunes with the London Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the Baltimore and Queens symphony orchestras. For more information visit www.dudufisher.com or call the Caravelle Theatre Box Office at 417-339-1960
Downtown Branson to celebrate town's artisans -- and 100th Birthday -- at 52nd Annual Plumb Nellie Days
The 52nd Plumb Nellie Days Art & Craft Festival, May 17-19, 2012 will celebrate the home-spun and artistic side of Historic Downtown Branson. Since 2012 is Branson’s Centennial, activities that were attractions during the first few years of Plumb Nellie Days will highlight the historical event, such as a Reuben Branson Look-Alike Contest. The city was named after Reuben Branson who was postmaster and store owner here in the 1880s. The DBMA will announce more about the contest in February, but now is the time to start growing those beards men!
The Plumb Nellie Days stage will host a notable line up of entertainers throughout the event, plus a special booth where performers can meet and greet their fans. A very popular feature of Plumb Nellie Days is its Friday night street dance with a live band, 6:30-9:30 p.m. The three day event is in downtown Branson on Commercial Street at the corners of Commercial and Main streets, an entire city block.
Few changes have been made since Plumb Nellie made its debut in April 1960. The event has grown to more than 100 artisans and crafters. Plumb Nellie Days also features a diverse food court, pony rides and a traditional sidewalk sale hosted by Downtown Branson merchants. For more information visit www.downtownbranson.org
PETRA- Performs One Show Only in Branson
PETRA is a pioneer of the Christian rock and contemporary Christian music genres. Formed in 1972 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, while attending a Bible school, the band took its name from the Greek word for "rock". They began by playing in parks, prisons, and coffeehouses in the Midwest until everything changed for them when they got an offer to record an album. By the mid '80's their concert ticket sales were envied by many secular artists, as they crisscrossed the country building an ever larger and loyal fan base. The band sold out arenas and regularly placed songs at the top of the Christian radio charts. With their music and style, PETRA influenced numerous other artists and constantly broke new ground as they helped shape Contemporary Christian Music into what it is today. In more than three decades, the band released 20 studio albums selling nearly 10 million copies while winning four Grammy awards and 10 Dove Awards. They will perform one show only in Branson, MO at the Tri-Lakes Center on Saturday August 25th at 7:00 pm. For more information visit www.upcloseconcerts.com. Tickets go on sale May 9 at Tri-Lakes Center, 2527 State Highway 248, Branson, MO 65616, or by calling the box office at (417) 336-0219
11th Annual Branson Motorcycle Rally
Scheduled for May 31 thru June 3rd – The Branson Motorcycle Rally is a gathering of riders from across the nation that come together each year the celebrate the awesome rides in the Ozark Mountain Triangle. The Outback on the Strip is now the permanent home of the Branson Motorcycle Rally. With the award winning “Original” Outback Steak & Oyster Bar, The Outback Oyster Bar, the Legendary Outback Pub, and Outback Pub Party Deck and the Outback Roadhouse all within the Rally, this event is going to be the biggest biker party of the year. 2012 Branson Motorcycle Rally is sure to be a legendary event. For more information visit www.BransonMotorcycleRally.com
Neal McCoy Returns to Branson in 2012
Two time entertainer of the year, Neal McCoy is no stranger to the country music industry. His career has landed him 3 Platinum albums, 1 Gold album, and 5 number 1 hit singles including “No Doubt About It”, “The Shake”, and “Wink”. Neal is a true performer, spending 220 dates on the road as well as performing overseas for our military in the past 14 USO Tours. Now in 2012, the Oak Ridge Boys theater is happy to announce that Neal will be performing in Branson, Missouri with limited engagements July – November. For more information visit www.oakridgeboystheater.com
Return of "Main Street Marina" to Lake Taneycomo Lakefront rekindles bygone era
The Milton Family of Branson Tourism Center have recently announced their new ownership of the "Main Street Lake Cruises," located at the Branson Landing. The cruise company will operate two boats, the "Landing Princess” a 100 foot luxury yacht and the "Lake Queen" a modern day paddle-wheeler reminiscent of the grand riverboats of the past. In keeping with the heritage and history of the riverboats that have plied the White River in the past, the operation of the "Lake Queen" paddle-wheeler will focus on a nostalgic narrated journey down Lake Taneycomo, an impoundment of the White River occurring when the Power Site Dam was completed in 1913. Passengers will also have the opportunity to experience the unique and beautiful natural Ozarks scenery with its vistas, carved bluffs and a spectacular constantly changing kaleidoscope of color, animals, birds, waterfowl, lake activity and a unique view of Branson Landing. The Lake Queen's normal food service will consist of sandwiches, snacks and cold drinks etc. The Landing Princess will be used almost exclusively for dinner cruises, reunions, weddings and other special events. While aboard for its dinner cruise, passengers will have an opportunity to see the unique natural beauty of Lake Taneycomo; experience the spectacular performance of the "Branson Landing Fountains," a $7.5 million spectacular attraction that synchronizes water, light, sound and fire from an on the lake perspective, and enjoy a wonderful full service dinner from the comfort of its two climate controlled entertainment decks. In addition to the cruises, the Main Street Marina also has 6,000 feet of restaurant space and a small retail space on the ground level, as well as 5,000 square feet of space suitable for retail. For more information visit www.mainstreetlakecruises.com
Country Music Legend Mel Tillis Returns to Branson in 2012
Grand Ole Opry member and Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee, Mel Tillis has made his mark as an entertainer as well as a song writer. His many hits include "Detroit City," "Ruby," and "Coca Cola Cowboy" to name a few. Millions have experienced his singing, songwriting and acting. This September thru December, Mel Tillis will entertain crowds with his award-winning talent and beloved, chart-topping songs in Branson at the Clay Cooper Theatre. For more information visit www.claycoopertheatre.com
Mount Pleasant Winery Offers Live Entertainment on Select Days
Beginning in March the Mount Pleasant Winery began having live music every Friday evening from 5 to 7 pm. This is a great place for your motor coach groups and individuals to come “wine-down” after a busy day of activities, or for wine tasting before seeing a Friday night show. They recently announced that in the months of June and July the live music will be offered on both Friday and Saturday. For more information visit www.mountpleasant.com
"A Neil Diamond Tribute" Has Moved To The Jim Stafford Theatre For 2012
“A Neil Diamond Tribute”, starring Keith Allynn opened its 2012 season the beautiful Jim Stafford Theatre. Allynn, awarded Tribute Artist of the Year for 2009 & 2010 and Tribute Show of the Year 2010 & 2011, unveils the story of Neil Diamond’s life through Diamond’s own songs from the 60’s to today in an 80 minute nonstop heartfelt Magical tribute. For more information visit www.jimstafford.com
Black Oak Grill Opens at Branson Landing
Black Oak Grill, an American Tavern concept offering comfort cuisine, opened recently in Branson, Missouri. Located in the city's premier shopping destination, Black Oak Grill will serve familiar American dishes with a chef-inspired twist. The black oak tree took root in America, creating a common and distinctive backdrop to the land. Black Oak Grill finds its roots in America's neighborhood cafes and corner taverns, source local products and ingredients, further emphasizing the great American tradition of supporting and strengthening the local community. Bread maker Neighbor's Mill delivers daily all-natural handcrafted bread baked fresh by the master baker from whole-grain flour milled on site. For more information visit www.bransonlanding.com
Andy Williams Moon River Theatre Welcomes JEERK
The Swedes are Back at the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre during the months of June and July 2012. JEERK, a rhythm artist group, is the most unique show in Branson.It’s a world of heavy TAP beats, percussion, VOICES and NOISE, craziness and VISUAL MUSIC mania. It’s PERSONAL. It’s UNIQUE. Everything and anything becomes a musical instrument; hockey sticks, walking chairs and portable toilets. It’s FIERCE and INTENSE. For more information visit www.andywilliams.com
Andy Williams Moon River Theatre Welcomes The Finalists May 14 – August 18, 2012
The Finalists LIVE! is an exciting new show featuring top finalists from some of your favorite television shows like American Idol® and America’s Got Talent® performing in person on the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre stage in Branson. But, unlike any of the TV shows, The Finalists Live! will let you see and hear the outstanding talents of these performers beyond anything you’ve seen them do before. The Finalist LIVE features three different casts during the summer, with each group performing in Branson for five weeks…This means you can experience 15 different performing artists over the Summer. Besides these great singers, The Finalists LIVE! will also feature Pete Peterkin, the 2009 Finalist on America’s Got Talent®, as the host for all of our shows.
The first group includes Lee DeWyze, the 2009 Winner of American Idol®; Blake Lewis, the Beat Box performer who was runner up in 2007; Elliott Yamin, who finished at the number three slot in 2006; Branson’s very own Kimberly Caldwell, from 2003 and host on the Oxygen and TV Guide Channels; and, even Thia Megia from last year’s show. They will be performing May 14-June 16.
The second group includes Diana Degarmo, runner up in 2004 and current actress in the CBS program “The Young and the Restless”; Scott Savol, fifth place from season 4; Siobhan Magnus, who placed 6th in season nine; Ace Young, from season 5 in 2006; and Alexis Grace, who performed in season eight. They will be performing June 18 – July 21.
The third group includes Ruban Studdard, Winner in Season 2, as well as Bo Bice, Runner-Up to Winner Carrie Underwood in Season 4. Also performing is Vonzell Solomon, 3rd Place in Season 4 and Katie Stevens from Season 9 and RJ Helton from Season 1. They will be performing July 23 – August 18.
Branson To Host 2nd Annual Armed Forces Remembrance Days
Branson hosts the nation’s largest veteran’s celebration November 5- 11 and now for the second year in a row Branson is honoring active military personnel and family members in the springtime with Armed Forces Remembrance Days May 17 – 20, 2012. The activities include a special armed forces day salute on the Showboat Branson Belle, a celebrity golf tournament where one active duty hero plays for free on each team, a Branson Landing Inaugural Armed Forces Day Parade and so much more. For more information visit www.explorebranson.com/veterans.
Branson Hilton Update
After damage sustained from the February 29 tornado construction on the damaged Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel is progressing with a reopening date scheduled for October 1, 2012. The Branson Convention Center hosted its first event on April 7th and the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing, is 80% operational and should have its remaining rooms completed by mid-June.
Branson Named a Top 25 U.S. Destination by TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, has named Branson to the list of Top 25 U.S. destinations in its 2012 Travelers’ Choice Destinations awards.
Branson was ranked 16th among all travel destinations in the United States, which also includes New York, Las Vegas, Orlando, Honolulu and other top-tier vacation spots.
The Travelers’ Choice Destinations awards honor top travel spots worldwide based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers. Award winners were determined based on the popularity of destinations, taking into account travelers’ favorites and most highly rated places.
The complete lists of U.S. and International Destinations is available on ExploreBranson.com
For a complete list of shows and attractions and special events during your visit to Branson go to ExploreBranson.com, the official website of Branson, Missouri.