Branson: One of America's Top Vacation Spots For All Ages!
Summer is in full swing, and Branson is the ideal vacation spot for your special group!
The Associated Press calls Branson one of the top family vacation destinations in the country, and TripAdvisor's users named Branson a Top 25 vacation spot and a 2012 Travelers Choice.
It's easy to see why: With three area lakes that offer an abundance of recreational opportunities from wakeboarding to scuba diving to fly fishing, and a vast array of lodging accommodations from which to choose, families choose Branson as their destination of choice for summertime fun.
Because the lakes are located just minutes from the center of town, it's easy to plan a vacation filled with outdoor recreation, shows, attractions, theme parks, shopping, amusement centers, plenty of dining options and more.
The live shows in Branson offer families with children high-tech magical illusions, Chinese acrobats, daredevil skateboard exhibitions, high-flying trapeze artists, talking dogs, buffalo stampedes, comedic characters, and, of course, a variety of styles and periods of musical entertainment.. 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.
Southwest Airlines Arriving in Branson in 2013
Southwest Airlines and its wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways announced that Southwest Airlines will be officially arriving in Branson, Missouri in 2013. Branson Airport and Southwest Airlines officials have amended their original agreement with AirTran Airways and signed a multi-year agreement with Southwest Airlines. Most likely in the first half of 2013, Branson Airport passengers will see the transition of AirTran Airways to Southwest Airlines. The airline’s fares and flights will be announced at a later date. The Branson Airport currently has 8 nonstop destinations and one stop connecting service to more than 100 major cities in the United States. Nonstop destinations include: Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington, Chicago, Houston and Orlando on AirTran Airways; Denver on Frontier Airlines; and Austin and Nashville on Branson AirExpress. For a complete list of destinations available at the Branson Airport, visit www.FlyBranson.com.
WHAT’S NEW AND UPDATES FOR BRANSON IN 2012
Festival Fun and Fireworks to Celebrate 100 Years of Branson, Missouri
Branson, Missouri, celebrates 100 years as a city in 2012, and this unique city deserves a summertime centennial celebration that is truly one-of-a-kind. On top of the new Taneycomo Bridge, and in the adjacent Branson Landing parking area near the cool waters of Lake Taneycomo, this evening event will deliver family-friendly entertainment, food, fun and fireworks in an amazing “only in Branson” location.
Admission is FREE!
Live musical entertainment on the outdoor stage throughout the evening.
The World Famous Platters
Wade Landry Cajun Show
Austin Wilson and the MSU Horns
The Cat’s Pajamas
Lennon Cathcart Trio
Some of Branson’s best restaurants will make a variety of culinary treats available along with traditional festival treats, from Kona Ice to cotton candy. In the Branson Arts Council tent, see area artists demonstrate and display their work. The Artist Gallery will feature high-quality painting, woodcarving, stained glass, basketry and unique jewelry. Come see artists in action.
Branson’s first “Blessing of the Fleet” and “Boats Aglow” with beloved Bob Hubbard, of the Foggy River Boys, doing the honors from high atop the Taneycomo Bridge.
More than a dozen boats (from Kanakuk Kamp, Bass Pro Shops, Lilley’s Landing, Scotty’s Boat Dock and Ride the Ducks) will be led down the Branson Lake Queen Paddle Wheeler, where a number of Branson dignitaries, entertainers aboard will lead the fleet.
10:00 p.m. Fireworks set to music will light up the sky, reflect in the water, and blast Branson forward into our next 100.
Cheering Crowds Welcome Nik Wallenda Back to Silver Dollar City
Just days after his historic high-wire walk across Niagara Falls in the dark of night, aerialist Nik Wallenda was welcomed back to the Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson, Missouri with a cacophony of celebration. Costumed performers led a parade amid cheering fans, confetti and all-around American fun in a welcome back to the daredevil legend.
Having just days earlier opened his high-wire show at Silver Dollar City, a show that includes his wife, mother and other family members, Wallenda left for the Niagara Falls event with an attitude that whether a wire is 30 feet above the stage, or strung across the Falls, he must treat it with intense care. “I could get hurt just as easily on a wire here as walking over Niagara Falls – I never want to get complacent,” he said.
Wallenda performs in Branson through August 4th, marking his second summer in the southwest Missouri town known for live entertainment, and one that is already familiar with Wallendas’s first-ever stunts. Last summer he performed acrobatics, including hanging by his teeth, 200 feet above the ground on a trapeze suspended from ahelicopter over the park’s packed 4,000-seat amphitheater.
Silver Dollar City is open daily throughout KidsFest. More information is at 800-831-4FUN(386) or www.silverdollarcity.com
2012 Titanic Book Signing Schedule - Author Appearances
Titanic is pleased to announce several guest authors who will come aboard the Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson, MO. to sign their books and talk about Titanic History with guests. Don't miss these opportunities to meet some very knowledgeable writers who help us pay tribute to the Titanic.See Ken Rossignoal, “Titanic 1912” on July 17 – 31, 2012 10:30 am – 5:00 pm. More guest authors will be announced at a later date. For more information visit www.titanicbranson.com
Welk Resort Theatre announces Bob Goen as the host of the new “THE PRICE IS RIGHT, LIVE!”
The Welk Resort Branson is excited to announce the celebrity host of “The Price Is Right LIVE!”. Starting July 9, 2012 Bob Goen will host the live interactive version of the popular television show, Monday through Saturday at 8pm
The decade-long co-host of television's syndicated hit "Entertainment Tonight," Bob Goen is among the best-known broadcast personalities in the world. For global audiences of hundreds of millions, he has been seen hosting the "Miss Universe," "Miss USA" and "Miss Teen USA" Pageants.
Goen joined "ET" as a correspondent and weekend anchor in July 1993, but shortly took over for John Tesh at the “ET” anchor desk where he remained beside the legendary Mary Hart until 2004. His disarming charisma and journalistic expertise made him the show's most accomplished interviewer, demanded by such icons as Jim Carrey, Julia Roberts, and Harrison Ford.
After starting his career as a sportscaster in radio and television, Goen made the transition to his life-long dream ... game shows. Among other games, he hosted the daytime version of “Wheel of Fortune,” and then followed that up with the prime-time show, “The Hollywood Game.” Currently, Bob has been hosting both “Family Feud Live” and “The Price is Right Live” in Las Vegas and other locations. And now he joins the show in Branson, Mo. For more information, visit www.welkresortbranson.com
From the High Wire to High Tech, Silver Dollar City Presents its Biggest KidsFest Ever
Silver Dollar City, the Ultimate Summer Vacation destination for families, presents its biggest KidsFest ever – with big new shows featuring high-tech special effects, and the return of The Fabulous Wallendas with international newsmaker Nik Wallenda, plus a special new July 4th celebration. KidsFest runs June 9 – July 22.
New for KidsFest this year is the three-dimensional light show LUMA with high-tech illumination techniques creating a show of light, color and motion. The show brings to life an original story centered on the park’s famed Marvel Cave.
Also new is Gazillion Bubbles, an interactive show taking bubble artistry to amazing levels, with lasers, lighting effects and sheer bubble mastery -- producing giant bubbles and colorful bubble effects.
The park’s 30 rides and attractions offer high-flying thrills including the multi-looping WildFire, the explosive PowderKeg and the super-swooping GIANT Swing. Cool water rides include Tom & Huck’s RiverBlast and long-time favorites, Lost River of the Ozarks and The American Plunge. Other attractions cater to the smaller kids with interactive areas like Half Dollar Holler and the Grand Exposition with 10 family rides.
Kid-favorite entertainment extends to meet-and-greets with cartoon superstars, including SpongeBob & Patrick, Dexter & Deedee, Tom & Jerry, the Backyardigans and more, with character breakfasts available on select days. More information is at 800-831-4FUN(386) or www.silverdollarcity.com
Seven Weeks of Stars Celebrates Andy Williams 75 Years in Entertainment
The Andy Williams Moon River Theatre is excited to announce a “Celebration of Andy Williams’ 75 Years in Entertainment” with seven weeks of stars. The celebration begins September 10th and runs through October 23rd and features superstar performers, who cross all styles of music and entertainment.
The guest lineup includes Country Music Superstar Clint Black, Teen Idol Frankie Avalon, Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Debbie Reynolds, as well as Grammy Award winners Jack Jones and Ray Stevens among the group. The Osmonds also return to Branson, as do Pat and Debby Boone who will take the stage together for the first time since 1999, when they performed at the Moon River Theatre. For more information or group reservations visit www.andywilliams.com
The performers are:
|Pat and Debby Boone
Doc’s Hickory Roadhouse Honors Owner’s Grandpa
Located at 2750 Yellow Ribbon Road in what was formerly Shorty Small’s, Doc’s owner, Matthew McManus, named the restaurant after his grandfather who was a veteran. Doc’s Hickory Roadhouse is resurrected in the spirit of life and love of Matthew’s Grandpa and as a memorial to all the men and women who have served our great country. Come enjoy a wonderful meal and favorite beverage with your loved ones. Extensive menu on website includes smoked meats, BBQ, pasta, appetizers and fish. For more information visit www.Docs-HickoryRoadhouse.com.
Peace, Love & VW Bugs
Get in groovy spirits and join us for a VW Parade and Display down Branson Landing’s Promenade.
Don’t miss this opportunity to take an up-close look at the many faces of VW bugs, vans and more – all on display for the judges from 1 pm to 4 pm with the Awards Ceremony taking place on stage at 6pm!
Make sure to stick around for the Groovy Concert featuring America’s Best 70’s Rock Tribute Show, featuring THE DEVONSHIRES! The Concert will begin at 8 pm, down by the Fountains – with two unique shows, 70’s classic rock and America’s Favorite 60’s!
For more information visit www.bransonlanding.com
2012 Renovations & New Activities at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park
New Renovations in 2012 at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park include:
- A natural stone patio was added to the Wilderness Chapel, a replica of churches from the 1800’s. The patio has space for 100 guests, a fire pit and waterfall views.
- As a direct result of the 2011 Spring floods, beautification work has taken place on river banks, new sod has been laid, flower gardens have been planted and plant enhancements have been completed.
- Over 200 new Dogwood trees have been planted.
- Over 100 new Redbud trees have been planted.
- Self-guided and guided fishing areas have been enhanced allowing for more and better rainbow trout by creating better water circulation throughout the canyon’s streams and stabilizing the stream banks.
- The natural beauty from the era when Indians inhabited Dogwood Canyon has been opened up by enhancements along the canyon’s bluff and the rediscovering of rock bluffs.
New Activities in 2012 at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park include:
Raw Hide! Cattle Drive! Saddle up with family and friends at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park for the ultimate Cowboy experience! From horseback you will gather our herd of colorful Texas longhorns and drive them to greener pastures. Once the herd has arrived at their destination, a hearty meal will await you at the chuckwagon site.
Advanced Horseback Ride at Dogwood Canyon: Enjoy a five to six hour advanced horseback ride through pastures, wooded areas and Little Indian Creek. Lunch is provided.
Novice Archery at Dogwood Canyon: Go from beginner to winner in this archery demonstration and competition. The 3D course includes five life-like animals all worth different points. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places will be crowned and all participants receive a Dogwood Canyon 3D Archery T-Shirt.
About Dogwood: Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is a 10,000 acre paradise that sprawls across the Missouri-Arkansas border, just south of Branson, MO. The entrance is located on Missouri Highway 86, approximately 16 miles west of U.S. Highway 65.
A journey through this private preserve takes you past waterfalls, archeological and architectural wonders, historical sites and a variety of wildlife. Guests can choose from Self-guided Walking or Biking, Guided Tram Tours, ATV Tours, Trout Fishing, archery, segway tours, jeep tours and Horseback Riding. For more information please call 1-800-225-6343 or visit www.DogwoodCanyon.org.
Silver Dollar City's Southern Gospel Picnic Returns Aug. 24 – Sept. 3, 2012
Southern gospel music has always resounded through these Ozarks hills, from country churches and county fairs to grand stages and even in backyards during family get-togethers. Come hear that vibrant music again during America's Biggest Southern Gospel Picnic. See hundreds of performances from the most famous names in southern gospel music, including Karen Peck & New River and Jeff & Sheri Easter, by day and then be serenaded under the stars with the Southern Gospel Nights in Echo Hollow® concert series each evening during the festival. For more information visit www.silverdollarcity.com
Annual Branson Super Summer Cruise Returns In August
The Super Summer Cruise is the premier car event in Branson, Missouri held annually during August. This year the event is scheduled August 9 – 11, 2012 and features the Show'n'Shine with over 500 cars and trucks on display at The Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead. Many awards are given out over the 3 day event and include some special ones such as:
- Most Unusual Paint Job
- Best Use of Color
- Best Work in Progress
- Most Radical Engine
- Rattiest Rat
- Best Accessories
- Owner’s Choice
- People’s Choice
- Longest Drive
- Best Club Participation
For more information visit www.supersummercruise.com
The 24th Annual Branson Fiddle Festival
The Downtown Branson Fiddle Festival, in its 24th year, is on the fourth weekend of August, 24 – 26, 2012. It is a nationally recognized championship fiddling contest that begins with a FREE kick-off jam session, demonstrations, strolling performers, workshops and a Saturday night “Square Dance.” Fiddlers from around the country compete for more than $6,500 in cash prizes. Attendance, which is on the rise, is generally 7,000-10,000. The fiddle is Missouri’s state instrument. For more information visit www.downtownbranson.org
The Walters Family Show Performs in Branson at Presleys' Theater
Direct from their own very successful Dinner Theatre (www.walterstheatre.com) in Bright, Ontario, Canada, The Walters Family will put you in the Spirit of the Season in Branson, MO! Join the thousands of people who make this entertaining show a Christmas Tradition in Canada! Family harmonies, humor, fiddle-playing and well-loved Christmas songs make this an enchanting holiday show. Three generations of the Walters Family will present a timeless Country Christmas Performance at the Presley Theatre in Branson for one show only, Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 10am. For more information or group reservations visit www.presleys.com
New Branson Ghost & Legends Tour
Looking for all the spirits that still live in Old Historic Branson, or maybe you just want to learn how this all started. The all-new Branson Ghost & Legends Tour offers both. At 9:30 AM each morning, you can take a 90-minute walking tour of Old Historic Downtown Branson and hear all the history and point out the buildings that survived the fire of 1912. Or if "catching the spirits", on your camera that is, is something you would like to do, join us a 9:00 PM each night for a different 90-minute walking tour in Old Branson. Choose one or both. The tours leave every day from the corner of Business 65 and Hwy 76. For more information call 417-334-7004.
Branson honored as First Purple Heart City
Branson, Missouri has long been known for its affection for military veterans and for holding one of the nation’s largest week-long veterans celebration in the U.S. each year. In June, the Military Order of The Purple Heart honored Branson as the first Purple Heart City in Missouri. Branson is already regarded as "The Most Veteran Friendly City in the U.S." The ceremony took place at the Branson City Hall council chambers. The City paid tribute to the nearly 2 million servicemen and women who have been killed or wounded in combat.
Branson Garden Inn Now Open
The newly-remodeled hotel property on Hwy 76 is located in the heart of Branson across from the Dixie Stampede and Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theater. The convenient location on the strip allows easy access to everything Branson has to offer. This two-story hotel features a courtyard with an outdoor pool and water fountain play area for children. The property has 24-hour front desk and security, laundry facilities, meeting rooms, and free self parking. For more information visit www.bransongardeninn.com
BCOM provides new service to Travel Agents booking Branson
If you love Branson, you will love it more with this new service. Branson Commerce Gateway (BCOM) has launched Branson’s first automated reservation fulfillment system for travel agents or anyone else reserving their clients travel to Branson.
Features and Benefits Include:
- No cost fulfillment system for travel agents or agencies
- Immediate confirmations; meaning no more waiting days for confirmations
- No more reduced or split commissions
- Expand your revenue stream with affiliates
- Easy friendly web based portal
- Earn commissions passively as well with “Vacation Branson” button on your website
For more information visit www.bransoncommercegateway.com
Branson offers a wide variety of booking options for travel agents and tour operators and for a complete list of Branson Travel Packagers visit www.ExploreBranson.com, the official website of Branson, Missouri.