“BELIEVE IN BRANSON” A Donated Light Display to Rally the Community
“I wanted to give something to a community who has given so much to me, and is hurting right now,” said Tammy Peters, Owner of North Pole Productions. “This is something my team and I could do to help, in our own unique way. We’ve been proud to contribute to the Christmas celebration in this area for nearly 15 years. Branson is a very special place and no pandemic is going to change that for long.”
During the Christmas season, North Pole Productions’ holiday décor creations can be seen at Tanger Outlets, Liberty Utilities, the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB, and Veterans Memorial Garden. For many years, Peters and her company produced Branson Area Festival of Lights drive-through display hosted by the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB. More recently, they have helped create “Let There Be Lights” hosted by the Promised Land Zoo on Shepherd of the Hills Expressway.
“We were thrilled to help coordinate this effort,” explains Ann McDowell, Executive Director of the Branson Christmas Coalition. “We’ve worked with Tammy on commercial Christmas tree buying and a number of holiday displays over the years, so we’re very familiar with her quality work and genuine love for this area. She had the idea that her donation could help rally the community and literally ‘brighten’ a difficult time. All we had to do was assist with a few details.”
The Cox Medical Center Branson campus location was chosen for its relevance to the crisis, its visibility in the community, and the willingness of their team to host and provide power to the display. The 8’ X 16’ custom display was designed and crafted locally in about seven days, at North Pole Production’s Taneyville facility. Approximately 1,000 LED bulbs in red, white and blue represent Branson’s support for the entire nation during this crisis. The words of the display are a rallying cry that calls upon Branson’s confidence, optimism and resilience to overcome this tremendous but temporary challenge.
“Our Coalition Board and a few other community leaders quickly shared ideas about the best wording for the display by email,” according to McDowell. “‘Believe in Branson’ was chosen because we thought this message would help unite our community and give hope for better days ahead. We believe, with God’s love and grace, our area will prosper again soon.”
The “believe” theme also ties in nicely with the current marketing campaign being implemented by the Branson/Lakes Area CVB. “We believe” has been used to communicate attributes Branson shares with its visitors and potential visitors in print, broadcast and digital media across the country. “We believe life should have more encores,” and “We believe the best connections don’t get you on Wi-Fi” are just a couple of the headlines incorporating this theme with related visuals from the area.
The Branson Christmas Coalition is a non-profit community organization, dedicated to growing visitation and enhancing the Ozark Mountain Christmas season in our region. Its volunteer Board of Directors continue to work year-round to engage our community, secure resources, and inspire the creativity necessary to make “Branson: America’s Christmas Tree City.” In 2019, the organization helped develop, document, or promote 56 landmark Christmas trees in the area. Landmark trees are defined as 20 or more feet tall, or a display of 10 or more trees in one location, or a tree that is a one-of-a-kind, only-in-Branson type presentation.
For the past two Christmas seasons (2018 and 2019), area research has shown that more than 45% of consumers who visited the area in November and December said “America’s Christmas Tree City” was very important in their decision to visit. In addition, 15% of visitors would not have come here without this appeal. Holiday visitation increased by 95,000, or 5.5% from 2018 to 2019 when visits to Branson, in November and December combined, were estimated at 1,824,969. More details about this research and the work of the Branson Christmas Coalition are available at www.BransonChristmas.org .
Area residents are encouraged to drive by to see the “Believe in Branson” display any evening after dark and to use #BelieveInBranson on positive social media posts about the community. Local businesses can participate in a new campaign from the Branson/Lakes Area CVB, by utilizing their storefront windows, sidewalks, parking lots and marquees to send appreciative messages to future guests and visitors. Cox Medical Center Branson also has its Christmas lights turned on during this time. A removal date for the lighting display has not yet been determined.
Branson Christmas Coalition is a Missouri non-profit formed in 2015 by a group of local business leaders who wanted to improve and enhance the holiday season. Making Branson, America’s Christmas Tree City! encourages visitation and the presentation of an expansive and amazing collection of the most unique and beautiful Christmas tree displays in the country. The Christmas tree effort is also an ideal way to showcase the natural beauty, beloved Christian traditions and immense creativity that is the both the foundation and the future of an Ozark Mountain Christmas.