Get Ready for the 2015 Branson Bridal Show

The Branson Bridal Show is scheduled for 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Chateau on the Lake and will feature the area’s most in-demand wedding professionals.

These local vendors will be on-hand with detailed information about their services and to answer any questions you might have. Some of the vendors you will see at the Bridal Show are:

Admission to the show is free and samples of wedding cakes, decor, DJs, photographers and more will be available.

Brides, mark your calendars now, because the Branson Bridal Show is one event you won’t want to miss.

For more information or a complete list of vendors, please visit www.bransonbridalshow.com.

Spend an Evening of Quality Family Time at the Trail of Lights in Branson

I don’t usually begin celebrating Christmas so early but since I’m in Branson so much, I’ve slowly been mentally accepting the fact that the holiday season is in full swing in that special place nestled in the Ozark Mountains.

This past weekend, I experienced the Trail of Lights at the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead for the first time and it was as festive as festive gets!

The display fills two and a half full miles with seasonal light displays, holiday scenes, all the classic Christmas music and some great photo opportunities.

As we drove through the Trail of Lights at a leisurely pace, we stopped every so often to take pictures of the fantastic lights. My favorite part was the tropical holiday celebration, where Santa sat relaxing in the sun under the shade of beachy palm trees. On my left, a waterfall of sparkling blue lights cascaded down the side of the hill, making for a fantastic illusion of real water. It was great!

We spent about an hour driving through the display and once we made it back to the main parking lot in front of Aunt Molly’s Mercantile, we headed inside to get our free cup of cocoa. (When you pass through the ticket booth at the start of the lights tour, you’ll get a complimentary coupon for a free cup of coffee, cocoa or cider from Auny Molly’s Mercantile.)

It was a delicious way to warm up and a wonderful way to end the night. Inspiration Tower is also open for guests to head to the very top and look out over the twinkling lights that are beginning to populate the Branson area.

If you’re looking for a fun way to get in the Christmas spirit, definitely head to the Trail of Lights on Highway 76. Going into it, I wasn’t sure if I could muster up the willingness to start celebrating Christmas so early, but about a quarter of the way through I felt myself really starting to get into the Christmas spirit. The combination of sparkling lights, festive sounds, precious family time and a warm cup of cocoa in hand demands nothing less.

To read more about the Trail of Lights, click here or get your tickets here.

 

What is Ozark Mountain Christmas?

You may have read some of my previous blogs where I’ve loosely used the term “Ozark Mountain Christmas” but if you’re not from the Ozarks, you might be wondering what that is exactly.

Ozark Mountain Christmas is a magical celebration of the holidays. When it comes to Christmas, Branson definitely follows the “go big or go home” motto, and beginning November 1 the whole town is transformed into a glittering holiday extravaganza. It’s so much fun!

The Branson Area Festival of Lights and the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights both provide visitors with incredible drive-through light displays featuring millions of lights, familiar holiday characters and all the best classic Christmas songs.

This year’s celebration will feature Branson’s 66th Adoration Parade where the whole community is invited to gather in the historic downtown Branson area and at the Branson Landing to celebrate the reason for the season. The parade honors the story of Christmas and is filled with inspirational color and beauty.

Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas is an incredible experience on its own, with a whole new parade this year led by none other than everyone’s favorite reindeer, Rudolph. The whole theme park will be filled to the brim with Christmas decorations, more than 1,000 Christmas trees and genuine crafters around every street corner. It’s definitely a sight to behold and shouldn’t be missed.

Many of the theaters debut their fantastic Christmas shows the first week of November, boasting holiday music favorites, extravagantly festive sets, colorful costumes and of course, Santa Claus. Try Christmas In Hollywood’s Christmas Wonderland, the Dixie Stampede Christmas Show, The Acrobats of China or the Christmas on the Trail Chuckwagon Dinner Show for a night of unforgettable Christmas fun for the whole family. Visit Bransonshows.com for a complete list of Branson Christmas shows.

With an extensive list of local events, shows, parades and Christmas activities for the whole family, there’s no lack of fun to be had during Branson’s Ozark Mountain Christmas, so make sure you stop by sometime this November or December!

 

Catch the Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama

The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama is a fantastic drama production for the whole family but the outdoor season is just about over with October 25 being the last show of the season.

The Shepherd of the Hills novel is one of the most widely read book in publishing history and it shares the story of how the city of Branson became what it is today.

The talented cast of performers will delight audiences with a square dance hoedown, live animals like horses, sheep and donkeys and the real lighting of a wooden cabin that burns during every performance.

This story of the Ozarks is an encouraging tale of love, compassion and forgiveness and the live reenactment is enjoyable for all ages.

Make sure to wear your heavy coats, hats and gloves during these last few performances because October’s chilly weather can be unforgiving!

The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama is performed at the Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead at 5586 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson, next to Inspiration Tower.

For tickets or more information, click here.

Join the Fun at Round-Up on the Trail Chuckwagon Dinner Show

Round-Up on the Trail Chuckwagon Dinner ShowIf you’re looking for a dinner show to add to your vacation itinerary, consider Round-Up on the Trail Chuckwagon Dinner Show for a delicious dinner paired with high quality, family entertainment.

Complete your visit to Shepherd of the Hills Homestead with a group of incredible musicians as they perform the most fantastic Western Swing you’ve ever heard.

The stage features the warm and inviting bunkhouse and you’ll feel like you stumbled into the evening routine of an authentic chuckwagon during the 1800s. Enjoy some of the American classics from Merle Haggard and Bob Wills as well as many of your favorite old-time country hymns as you enjoy a delicious, home-cooked meal that’s brought out right to your seat.

Round-Up on the Trail Chuckwagon Dinner ShowRelax and sit back while you feast on smoked turkey smothered in thick gravy, BBQ brisket, buttered corn on the cob, cheesy potatoes, beans, a sourdough roll and some sweet apple cobbler.

This show at the Pavilion Theater will take you back to a time when cowboys filled their evenings with playful jokes, swapping stories and country music.

For tickets or more information, visit http://www.bransonshows.com/activity/buyRoundUpontheTrailChuckwagonDinnerShowTickets.cfm.

Discover the History, Fun and Beauty of the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead Tour

This week I decided to go on the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead Tour. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now and I’m glad I finally did it! Even if you’ve been to Branson hundreds of times already, the homestead tour is one of those things you just need to experience in order to get a well-rounded experience of Branson and all that it encompasses.

The Shepherd of the Hills Homestead Tour takes you back to the late 1800’s when Branson was just hill after hill of natural wildlife, breathtaking views and a few settlers who had decided to call the Ozarks home.

Two such settlers, John and Anna Ross were considered wealthy in their time, as they made $365 a year (or $1 a day) and were the owners of a “large” log cabin and piece of land in the backwoods of Mutton Hollow. The first stop of the hour-long tram tour was the Ross’s cabin, also known as “Old Matt’s Cabin” which stands in its original location on the homestead. My tour guide, Jacob lead the way through each room of the home while detailing the significance of each historical artifact contained within those walls. It was really interesting to see that the kitchen was built entirely with Anna’s 4’11” frame in mind, featuring a low-standing stove and a short door frame that would result in headaches for anyone over five feet tall. Even cooler, was the kitchen’s original decorative flooring which had been worn away by the shuffling of shoes in certain areas.

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Next Jacob took us to the Morgan Community Church, which had been saved from demolition and relocated to the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead in 1991. It was built in 1901 and was very much like many of the other churches in the area where Harold Bell Wright traveled around preaching. Today, the beautiful and historical church can be rented out for various events and weddings.

Inspiration Tower is another highlight of the tour. Jacob stopped the tram so I could strain my neck to see to the top of the gigantic tower that stands 230 feet above the ground. I also got to snap some photos of an amazing view that stretches 65 miles across the limestone, tree-covered hills of Mutton Hollow on a clear day. I really enjoyed hearing about about the rumors of a “haint” (or ghost) that roamed that stretch of land and was mentioned in Wright’s novel Shepherd of the Hills.

The homestead tour also included stops at the pavilion where Wright pitched his tent to write the infamous Shepherd of the Hills novel, the outdoor theater that has been hosting the Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama for 55 years now, an old moonshine still and Little Pete’s Cave.

In my opinion, the tour was over too soon and I could have sat there all day listening to the stories about the Baldknobbers, Harold Bell Wright and what the homestead was like more than 100 years ago.

If you haven’t had the chance to go on the Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead tour, I would highly suggest you try it out. It’s enjoyable for all members of the family, especially those history buffs and it will give you a renewed appreciation for the entire Branson area.

For tickets or more information, visit http://www.bransonshows.com/activity/HistoricHomesteadTour.cfm.

The Shepherd of the Hills Homestead is located at 5586 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson, MO 65616, just a half mile north of White Water.

Branson Centennial Museum Features Shepherd of the Hills Exhibit

Shepherd of the Hills HomesteadAccording to the Branson Tri-Lakes News, the Branson Centennial Museum will be hosting “The Story of the Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama” exhibit until the beginning of September.

The exhibit features original props and costumes along with vintage photographs. Other highlights of the museum include a small monthly exhibit that features some of Branson’s most interesting people. Other displays such as “Early Branson,” “The Roots of Tourism,” ‘School Days” and “Conflicts” rotate every 6-8 weeks.

Admission to the museum is free and hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Branson Centennial Museum is on the corner of Main Street and Business Highway 65.

To read more about the Shepherd of the Hills exhibit, visit http://bransontrilakesnews.com/entertainment/article_db97815a-142a-11e4-ae0c-001a4bcf887a.html.