BransonFest will make a return to 76 Country Boulevard this year, but that’s not the only thing that will be different. Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Director of Tourism Development Krystal Simon said that the move of BransonFest to Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater and Area 57 is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the additions made to the 16th annual event, which will be held April 8-12.

“I think probably the biggest thing that we are going to be doing different this year is having corporate sponsors,” Simon said. “We’re hoping to get both local and national sponsors.”

She said having those companies on board as partners will give the event an increased budget. “Because of the sponsorships we should be able to try some new things that we haven’t been able to do in the past because we couldn’t afford it,” Simon said. Traditional elements of BransonFest will also still be a part of the festival.

The Hospitality and Business Expo will once again return featuring a variety of booths from area theaters, attractions and businesses.

The Arts, Culture & Heritage Area will again showcase Ozark Mountain art, culture and history presented by nationally recognized local artists displaying the fruits of their craftsmanship.

The Great American Entertainment Tent will have a new distinction this year as each night of the free entertainment played there will have a theme. “We’re doing that this year so people who like gospel or bluegrass or rock n’ roll music will know what night to come on to hear their favorite kind of music,” Simon said.

BransonFest will once again continue showcasing the various musical acts in Branson in a series of concerts.

“One of the big names that will be performing at BransonFest this year is Joe Diffie,” Simon said. “He’s new to Branson and is a big name.”

Information courtesy of Branson Daily News

*Propose * Steal a Kiss * Renew Your Vows * Get Married on Titanic’s Grand Staircase*

Valentine’s Day will be celebrated for 29 days in February at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson, Missouri, according to owner John Joslyn.

Among the original passengers, at least 12 couples were honeymooning aboard Titanic, many celebrating their first journey as newlyweds on the ship’s own maiden voyage. Now, sweethearts everywhere can experience pure romance, beauty and elegance on the world’s only full-sized replica of Titanic’s original Grand Staircase.

“With a reservation and the price of admission, guests can make arrangements to propose marriage, announce their engagements or renew wedding vows with Titanic’s Captain Smith presiding,” says Joslyn. “More than 20 couples have already reserved the Grand Staircase as their special spot to say ‘I do’ again.” (Reservations are required. Appointments are being booked daily, so please don’t delay. To make this Sweetheart Month one to remember, call Kristina at the number below.)

On this excursion, Museum Attraction visitors will find themselves falling under the spell of Titanic’s Gilded Age of excess and opulence. More than 400 rare artifacts—with a value exceeding four million dollars—are displayed in 20 galleries on two decks. And, don’t be surprised to meet our young lovers, Jack and Rose, while on your Titanic tour.

To reserve your time with Captain Smith, call Kristina at 417-334-9500. Boarding daily from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Imagine witnessing the most beloved stories of the Bible come to life on one of the largest stages in the country. Sight & Sound Theatres®, described by some as “the Christian Broadway,” will premiere the epic Bible story of Noah on May 24, 2008, at its new theatre in Branson, Mo., a month ahead of the originally scheduled opening. Tickets are now on sale!

The new Branson theatre, located at 1001 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, is 339,000 square feet with a stage area of 26,550 square feet and seating for 2,085 patrons.

The production’s 300-foot stage that wraps around three sides of the audience, 40-foot high sets, cast of 45 actors, elaborate costumes, breathtaking special effects, and hundreds of live and animatronic animals captivate and transport audience members as they experience Noah and his family’s journey of persecution, faithfulness, hope and redemption.

Sight & Sound Theatres is the nation’s largest professional Christian theatre company and one of the most-attended live theatres on the East Coast. Founded in 1976 by Glenn and Shirley Eshelman, Sight & Sound Theatres has produced spectacular, epic stories of the Bible at its original location in Lancaster County, Pa., where more than 800,000 theatergoers from across the country and around the world attend shows annually.

“We are committed to remaining on the forefront of bringing the word of God to life with exceptional quality, honoring God and encouraging the faith of our guests,” said Eshelman.

About Sight & Sound Theatres:
The name “Sight & Sound” was inspired by the teaching of Jesus found in Matthew 13:10-23 where Jesus explains to the disciples why he spoke to the people in parables or stories.
Sight & Sound’s purpose is to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ by visualizing and dramatizing the scriptures, through inspirational productions, encouraging others and seeking always to be dedicated and wise stewards of God-given talents and resources.

While it is a ministry, the company is not affiliated with any external organization or any particular church denomination. It is a for-profit organization and operates without charitable support.

Information courtesy of PR Newswire

The holidays are over, and some of us could be fighting a case of the winter blues in the upcoming months. Branson’s promoters say they could have the cure – a little fun!

It’s a common misconception that everything is closed in Branson this time of year but there is still some “Hot Winter Fun” during the cold winter months.
Christmas and New Years have come and gone again, and the excitement of the holiday season is behind us, but that doesn’t mean all the excitement in Branson is gone.
“We are growing our winter season,” said Ross Summers, president of the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Summers says Branson used to have shows only between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Not long ago, most shows shut down from January through March.
“This is the time they take their vacations. A lot of them revamp their shows every year, put new sets in, and get new songs together,” he said.
But now, more shows than ever are open during the season known as “Hot Winter Fun.” A few of the theatres that remain open during the winter months include the Grand Country Music Hall, the Dutton Theatre, and the Jim Stafford Theatre.
A lot of the branson shows that are open for hot winter fun will be showcased in one big show at the Jim Stafford Theatre on Feb. 11. It will give folks a sampling of what Branson has to offer.
“It may be harder for a lot of these shows to stay closed in January and February because, as we get more and more people into town, there’s revenue there,” Ross said.
One big reason for more people in town is Branson’s new convention center that just opened in August. Ross says the facility has dates booked into the next three or four years.
“People don’t spend all their time at the convention center. They want to get out and see what’s available in the local community and, obviously, Branson has more than most local communities,” said Ross.
Besides all the entertainment, he encourages people to visit Branson’s many museums, including Ripley’s Believe it or Not, The Titanic, and the Ralph Foster Museum at College of the Ozarks, and, of course, all the places to shop and eat.
Information courtesy of KY3 News
Image courtesy of Branson Chamber of Commerce