Pierce Arrow: A Good Time for All

By Administrator on Friday, 20th November, 2015
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It’s nearly impossible to mention Branson in a conversation without boasting about the wide variety of entertainment shows at the disposal of vacationers to the city. One show that certainly fits the bill for being entertaining and just good, old-fashioned family fun would be Pierce Arrow. This show has everything you could want from music and comedy to flashing lights and intricate costume designs.

Pierce Arrow is one of the most popular shows in Branson and you’d be hard-pressed to drive around town and not see a billboard with their faces on it. The show features a four man vocal group accompanied by two guitarists and a drummer. There’s also a comedian and a female singer who goes on stage to give the four men a break and allow them time to change outfits. The group performs most days at 3 and 8 p.m., but occasionally only perform in the evening.

The show normally starts with comedian James Sibley, who goes by Gene Pool throughout the performance, interacting with the crowd and guitarists in the band. Sibley is well known as being a fan-favorite performer aboard Carnival Cruise lines. He’s also made appearances on TV shows such as “My Name is Earl” and “The Gilmore Girls” and the movie “Mr. Woodcock.” Sibley gets the crowd going early by introducing the performers and mixing in punch lines while doing so. He also makes appearances throughout the show, introducing artists and emceeing between performances.

Once Sibley and the band has had their fun with the crowd, Pierce Arrow makes their way to the stage. Each member of the four man group brings their own level of vocals to make each song pitch perfect. The show starts off with the playing of songs such as “American Made” by the Oak Ridge Boys and some gospel music and hymns such as “Leaning on the Everlasting Love.” After a few songs together, singer Travis Spratt takes center stage and puts on a stunning performance of the MercyMe song, “I Can Only Imagine,” with the other three serving as backup vocals.

During the afternoon performance, each member of Pierce Arrow has the chance to take center stage and be the main vocalist for a song. The group even gives way to female singer Shonna Bonds, who performed classic songs such as “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston and “I Want You Back” by Jackson 5. Shonna has performed for various celebrities and has been the opening act for artists such as Rick Springfield and Third Eye Blind but has called Branson and the Pierce Arrow Theater home since 2013.

Apart from Shonna and Travis, the lead singer in the group, the rest of Pierce Arrow is made up of Scott Fraker, the baritone and co-lead singer who is a licensed minister and has performed on “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America” and “CBS Morning Show,” Tony Turner, the tenor who has opened for big name musical artists such as Ray Charles and Michael McDonald, and Dan Britton, the bass singer who once held the Guinness World Record for lowest note ever recorded. Together the vocal group puts on a show roughly two hours long full of excitement and entertainment.

Perhaps one of the most entertaining parts of the afternoon show was when tenor Tony Turner went head-to-head with comedian James Sibley to see who the best Elvis impersonator was. Both dressed as the King of Rock and Roll, each sang and danced an Elvis tune before performing “Burnin’ Love” together.

The show comes to a close with the group singing several popular country music songs such as “Love Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban and having all the performers on stage for an encore. This particular afternoon show took time out of the schedule of performances to honor veterans of the United States military by having them sit while everyone else stood to applaud them and shake their hands.

Overall, Pierce Arrow put on a must-see performance that is highly recommended for anyone visiting Branson. The theater isn’t overly large so you don’t get the feeling of being lost in a crowd or being too far away from the action. There’s great music, clean, family-friendly comedy and even snacks and souvenirs for those that are interested. A wide display of lights and colors really brings out the excitement during the show and any trip to the musical paradise of Branson wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Pierce Arrow Theater.


An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City

By Administrator on Wednesday, 28th October, 2015
SDC Xmas paradeAn Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City, arguably the most popular festival throughout they year, starts November 7, 2015 and ends December 30, 2015. Families can enjoy strolling through this beautiful park while taking in the glow of over 5 million dazzling lights, 1,000 decorated Christmas Trees, two Broadway-style productions and a 5-Story Special Effects Christmas Tree during the holiday season. Every evening when the park closes, guests can enjoy a Holly JollyTM Christmas Light Parade featuring Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer & Friends. The most beautiful memories are created during this magical time of year at Silver Dollar City.

An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City

Daring family members can experience 30+ thrilling rides and attractions during An Old Time Christmas including 2013’s Best New Ride, Outlaw Run. Rides and attractions are enjoyed during the day and evening against the spectacular backdrop of dazzling Branson Christmas lights and music. Don’t forget shopping at more than two dozen shops for Christmas items like snow globes, tableware and more.

They don’t leave off the Christmas feast including a prime rib buffet and treats like hot apple cider, cappuccino, hot apple dumplings and cinnamon ice cream. There is no better way to get in the Christmas spirit than with a visit to Silver Dollar City during an Old Time Christmas!

 


Country Music Hall of Fame to Induct Oak Ridge Boys

By Administrator on Wednesday, 21st October, 2015

oak ridge boysSunday, October 25, 2015 at 3:30 p.m. in Nashville, TN, the Oak Ridge Boys will join the elite list of Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees, in the Modern Era category, when they are inducted during a special Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the CMA Theater. During the Medallion Ceremony, friends and colleagues will pay tribute to the inductees through words and songs. Bronze plaques honoring each inductee are unveiled, to be displayed later in the museum’s famous Rotunda. The group, who has been turning out country music hits since 1977, is well known for their beautiful four-part harmonies, dynamic energy and gospel roots. The group has achieved thirty-four Top Ten hits, including seventeen #1s. The group has sold millions of albums, performed sold-out concerts and received many prestigious honors over the years, including: five Grammy awards, four CMA awards, four Academy of Country Music awards, an induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and after Sunday, an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Back in the 1940s, Wally Fowler named a group performing regularly in Oak Ridge, the Oak Ridge Quartet from the former Georgia Clodhoppers. Fowler moved the group to Nashville, where, in 1946, the Oak Ridge Quartet became regulars on the Grand Ole Opry. They sang in four-part harmony and appeared on the Opry’s Prince Albert Show, broadcast nationally on NBC Radio from 1939 to 1957. Fowler sold the rights to the Oak Ridge Quartet name in 1957 and in 1966, the group changed their name to the Oak Ridge Boys. The Oak Ridge Boys consists of Alabama native William Lee Golden, a baritone, who joined the group in 1965, Texan Duane Allen who became their lead singer the following year, New jersey native Richard Sterban who became the bass singer in 1972 and tenor Jon Bonsall from Philadelphia, who joined the following year, making the lineup complete. In 1973, the Oak Ridge Boys were already well established in gospel music – they had won three Grammy Awards and several Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. Johnny Cash had even helped them sign with Columbia Records when he used them on tour to provide harmony on “Praise the Lord and Pass the Soup.”

With the help of manager Jim Halsey, they moved to ABC/Dot (which joined MCA Records) and broke into country music with their #3 hit in 1977, “Ya’ll Come Back Saloon”, followed by #1 hits “I’ll Be True to You,” “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight,” “Trying to Love Two Women,” and “Fancy Free.”

The group’s hit “Elvira” climbed to #1 in country and #5 in pop winning a 1981 Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, the group’s first of five Grammies. Their hit “Bobbie Sue” followed the next year with another #1 on country charts and #12 on pop charts, then in 1983, #1 “American Made” was the perfect advertising jingle for an American beer company.

Allen sang lead vocals most often, but all the singers were featured at different times on their own recordings as well as guests of other artists’ recordings. The group’s harmonies assisted Paul Simon on his 1977-78 hit, “Slip Slidin’ Away,” Brenda Lee’s “Broken Trust” in 1980, George Jones’s “Same Ole Me” in 1982 and recordings by Ray Charles, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bill Monroe, Leon Russell and many others.

In 1987, Golden left the group and was replaced by Steve Sanders, who was playing acoustic guitar in the band at the time. Sanders sang lead vocal in the 1988 hit “Gonna Take a Lot of River.” The group’s last #1 hit was 1989’s “No Matter How High,” but the group has continued to perform for packed audiences for several decades. In January 1996 Sanders resigned, allowing Golden to return and in 2000 the Oak Ridge Boys signed with Spring Hill Records and went back to releasing gospel recordings. The continue to produce gospel, bluegrass, holiday and patriotic-themed recordings. The Oak Ridge Boys were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2000. Individually, Bonsall and Sterban were honored in the Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame in 1994, Golden in the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1997 and Allen in the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2014.

You can still catch the Oak Ridge Boys performing at their theater in Branson for very limited dates, so make plans to catch them October 20-22 or November 3-5; 10-12 or 17-19 this fall.


Branson Tops Trivago’s Best Value List

By Administrator on Monday, 19th October, 2015
1-logo_CMYK-ROWTrivago, touted as “The world’s top hotel price comparison site,” recently announced America’s Best Value Towns & Cities 2016 and Branson, Missouri was number 1. The site claims “American travelers are craving small town comfort and charm,” according to their data. It further states that “travel interest to towns with fewer than 50 hotels has been on the rise throughout 2014 and 2015, as Americans continue to seek out less crowded and more budget-friendly destinations.”

Trivago allows users to compare hotel prices from over 200 booking sites for over 700,000 hotels worldwide. They claim that more than 80 million travelers use the hotel comparison monthly and save up to 39 percent for the same hotel room, in the same city. Trivago’s Best Value list uses a Best Value Index (tBVI) — calculated using the annual average price of a standard double room and the city’s average hotel rating* — America’s small towns and mid-sized cities offer the best value for your buck.

It’s easy to search for the best hotel at the best rate on Trivago, simply enter where you are going and their search engine compares prices for you from Hotwire, priceline.com, Booking.com, Hotels.com and many more top sites. Over 140 million user hotel reviews and more than 14 million photos help you find out more about where you want to go.

A good portion of the towns in the top 10 are in the Midwest with Springfield, Missouri coming in at number 7 in the country. Trivago’s Best Value list is as follows:

1. Branson, MOscreenshot_mainpage

2. Macon, GA

3. Montgomery, AL

4. Wichita, KS

5. Sioux Falls, SD

6. Lincoln, NE

7. Springfield, MO

8. Little Rock, AR

9. Augusta, GA

10. Tulsa, OK

With the large range of affordable activities to do in Branson, we aren’t surprised that Branson earned the number one spot this year, especially since it has ranked in the top 10 for the past 3 years. Hopefully this number one spot will help bring new visitors to the area – people wanting to have a great vacation, while getting the most for their money.

* The Best Value Index ranks cities based on a combination of consumer ratings and average hotel prices, with 100% being a perfect score. Only destinations with at least 50 hotels and a minimum average of 150 user ratings per hotel were considered in this index, however the 2016 Best Value Small Town list indicates only cities or towns with fewer than 50 hotels in total.


Fritz’s Adventure Coming to Branson

By Administrator on Monday, 12th October, 2015
Location of where Fritz's Adventure will be

It was announced this past week that a new, $10 million family adventure park called Fritz’s Adventure will be coming to Branson in the summer of 2016. Fritz’s Adventure will be an indoor family adventure attraction located at the corner of Highway 76 and Fall Creek Road, next to Dixie Stampede – a vacant hotel formerly sat on the property but has recently been torn down.Outdoor artist rendering of Fritz's Adventure

Fritz’s Adventure will offer families three stories and 80,000 square feet of hands-on climbing, tunneling, sliding, swinging and zip-lining thrills, including utility poles to climb, suspended bridges, towering rock climbing walls and giant boulders, an impressive parkour area, a massive ropes course, urban brick buildings for scaling, a life-sized water tower with multiple slides, tunnels and tubes and even an airplane to explore! This indoor environment will give visitors a perceived element of risk in a safe environment.

Indoor artist rendering of Fritz's AdventureBesides adding jobs, this new adventure park will give families an exciting alternative to shows or mini-golf. This newest planned facility continues progress on Branson’s ‘Spirit of 76’ renovation project. Fritz’s Adventure will provide year-round exciting challenges for all skill levels. It’s a place where you can experience elements of the world around you that, anywhere else, would be prohibited or discouraged. Parents, teenagers, grandparents, toddlers and kids alike are encouraged to explore the adventure together.

Additionally, Fritz’s Adventure will feature a restaurant with healthy menu choices overlooking the indoor adventure park from the second floor with party rooms for groups or special occasions. This new attraction will open its doors to the exciting challenges normally reserved for seasoned adventurers, adapted for every age and ability level. Guests will be able to experience a world of untamed indoor family adventure 365 days a year only at Fritz’s Adventure in Branson!


Chick-fil-A in Branson

By Administrator on Monday, 5th October, 2015

Chick-fil-A fall picIt’s hard to believe that Chick-fil-A in Branson opened at 607 W. Main Street, near the intersection of 65 and 76, 7 months ago in the midst of a March snowstorm! Kevin Hutcheson, Owner/Operator of Chick-fil-A in Branson said “Our presence in Branson has exceeded expectations, from locals and tourists alike.”

Chick-fil-A got its start in 1946, when Truett Cathy opened Dwarf Grill, his first restaurant, in Hapeville, Georgia. Mr. Cathy is credited with inventing Chick-fil-A’s boneless breast of chicken sandwich and founding Chick-fil-A, Inc. in the early 1960s. Many know Chick-fil-A from its start of restaurants in shopping malls, but it has grown to become the largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the United States. Based in Atlanta, Chick-fil-A, Inc. is known for their original chicken sandwich and their commitment to giving back to their communities.

Chick-fil-A snow before open
In 2014, Chick-fil-A opened 96 new restaurants around the country, bringing the total to more than 1,900. Branson was one of  those restaurants, opening March 5, 2014 during a rare March snowstorm. Right before its grand opening, the restaurant ran a contest in which the first 100 would receive a Chick-fil-A meal each week for the first year. Committed Chick-fil-A fans braved the snow in tents in hopes they could outstand the conditions to receive one of the 100 coveted spots. Hutcheson said he and his family have enjoyed the great people in Branson and the impact that opening this Chick-fil-A has had on the town. “It’s been great for my family to be in Branson, both personally and professionally.”Chick-fil-A snow tents pic
The restaurant recently started a Chick-fil-A Kid’s Club that will be getting together each month for games, crafts and challenges designed especially for Kids Club members. Visit chick-fil-akidsclub.com for more information and to register your child today!
Chick-fil-A in Branson has many new and exciting announcements for the coming months. A limited time soup flavor starts this week – Chicken Tortilla Soup. This incredibly popular soup will only be around for a limited time, so make sure to stop in and try it.
Extremely convenient mobile ordering will soon become a reality at the Chick-fil-A in Branson. Customers will be able to use their mobile device to order in advance, skip the line by going directly to the pick-up area and pick up their food! What a great time saver that will be when you’re in a hurry!
In the next few months, Chick-fil-A in Branson will be adding some new beverages and even a new salad the first of the year. If you haven’t already visited them, stop in and say hi today!Chick-fil-A fall photo

CiCi’s Pizza in Branson

By Administrator on Monday, 28th September, 2015
1-Photo Sep 25, 11 30 37 AMCiCi’s Pizza in Branson opened this month with the largest of the chain’s 450 locations across the country! Locals and visitors will Photo Sep 25, 12 22 05 PMbe surprised when they see the new restaurant located at 3460 West Highway 76 – the 13,000 square foot building will be hard to miss! The new CiCi’s Pizza has an 8,000-square-foot dining area, with seating for 391 guests and two party rooms – each able to accommodate up to 40 guests for special occasions. The other side of the building features a 5,000-square-foot game room with games to entertain kids of all ages.

1-2015-09-25 12.23.29As impressive as the size of the building and game room is, the main feature of the restaurant is their endless pizza, pasta, salad, soup and dessert buffet. You can find classics like supreme, meat lovers and pepperoni pizza as well as the new Stuffed Crust pizza, Mac & Cheese pizza and BBQ Pork pizza to name just a few, all with a garlic butter-brushed crust. Don’t miss their Cinnamon Rolls for dessert – you won’t be disappointed!2015-09-25 12.15.37

Nolan Fogle, president of Fogle Enterprises and owner of the newest CiCi’s said, “We’re absolutely thrilled with the interior design and we have some more surprises in store for the streetfront that we’ll be unveiling soon. I think Branson is going to be very proud of their new CiCi’s.”

Restaurant hours for CiCi’s Pizza in Branson are 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and the price of the buffet is $6,99 plus tax – a great deal for a buffet in Branson! Guests can also choose to order their pizza and pick it up at a separate To-Go entrance.1-Photo Sep 25, 11 34 08 AM

 

 


National Harvest & Cowboy Festival

By Administrator on Monday, 21st September, 2015

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Silver Dollar City is the Home of American Craftsmanship and hosts the annual National Harvest & Cowboy Festival each fall. This year’s Festival is from September 16 through October 31, 2015 and consists of the Wild West Show, over 125 Visiting Craftsmen, The Barn Dance and Buck Taylor’s Cowboy Emporium.

Each year in Branson, the weather turns from the summer heat to the crisp, cool air of fall right around the start of the six week long National Harvest & Cowboy Festival. The temperatures are perfect for the visiting craftsmen, music and dancing along with a variety of food. SDC-NHF-2015-slider-barn-dance

You will be taken back to the pioneer days as many visiting craftsmen create beautiful works of art including musical instruments, making soap, glass-blowing and much more, all with period-correct costumes and tools. Enjoy Bluegrass and folk bands playing traditional songs that old-time cowboys would have heard while dancers and other performers keep you entertained. You may even be able to catch some cooking workshops showing you how to prepare meals in an iron skillet or dutch oven.

Silver Dollar City’s shaded, village setting is perfect for you and your family to stroll through while enjoying the ambiance of the pioneer days. This time of year in the Ozarks the leaves are changing along with the temperature, providing a perfect backdrop for this fall festival.

 


New Farmers’ Market for Branson

By Administrator on Monday, 24th August, 2015
farmers market 9Branson Landing will be home to a farmers’ market in September and October of 2015 on Tuesdays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. starting September 1.

According to their press release, Farmers Market of the Ozarks (FMO) says “Consumers are demanding fresh, locally grown product and are seeking out optionsfarmers market 5 to purchase specialty crops.” FMO currently operates a farmers’ market in Springfield and is seeking 35 vendors to join the fastest growing market in the state at the new Branson location. FMO is a non-profit organization that offers consumers locally grown farm products such as: vegetables, fruits, pasta, meat, jams, jellies, salsa, eggs, cheeses, yogurt, baked goods, honey, artisan crafts and an assortment of concessions.

FMO operates a vibrant farmers market that contributes to the success of local food growers and producers, strengthens the local food economy and serves as a community gathering place for the Ozarks region. Vendors will sell agricultural, horticultural, craft, art or food items that they themselves have grown, produced or processed. The market will offer a wide array of products each week, as well as the quality and quantity of healthy eating options.farmers market 7


Silver Dollar City Gets Top Award

By Administrator on Monday, 20th July, 2015
SDC Train

TripAdvisor, one of the most popular websites on the internet for learning about places to visit, eat and stay at, recently released their 2015 Travelers’ Choice list of the Top 25 Amusement Parks in the World. Parks from California to China made the list and included was Branson’s pride and joy – Silver Dollar City.

Silver Dollar City was ranked as the 24th best amusement park in the world by travelers on TripAdvisor, who chose parks from nine different countries, including 16 from the United States. Of the 16 American parks listed, nine were from Florida and four were from California. Besides Silver Dollar City, the remaining two parks to make the list were Tennessee’s Dollywood and Ohio’s Cedar Park Amusement Park. This means, according to TripAdvisor, Silver Dollar City is not only one of the best in the world, but the best in the Midwestern United States!

With all that Silver Dollar City has to offer, it’s no wonder it was chosen as one of the best amusement parks in the world. Its Fireman's Landing2history and 1880s-style theme truly makes it a one-of-a-kind park. Add that to the various festivals put on throughout the year and shows, entertainment, rides and food everyone can enjoy during the day, the theme park was an obvious choice for travelers.

There is plenty to see and do at Silver Dollar City, the most popular attraction being the newly opened “Fireman’s Landing” section of the park. This section opened in March 2015 and is themed after an 1880s volunteer fire department. Fireman’s Landing was an $8 million addition to Silver Dollar City that provides guests with six family rides and four interactive play zones for kids to enjoy.

Aside from the rides and attractions found inside the park, guests can also tour the original attraction that started the amusement park – Marvel Cave. This cave is a registered national landmark that opened in 1894 as a tourist attraction and brings guests more than 300 feet below the surface.

History, rides, attractions, delicious food and a cave is more than enough to excite anyone with a pulse and is a great formula for one of the best amusement parks in the world. If you’re ever in the Branson area, spending the day at Silver Dollar City needs to be high on your priority list. Once you step foot into the park, you’ll know exactly why it was named one of the best in the world.

To see the complete list of the 2015 Travelers’ Choice Top 25 Amusement Parks in the World, click here.