July 04--Branson has come a long way since its earliest days as a small resort town with a handful of theaters playing old-fashioned "mountain music." In a little more than 50 years, this tiny town nestled in the Ozark Mountains has exploded into one of the biggest entertainment centers in the United States with an estimated 7.3 million visitors last year.
This year, Branson lives up to its reputation as a major entertainment hub with a superstar line up that includes many of the biggest names in country and rock music. With more than 100 live shows and more theater seats than Broadway, Branson is sure to offer something for everyone in your family to enjoy.
Things kick off this weekend when southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd returns to the Black Oak Amphitheater on July 5. Later in the summer, fans can belt out their best karaoke version of "Don't Stop Believin'" when Journey performs at the venue on Aug. 16.
The Black Oak Amphitheater is located at 1728 State Hwy H in Lampe, Mo. To book tickets or for more information, visit www.blkoakamp.com.
The Oak Ridge Boys celebrate their 40th anniversary in their Branson theatre with 27 dates. Throughout the year, the theater will host a variety of entertainers such as the legendary Three Dog Night, Kenny Rogers, Jim Belushi and Bill Cosby.
The Oak Ridge Boys Theatre schedule includes:
Three Dog Night on July 13;
America on Sept. 20;
Sawyer Brown on Sept. 21, Oct. 19 and Nov. 23;
Diamond Rio on Oct. 5;
Kenny Rogers on Oct. 11 and Nov. 10;
Bill Cosby on Oct. 12;
Jim Belushi and the Chicago Board of Comedy on Oct. 25;
Neal McCoy performs 12 dates starting in October;
The Charlie Daniels Band on Nov. 8;
Ronnie Milsap and Connie Smith will perform a twin bill on Nov. 9;
Johnny Mathis and the unique style of comedy and music by Gary Mule Deer on Nov. 15 and 16.
The Oak Ridge Boys Theatre is located at 464 State Hwy 248 in Branson. For performance times and more information, visit www.oakridgeboystheatre.com.
The legacy of Andy Williams continues as the Moon River Theatre brings in more great entertainers. September and October host Moon River Weekends with Randy Travis, Clint Black, Lee Greenwood, Rich Little and others to be announced. Irish singing sensation Daniel O'Donnell headlines his own matinee production during Ozark Mountain Christmas. In the tradition of "Mr. Christmas" himself, the Andy Williams Christmas Show stars entertainment legends The Osmonds and The Lennon Sisters will join a cast of dancers, singers and the Moon River Orchestra in a spectacular celebration of traditional family Christmas in November and December.
The Andy Williams Moon River Theatre schedule includes:
Rich Little on Sept. 20 and 21;
Lee Greenwood on Sept. 27 and 28;
Clint Black on Oct. 4 and 5;
Randy Travis on Oct. 11 and 12;
Happy Together Tour 2013 featuring Flo & Eddie, Monkees Lead Singer Micky Dolenz, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap Band and Mark Lindsay, former lead singer of Paul Revere & The Raiders on Oct. 18 and 19.
The Andy Williams Moon River Theatre is located at 2500 W. Hwy 76 in Branson, Mo. For more information, visit www.andywilliamstheatre.com.
The 880-seat Starlite Theatre bills itself as Branson's "premiere live-entertainment destination" conveniently located right on the historic Highway 76 and within walking distance to the city's hotels, restaurants and other popular attractions.
The Starlite Theatre schedule includes:
Marty Rabon on July 5, 6 and 7;
Gary Morris on Aug. 23, 24 and 25;
Jimmy Fortune on Aug. 30 through Sept. 1;
Rhonda Vincent on Sept. 10 and 12;
Ronnie Robbins on Sept 13 through 15;
Gene Watson on Sept 24 through 26;
and Dailey and Vincent on Oct. 1 through 3.
For more information about the Starlite Theatre, visit www.starlitetheatre.com.
Finally, at RFD-TV The Theatre, Up Close Concerts presents Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan on Oct. 4; Crystal Gayle on Oct. 11 and Charley Pride on Oct. 25.
RFD-TV the Theatre is located at 4080 W. 76 Country Blvd. in Branson, Mo. For more information, visit www.rfdtv.com.
Of course, these are just a few highlights of the shows Branson has to offer. To start planning your own Branson getaway, check out the Branson/Lakes Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Visit the website at www.explorebranson.com for details about lodging, attractions, shows or to request a free 2013 Branson Vacation Guide and Travel Planner.
(c)2013 Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Ill.)
Visit Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Ill.) at www.theintelligencer.com
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