BRANSON, MO – Nestled deep in the Ozark Mountains in southwest Missouri, Branson has always had a welcoming spirit, a tenacity to make it through tough times, and a deep foundation of faith. These ideals — coupled with a love of craftsmanship and music — shaped the culture of the Ozarks and the Branson/Lakes area. It is a unique place with a uniquely American story.
It was this culture, set against the natural beauty of the Ozarks, that drew the first “tourists” to the Branson region in the late 1800’s, including a preacher turned author named Harold Bell Wright. And it was this culture that so many people around the world became fascinated with after reading Wright’s best-selling novel “The Shepherd of the Hills.”
Word spread quickly about Branson and the Ozarks. By 1912, the settlement was bustling with residents and visitors, and was officially incorporated as a city on April 1.
Over the past 100 years, Branson has evolved and grown in many ways. Today, Branson is home to more than 10,000 residents and has become Missouri’s top vacation destination, welcoming an estimated 8 million visitors a year. Branson is now surrounded by three lakes and countless attractions and entertainment options – 100+ live shows with 64,000 theatre seats (more than Broadway!), 800 miles of shoreline, 18,000 hotel rooms, 3,000 RV/campsites, 200+ outlet shops and boutiques, 7 championship golf courses, the upscale Branson Landing and the new Branson Airport.
In other ways, Branson has remained unchanged since those early days. The unspoiled Ozark Mountain vistas, the wilderness and waterways are as breathtaking as ever. The folks who live here still have a rugged and independent spirit, as well as a deep dedication to God, country and family. And visitors still come from great distances to forget their cares for a while.
In 2012, Branson turns 100, and everyone is invited to a celebration as unique and spectacular as Branson itself: 100 YEARS OF BRANSON, MISSOURI – a Story of Heritage, Harmony and Hospitality. There will be 100 Days with 100 Ways to Celebrate! April 1- July 7, 2012, is a very limited engagement, playing in 2012 only.
Beginning on April 1, 2012 with our Centennial heritage museum opening in Historic Downtown Branson, and followed by our Branson Centennial Celebration Show on April 15 (coinciding with gala festivities on April 14, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the sailing of TITANIC) through Branson’s 100th Fest and Street Dance on July 7, there will be lots of fun for everyone.
“Throughout the town, our community welcomes you to our once-in-a-lifetime celebration,” said Ross Summers, President/CEO, Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau. “And our birthday wish is that you leave with a rekindled spirit and renewed hope for the next century.”
Check out www.Branson100.org for details.