Branson alight with all kinds of trees

Branson alight with all kinds of trees


Special to The Free Weekly

“Who doesn’t love Christmas trees?” asks Ann McDowell with a laugh.

As executive director of the Branson Christmas Coalition, McDowell is in charge of the year-round efforts to make sure that the last two months of every year transform the city into a winter wonderland, earning it the title of America’s Christmas Tree City. Anyone who visits Branson in November or December can’t go very far without seeing some sort of spectacular Christmas tree, or groupings of trees, on public display. And many of them are perfect spots to take selfies — or let’s call them “elfies” for the holidays — to share on social media.

Natural evergreens, of course, number among the highlights. Some of the most prominent ones welcome visitors to attractions along West 76 Country Boulevard, home to most of the live show venues. These include the 29-foot traditional evergreen lighted by more than 2,500 soft white LED lights in front of the Branson Ferris Wheel (3335 W. 76 Country Blvd., 417-334-1617,; a 28-foot evergreen that welcomes guests to Dolly Parton’s Stampede (1525 W. 76 Country Blvd., 800-520-5544;; and a beautifully accessorized 26-foot evergreen fronting the Grand Country Resort (1945 W. 76 Country Blvd.; 888-505-4094;

Christmas trees today, not surprisingly, can be created by humankind as well as by nature, becoming soaring acts of imagination. Consider, for example, the 50-foot rope light tree, plus eight more live and artificial evergreen and RGB light trees at Cox Medical Center Branson (525 Branson Landing Blvd.), marking the arrival to Branson’s Historic Downtown District and Branson Landing, the city’s beautiful waterfront district filled with shopping and attractions along Lake Taneycomo.

Still other trees in Branson must be seen to be believed. For just a few examples, look for the 25-foot tree made of more than 500 go-kart tires in front of the Track Family Fun Parks (3345 W. 76 Country Blvd., 417-334-1612,; or the 26-foot “eyeball tree” in front of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! (3326 W. 76 Country Blvd., 417-337-5300,, covered in blue eyeballs (because, believe it or not, in winter reindeer eyes turn from brown to blue).

Arguably, Branson’s most amazing tree is the eight-story state-of-the-art installation that forms the centerpiece of Joy on Town Square at Silver Dollar City. Covered in hundreds of thousands of lights, part of more than a million lights in a show that repeats every 15 minutes, the tree seems literally to come alive with animated holiday imagery, including falling snowflakes and Santa riding his sleigh.

“It’s a full-on immersive audio-visual Christmas experience,” says Dalton Fischer, senior publicist for Silver Dollar City Attractions.



Five Best Trees

For ‘(s)Elfies’

1. Sight & Sound Theatre. One of the biggest natural trees in Branson, a 52-foot traditional evergreen decorated with 4,300 LED lights and 1,260 ornaments, greets audience members arriving for the “Miracle of Christmas” show. 1001 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway.

2. Fritz’s Adventure. One 35-foot light tree, an 18-foot welded-metal tree, and more adventure-themed trees decorate this fun-filled 80,000-square-foot family adventure destination inside and out. 1425 W. 76 Country Blvd.

3. The Branson Ferris Wheel. A 29-foot traditional evergreen lighted by more than 2,500 soft white LED lights stands in front of the Ferris wheel, whose ever-changing lights form a picturesque backdrop as it slowly turns. 3345 W. 76 Country Blvd.

4. Dolly Parton’s Stampede. Grandest of 15 trees on the property, a 28-foot evergreen regally greets guests arriving for the Christmas Show and Family Feast, which also features its own trees. And the Stampede performers even form their own 32-by-50-foot tree inside the arena. 1525 W. 76 Country Blvd.

5. Showboat Branson Belle. This authentic showboat attraction features a 20-tree display including artificial and fresh-cut trees decorated in nautical style and brightly lighted, both onboard the Belle and in the White River Landing shopping area. 4800 Missouri 265.

— Source:

Categories: 'Tis the Season