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October 19th, 2009 by Gary J. Groman

Branson’s major drive through Christmas Lighting Displays


Part of the "Trail of Lights millions of Christmas lights and displays.

A "Trail of Lights" display with "Inspiration Tower" in the background.

In Branson, the glow of the Halloween jack-o-lantern will be almost instantaneously replaced by the bright lights of Christmas as the Branson area begins its celebration of Ozark Mountain Christmas on November 1. Paul Miller, General Manager, Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected sellers of Branson show and attraction tickets and lodging, says, “From its Christmas decorations, displays and lighting to its special Christmas shows, entertainment, shopping and spirit there is nothing like the celebration of the Christmas season in Branson.”

Miller also points out that one of the unique things about Ozark Mountain Christmas is that it has three drive through displays that can be viewed from the comfort of your car the “Branson Area Festival of Lights,” “Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights” and the “Enchanted Forest. The two biggest displays are the “Branson Area Festival of Lights” and the “Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights.”
The “Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights” is located at the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead on West Highway 76 just east of Silver Dollar City. It is unique in that it winds its way through the 160 acre homestead and is beautifully integrated into the natural Ozarks setting. It includes a variety of “different lands, each with their own theme, from fantasy to religious to patriotic. Life-size (and some larger than life!) three-dimensional characters have their own housing so you can ‘peek’ in on the fun happening inside.”

The Trail of Lights includes millions of Christmas lights, hundreds of gorgeous displays, holiday music, and animated scents. In addition it includes a “trip to Inspiration Tower where you can ride glass elevators up 230 feet for a Santa’s eye view of the lights from above.’ The “Trail of Lights” is open daily from November 1 through January 2 from dusk to Midnight.

The “Branson Area Festival of Lights” is conveniently located very close to the center of the Branson Strip and immediately north of the junction of the Shepherd of the Hills Expressway and Roark Valley Road. It’s one mile drive through contains 175 colorful and beautiful displays and is described as a “one-of-a-kind family experience” that will “delight children of all ages.” It is open daily from November 1 through December 31 from dusk to 11:00 p.m.

Enchanted Forest's "Freedom Tree."

Enchanted Forest's "Freedom Tree."

The “Enchanted Forest” drive through display is located three miles south of Highway 76 on Indian Point Road (the entrance to Silver Dollar City). The nearly 500,000 lights feature displays that will appeal to everyone with the focal point of the display being the “Freedom Tree. Its red, white and blue lights, demonstrating the community’s support for our military and our country, decorate an old distinctively positioned Osage Orange Tree. The display will be open daily from November 1 through December 31 from dusk until 11:00 p.m.

Branson Tourism Center’s Miller reminds everyone that Ozark Mountain Christmas is one of Branson’s busiest seasons and suggests making advance reservations for shows and lodging to insure availability. For information on Ozark Mountain Christmas, Branson shows, attractions and lodging please contact the Branson Tourism Center (BTC) one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services and sellers of Branson show and attraction tickets and lodging. BTC can be reached by calling 800-785-1550 or through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.


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