“In terms of the traditional American Christmas, no other major travel destination celebrates the holiday and honors the real reason for the season like Branson, Missouri,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services. “It is a consistent theme in Branson shows, Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas, and many other area attractions and activities, but keeping Christ in Christmas is the absolute focal point of Branson’s 67th ‘Adoration Parade and Lighting Ceremony,'” she continued.
At 5:00 PM on December 6, 2015, a local tradition that has been practiced for much longer than Branson has been a major tourist destination, continues for its 67th year. It starts with the Adoration Scene Lighting Ceremony, which is immediately followed by the Adoration Parade.
A huge Nativity Scene, overlooking historic downtown Branson and Lake Taneycomo from high atop Mount Branson, is lit from the parade’s reviewing stand located across the lake at the north end of Branson Landing near the Macadoodles store. The lighting of the Nativity’s giant figures and its brilliant star set the evening sky aglow, proclaiming to the world the real reason for the season.
Immediately after the lighting ceremony, the Adoration Parade, one of the few nighttime Christmas parades in the country and, as far as we know, the only parade dedicated to “Keeping Christ in Christmas” begins. It will have over 29 floats, most of which will be lit and none of which will have any commercial messages on them, 16 marching bands, and other parade units. Emily Sutliff, Events & Membership Services Manager for the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB, said that there has been a lot of interest in participating in the parade this year, and that the parade will be the largest since she has been involved with it.
The bands and floats will be judged at two points during the parade, by a total of three judges. Awards for floats will be for 1st through 3rd place in each of two categories; “For Profit” and “Not-For-Profit.” The awards for the bands will be 1st through 3rd place by school division. The entire parade route is basically flat and provides excellent viewing from sidewalks, but in terms of hearing and seeing the bands, a location near one of the judging positions would be preferable. The judging positions will be by the reviewing stand and by the Branson Landing Fountains.
The parade will follow a different route than that which it has traditionally followed because of the Downtown Streetscape Project currently under construction. It should also be noted that the route is also different from that used for this year’s Veterans Day Parade, which was also rerouted because of the Streetscape Project.
After exiting the Branson Convention Center’s south parking lot onto Sycamore Street, the route goes north on Sycamore to its intersection with Main Street, where it turns east and proceeds to the intersection of Main Street and Branson Landing Boulevard. At that point it turns north on Branson Landing Boulevard and passes the reviewing stand near Macadoodles before turning east at the north end of the Belk parking lot in Branson Landing, and proceeding to the service road that parallels Lake Taneycomo, running between it and Branson Landing. At that point, it turns south on the service road and continues the length of Branson Landing, terminating in the Bass Pro parking lot at the south end of Branson Landing.
The Adoration Lighting Ceremony and Parade are part of Branson’s Ozark Mountain Christmas, an inspirational, exciting, fun-filled community-wide celebration of the traditional American Christmas that runs through December 31. For additional information on the Adoration Lighting Ceremony and Parade, Ozark Mountain Christmas, any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling its toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or thorugh its website wwwBransonTourismCenter.com.