Fans of the “Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead and Outdoor Theatre” got some great news at a press conference yesterday, July 14, 2017. Standing in front of “Old Matt’s Cabin” on the homestead, its new owners, Jeff Johnson and Steve Faria, got everyone’s rapt attention with the announcements they made. Of primary interest was the announcement that the historical outdoor drama, “The Shepherd of the Hills,” will begin performing its 58th season on July 21.
It will be one of the activities at the newly named “The Shepherd of the Hills Family Homestead Adventure Park.” Johnson, a Springfield banker with family ties to the Shepherd of the Hills dramas, says the dramas reopening is just a first step. The annual Super Summer Cruise and Trail of Lights will continue in conjunction with the development of other exciting plans for the Park.
The Super Summer Cruise runs from August 10-12. Hundreds of custom cars and trucks will be on display for “Show & Shine” August 10-12. The event culminates with the exciting Saturday Midnight Cruise down Branson’s Shepherd of the Hill Expressway on August 12. The Trail of Lights is a fabulous unique drive through Christmas light display. It’s normally open from the first week of November through December 31.
Plans for the Park may include “ATV off road tours, canopy zip lines, rock climbing up Inspiration Tower, petting farm, train rides, tree houses, playgrounds, and much more!” Johnson said, “While we can’t exactly tell you everything that’s going to happen, what we can tell you is we think you’re going to be very excited about what’s to come.” Keith Thurman, a long time cast member of the play, said, “It’s going to be bigger and better than it’s ever been. I’ve seen what’s coming, and it is wonderful!”
In any event the announcement was a welcome turn of events. In May of this year the entire Homestead, including the Outdoor Drama, was closed. There were multiple reasons for the closure including rising costs, lack of bank funding, and storm damage. In the intervening weeks speculation ran rampant about what was going to happen to the property. Even the announcement that the property had been purchased by “Shepherd of the Hills Development LLC” early in June, shed little light on the situation.
The news conference and plans to the future of the “The Shepherd of the Hills Family Homestead Adventure Park” indicate that the spirit and heritage of the Shepherd of Hills will bless these Ozark Hills for years to come.
For the most current information, as it develops, please feel free to call the Branson Tourism Center at 800-785-1550.