Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Scott & Carol Present: Twas The Night Before An Old Time Christmas

General Manager of all the Hershend Branson properties spoke at the kickoff for the Old Time Christmas media event just outside of Branson he said, ”With all the troubles on everyone’s minds right now we wanted to create a place where they could come to have their spirits lifted, if only for a little while.”

At Silver Dollar City they have done much more than that for Christmas 2008, they have created a sparkling wonderland suitable for the whole family. While receiving accolades as one of the top five light displays in the United States, in Branson family values rule throughout the winter holiday celebration, giving memorable experiences to all age groups.

This is the twentieth year for the winter festival that started out as “12 Days of Christmas.” Now it is so large that it begins just after Halloween and continues through the New Year. With about one million lights for every ten acres, no surface is overlooked for a view that has to be seen instead of described. The lights start going up in late summer, because this is a mammoth undertaking. The impressive display is just the tip of the iceberg, for there is a whole lot more than meets the eye at Silver Dollar City.

The Hershend properties always have great food, and believe me, Carol and I have sampled most of it. If you still remember Grandmas holiday feasts, you have some idea of what eating at Silver Dollar City is like. Remember how she always had both ham and turkey, so do they. Not only will they cook it for you, you can also learn how to cook it your self at the Culinary Craft School. Debbie Dance Uhrig is the Master Craftsman of Culinary Arts at Silver Dollar City and she has called upon her Master Craftsman compadres to provide an amazing kitchen where she teaches seasonal techniques to improve the style of kitchen tables everywhere. Even dad will be rewarded if he signs mom up for a class while taking the kids on the rides, because he will still get to eat the good food later. As you pass by on the midway, the aromatic smells beckon you inside. Preregistration is recommended, as the classes fill very quickly.

Once the kids are tired, everyone can enjoy the some of the many shows throughout the park. The kids can help build Frosty and watch him come to life during the show. If Broadway is more your style, the Silver Dollar City production of “A Dicken’s Christmas Carol” will thrill everyone

A fully utilized set complete with flying spirits and spooky specters, the songs and action belie the fact that the crew requires only two weeks of group rehearsals to pull it together. Here is a quote from a local attendee, “I’ve been waiting two months for this show. Let’s hit a few rides and catch another performance.” His two young children both agreed this was a good idea. If you go, line up early to get inside, because The Opera House is packed for every performance.

Once you’ve seen the static light displays throughout the park, you can stake out a good spot for the Holiday Light Parade. Somewhere above eighty thousand lights are marched through the park twice each evening. The best places are where you can see the floats coming down the hill in the darkness.

Santa closes out the parade, but the show is not over. In the Square a computerized fifty foot tall Christmas trees sparkles and flashes in time with the music. Even the lights strung on the nearby trees get in on the action, with synchronized switching of their strings. There is so much to do you’ll want to come back tomorrow, just to relive the wonder in your eyes as you remember once again how much fun it all was. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Hershend New Year.