Greetings my Loyal Reader(s), and welcome to the latest edition of the Branson Beat, your home for all the news on the Branson entertainment scene.

As always, feel free to drop me a line at jclark@bransontrilakesnews.com, or send me a message via our Branson Tri-Lakes News Facebook page.

Now, let’s get to it. 

Big Air to call Branson Mill home

After several weeks of whispers and rumors, organizers finally announced the property formerly known as the Branson Mill will now be home to Big Air Trampoline Park, set to open this fall. According to a release, the Big Air Branson location will be nearly 40,000 square feet in size, and feature more than 65 attractions catering to guests of all ages.

“With an amazing focus on family entertainment, Branson has always held a special place in my heart,” President of Big Air Kevin Odekirk said. “Big Air is so pleased to bring our brand of active family entertainment to the area residents and visiting guests. 

“We’re just thrilled to be opening a Big Air destination entertainment experience in Branson.”

Big Air will feature attractions that encourage active fun in innovative ways. Park highlights include ​The Gauntlet,​ Big Air’s version of the ninja warrior course; The ​Battlebeam​, a head-to-head jousting experience; and ​The Orbit​, where participants use trampolines to leap over a spinning beam. 

In the harnessed climbing section, guests can enjoy more than 25 climbing attractions, several of which are “one of a kind climbing challenges.” Other fan favorites are set to include the mechanical bull, zip line, virtual reality, the Warped Wall, and more. 

The Branson location will also be home to the largest children’s area Big Air has ever created, Lil’ Air. This special zone ​is just for kids ages 6-and-under, with trampolines, a foam pit, plus a large two-story soft play area.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to introduce Big Air to the Branson community,” Big Air Owner Robert Phillips said. “I am proud of this state-of-the-art facility. This location will include tons of unique activities for kids of all ages, including experiences that connect trampolines and technology like never before. 

“There’s nothing else like this in Branson, and we can’t wait to serve our community through active, family fun that is safe and memorable.”

For those “less bouncy” folks wanting to keep their feet on the ground, the property will also house the ​Big Eats Cafe,​ with access to seating, free WiFi, and access to pizza, wings, drinks and more. Other in-park experiences will include Cosmic Nights for teens and middle schoolers, as well as Toddler Time, where young kids take over the park on select weekday mornings.

Big Air is a Southern California-based company that was founded in 2012. Big Air is led by an executive team with more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry. 

The company is now expanding across the United States through franchising, with a plan that offers exceptional support in location analysis, construction, park operations, marketing strategy, and more.

According to the release, Big Air Branson is “anticipating a fall 2019 opening.” 

Big Air Branson will be located at 3300 North Gretna Road. Suite D. Call 417-334-8436, visit bigairusa.com, or follow @bigair on Facebook.

Special events on tap this weekend  

The Tri-Lakes Area is going to be home to a handful of awesome events this weekend, highlighting everything from live music to barbecue and more.

One of the biggest annual events set in Reeds Spring is set for Saturday with the 15th annual Rock House Music Festival, set for Flavie Lear Field in downtown Reeds Spring. This event will feature more than a half dozen performers, several food, arts and crafts vendors, as well as folks selling beer and a variety of drinks, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic.

Gates open at 1:30 p.m., and folks are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs to enjoy the live music, which kicks off at 2:15 p.m. and runs through 9:30 p.m.

This is a rain or shine event, and there will be a large rain or shade tent on the festival grounds. No refunds will be granted.

Tickets are available at the gate for $30, and children 12 years old and younger are free with a paid adult admission.

In downtown Branson, the Branson Regional Arts Council, BRAC, is hosting the first ever BBQ Festival at Liberty Plaza, located behind the Historic Owen Theater from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

During this event, folks can enjoy a large assortment of live entertainment, crafts booths, and artisans throughout the day, including a bounce house and face painting, as well as barbecue cooked on location in an actual firetruck, which will be available “for a reasonable price throughout the day.”

The purpose of the event is to raise awareness and funds to help the Branson Regional Arts Council preserve the history and entertainment legacy of the Historic Owen Theatre built in 1936.

Next week, the Historic Owen Theatre will be home to the BRAC’s production of “Shrek The Musical Jr.,” with several performances June 6-9.

Concerts continue at 

Silver Dollar City  

Silver Dollar City is seeing record numbers for its concerts series at Echo Hollow, and Saturday night will find another act I’m sure will draw thousands, Christopher Cross. 

Cross burst onto the music scene with the release of his debut album “Christopher Cross” in late 1979, which contained the massive hits “Ride Like the Wind,” “Sailing,” “Never Be the Same,” and “Say You’ll Be Mine.” For those of my Loyal Reader(s) who were alive back then, you know you couldn’t turn on the radio and not hear one of his tunes. That album was huge.

Anyway, Cross continued to reach the stratosphere with the release of “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do),” which served as the theme song for the hit film “Arthur.” The tune also reached No. 1, and won Cross a Golden Globe and Academy Award. In my humble opinion, Cross is one of the coolest names to ever play Echo Hollow, and I’m sure he’s going to put on a fantastic show.

Sunday night, Echo Hollow will host Dancing Dream: The Tribute to Abba, a New York City-based touring tribute act will perform everything from  “Mamma Mia,” “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance,” my personal favorite “Fernando,” and many more. 

Friday will find Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group the Lovin’ Spoonful taking the Echo Hollow stage. These cats are responsible for some of the most iconic pop hits of the 1960s, including “Do You Believe In Magic,” “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice,” “Daydream,” “Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind,” “Summer In The City,” “Nashville Cats,” and more. 

Saturday, June 8, will find another iconic group from the 1970s, Blood, Sweat & Tears at Echo Hollow. These jazz-rock stars won Album of the Year at the 1970 Grammy Awards, and their biggest hits include “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” “And When I Die” and “Spinning Wheel.”

Catching a Blood, Sweat and Tears show is always an awesome musical experience.

The concert series will wrap June 9 with 80s cover band Members Only.

All shows will begin at 7 p.m.

Star-Spangled Summer opens June 8. 

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