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.
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A ‘Haunted’ good time at the Shepherd’s Spooktacular
Last weekend my lady and I got the chance to visit the Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead and Adventure Park for the new Shepherd’s Spooktacular event, set to be featured weekends throughout October.
According to a release I got earlier this month, this event was designed for folks who are “looking for a fun daytime location to take kids ... to pick out pumpkins, build a scarecrow or a horse drawn wagon ride, or a scarier nighttime haunted hayride and zombie paintball.”
Well Loyal Reader(s), I’m here to tell y’all, it’s all that, and a whole lot more.
Admission to the park requires an $8 “Spooktacular Ticket,” which includes access to the playground, petting zoo, tree houses, play barn, hay bale maze, obstacle course, corn pit and bounce houses.
Other fun activities and events can be added for additional fees. The “Great Pumpkin Pass” includes everything above, as well as “Pumpkin’ Paintin’,” “Scarecrow Factory,” “Great Pumpkin Ropes Course,” and the rock climbing wall for $20.
The “Haunted Hollow Pass” includes everything mentioned above, as well as the “Haunted Hollow Hayride” and “Baldknobber Zombie Paintball” for $30.
While this event may not be as traditional, or grandiose as other fall fun in the Ozarks, it’s as interactive as can be, gives you everything you want and need in a fall outing, and we had an absolute blast.
After strolling through a “not-too-scary, kid-friendly” trail, we visited the awesome treehouses and play barn before heading over to the petting zoo to feed the goats, sheep and even a chicken. Those goats may have been the coolest goats I’ve ever seen, and they liked to be petted as much as our puppies at home.
From there we went to the “Pumpkin Paintin’ and Scarecrow Factory” for more fun. The coolest aspect about this is you get to keep both your decorated pumpkin, as well as scarecrow, as they’re included in the price of admission, which is pretty awesome.
Not wanting to make a complete and total fool of myself, we skipped the rock climbing wall and ropes course, but it sure looked like the folks on it were having fun. Anyway, it was soon time to climb aboard the “Haunted Hollow Hayride,” which was a whole peck of fun. Our guide, Deputy Bob, set the scene for the ride, which follows a group of Baldknobbers who are up to no good. Oh, and they may also be zombies.
This hayride is fully immersive, complete with a full cast of actors, a storyline, plenty of theatrics and gunfights, and more than a few scares that I don’t want to spoil here.
Once the “Haunted Hollow Hayride” began winding down, we changed over to a different trailer, this one equipped with several dozen paintball guns, perfect for shooting those pesky zombie Baldknobbers. It’s amazing how much laughter and good times result from shooting masked zombies with paintballs over and over again.
In fact, I just had a hearty chuckle thinking about it.
I feel like the Shepherd’s Spooktacular is the perfect event for folks who don’t mind being a little scared, but aren’t big fans of those “super scary” haunted houses that pop up every season. Plus, as much as I like visiting traditional pumpkin patches and fall places, this gives you everything you get there, and so much more.
Plus, you get to keep your pumpkin and scarecrow. We had a great time, and I’m sure the Shepherd’s Spooktacular is going to be a huge hit for many years to come.
The Shepherd’s Spooktacular will be held each Friday and Saturday in October from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m., as well as every Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
In addition to all that, the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead and Adventure Park also features ATV rides, ropes course, zip lines, Inspiration tower, and a new fall lineup of shows.
Texas Tenors return to Andy’s
The Texas Tenors, Marcus Collins, JC Fisher and John Hagen returned to the Andy Williams Performing Arts Center & Theatre Tuesday for their fall run of shows.
The group was featured on the hit TV show “America’s Got Talent” in 2009, where they became the highest ranking vocal group in the show’s history. Their first PBS special and second album, both titled “You Should Dream,” debuted in 2013 and have been very successful.
The first Texas Tenors album, “Country Roots - Classical Sound,” is the only album to reach No. 1 on the country and classical charts. The trio’s most recent PBS special, “Rise,” was a massive hit.
Their first few shows will feature material from their “10 Year Anniversary Tour,” before “Deep in the Heart of Christmas” opens Nov. 1.
Moe & Joe at Bandstand
Moe Bandy and Joe Stampley, are set to perform at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater Wednesday evening.
Bandy, a former rodeo cowboy, hit the charts with hits including “I Just Started Hatin’ Cheatin’ Songs Today,” “Bandy The Rodeo Clown,” “Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life,” “I’m Sorry For You, My Friend,” and his first No. 1, “I Cheated My Way Right Out Of You.” He also had quite a bit of success performing duets with partner Joe Stampley.
Stampley produced hits including “Soul Song,” “Too Far Gone,” “If You Touch Me, You’ve Got to Love Me,” and a two-step cover of “All These Things,” which reached No. 1 on the country chart. Other hits include “If You’ve Got 10 Minutes (Let’s Fall in Love),” “Do You Ever Fool Around,” and “I’m Gonna Love You Back To Lovin’ Me Again.”
Together as a duo, “Moe and Joe,” as they were known, had hits with “Holding the Bag,” Tell Ole I Ain’t Here, He Better Get on Home,” “Hey Joe (Hey Moe),” and the massive No. 1 hit with “Just Good Ol’ Boys.”
Friday finds Peter Noone with Herman’s Hermits, along with special guest Mitch Ryder performing at the Welk Resort Theatre.
Noone became the lead singer, spokesman and frontman of Herman’s Hermits at age 15, and some of their classic hit songs include “I’m into Something Good,” “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter,” “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am,” “Silhouettes,” “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat,” “What a Wonderful World (This Would Be),” “There’s a Kind of Hush” and “Dandy.”
Ryder is best known for his hits while performing alongside his band, the Detroit Wheels. Their biggest hits include “Devil with a Blue Dress On,” his highest-charting single, which hit No. 4, “Sock It to Me, Baby!” and “Jenny Take a Ride,” which reached No. 10 back in 1965.
Other Up Close shows at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater include Mel “Sonny Boy” Tillis Jr. Oct. 23, Pat Boone Nov. 6, Lee Greenwood Nov. 10, T.G. Sheppard Nov. 13.
In other Up Close event news, the Branson Elvis Festival, set for April 1-5, 20202 at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, will now include a showing of one of Elvis Presley’s most popular films, “Viva Las Vegas,” April 1 at 2 p.m., immediately followed by a special performance by Ronnie McDowell, who will perform a 30 minute concert featuring all Elvis tunes.
McDowell will return to the stage that night at 7 p.m. for a special “All Request” show at the theater.
The Branson Elvis Festival will also see former DJ, game show host and Elvis Presley friend and aficionado Wink Martin April 2, followed by an “Ultimate Elvis Meet and Greet,” the “Legends in Concert” show, then “The Dean Z Show” at 10:45 p.m. April 3.
The Branson leg of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest” set for April 4. The 2020 festival will wrap April 5 at 11 a.m. with “Ryan Pelton Presents – You’ll Never Walk Alone,” a tribute to the gospel music that inspired a king.