The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB and the Andy Williams Performing Arts Center and Theatre gave a select group of local entertainers, elected officials, business owners, and media a special preview of a new TV special set to be broadcast across the United States this holiday season called the “Branson Christmas Music Show Special.”
“We are doubling down on Christmas, and to do that the right way, we are celebrating and sharing the inspirational story about the live entertainment we have here in Branson,” said President and CEO of Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Jeff Seifried. “We have created the perfect show, that will be shown around the country on Nexstar/Tribune stations, and it’s going to blow your mind because it’s all about Christmas, live entertainment and live shows right here in Branson.”
According to Seifried, the whole project came about last year, thanks in large part to President, COO and co-owner of Titanic Museum Attractions in Branson and Pigeon Forge, Mary Kellogg.
“She drove the chamber and CVB board, she drove the staff and everyone to think outside the box, to think differently on how we can up our game,” Seifried said.
“That’s what she does every single day, and we appreciate her, and her challenges to us. This all got started at the end of 2018 when Mary threw down the gauntlet and said ‘Let’s get bigger.’”
Up until last year, the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year Parade,” which was held at Branson landing and featured live performances following the parade, was filmed and broadcast regionally.
“It really wasn’t meeting what our community expectations were,” Seifreid said. “So Mary challenged us to think bigger, and that’s how we got here today. This not only takes the place of that, but it blows it out of the water.”
Seifried said, once they got the idea for the TV special, they immediately sprung into action, hiring Outpost Worldwide Production Company to capture and produce a national caliber, one-hour Christmas show special featuring live performances edited together with Christmas lights imagery from around Branson.
According to a release from the Chamber, “it was important to film shows in their own theater environment, which allowed the end product to express each unique Christmas show, personality and presentation.”
Seifried also said these entertainers performing in their own venues where they “shine the brightest.”
“A lot of work has gone into this to make sure that we, as a community, are presenting the best of what we have for the Christmas season,” Seifried said shortly before the screening. “This is about trying to grow visitation, not only just for Christmas, but the rest of the year, and we’re doing that with our main attraction, which is the shows.”
The “Branson Christmas Music Show Special” is hosted by the Texas Tenors, and takes viewers on a trip through “some of the best Christmas shows Branson has to offer,” including the “Andy Williams Ozark Mountain Christmas Show starring the Lennon Sisters and David Osmond,” the Bretts, the Haygoods, “Grand Jubilee,” “Clay Cooper’s Country Express,” “Presley’s Jubilee,” “The Hughes Music Show,” “The Duttons,” Dolly Parton’s Stampede, the Showboat Branson Belle, and “A Dickens Christmas Carol” from Silver Dollar City. Brandon and Megan Mabe from “Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers,” as well as the Petersen Family Bluegrass Band, recorded their segments outdoors at Silver Dollar City as a way to help feature the millions of lights for An Old Time Christmas.
“We really want to thank everyone who has put pressure on us, in a good way, and allowed us to come into their theaters and disrupt and film as we look to grow live entertainment in Branson,” Seifried said. “This is a huge deal. We wish we could have featured all the shows, obviously, but we took our first run, and this isn’t the end.
“This presentation today will showcase the best of the shows we had the ability to film, so it’s really just a sample of what’s to come.”
Once the screening was finished, Seifried shared additional information about where folks could catch the “Branson Christmas Music Show Special.”
“In terms of where we’re headed, I have to tell you, I reviewed the time placements with Mary and the team, and we’re not talking about a 3 a.m. time slot here,” Seifried said. “We’re talking about 7 p.m. time slots starting Thanksgiving and moving forward. When we said we wanted this to be on across the United States, it wasn’t OK for just 20 stations, and it wasn’t just OK for 50 stations, which I thought was pretty good.
“Mary came back with a new deal and negotiated her way to more than 70 stations across the United States. Huge, huge news. And to put the cherry on top, we secured RFD-TV on Dec. 12 at 9 p.m.”
According to the chamber, the show is confirmed for “75 stations across the country, including RFD-TV, as well as WGN. Plus, another 20-plus stations across the country are looking to add it to their scheduling.”
Seifried also encouraged all those in attendance to go out and spread the good word about everything Branson has to offer.
“I want to challenge each and every one of you to go out in the community and share what’s going on, what we’re trying to achieve,” he said. “We’re trying to drive more business here for Christmas, we’re trying to appeal to those who want to see shows, and we’re trying to drive visitation throughout the entire year by showcasing what we know to be the best in the market.”