Christmas in Branson never disappoints

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BRANSON NEWS: Ebenezer Scrooge has a change of heart and vows to change his miserly ways. Clarence the angel earns his wings by helping George Bailey realize “It’s a Wonderful Life.” And Branson entertainers dust off holiday favorites for festive annual shows.Christmas in Branson starts early with colorful lights, gaily decorated trees and holiday finery galore. Christmas in Branson usually starts the first week of November and continues through Dec. 30, although some shows cease production earlier than that so performers can be with family. Check the Branson website (explorebranson.com) for dates and times of performances.”People have asked us why we start celebrating Christmas so early in Branson,” said Mike Patrick, master of ceremonies for the popular Branson Landing Christmas parade. “It’s because Andy Williams told us to.”

Recognized as one of the best places on Planet Earth to celebrate Christmas, Branson doesn’t disappoint. During my four days in Branson, I saw a half-dozen musical shows, two parades, hundreds of Christmas trees and millions of lights. One of my favorite productions was at the Andy Williams Performing Arts Center where the Lennon sisters and the Osmond brothers paid tribute to their mentor. Known as Mr. Christmas, Andy Williams died of cancer at his Branson home in 2012 at the age of 84.”I think Andy Williams would be pleased and proud that we are continuing his Christmas tradition,” Janet Lennon said. “He always loved Christmas and Branson.”Many of his friends considered him crazy when Andy Williams built his $12 million, architecturally-splendid theatre on 16 acres of Missouri Ozark countryside in 1992. When he arrived, the town was dominated by country music performers but Williams soon changed that. Today, almost every kind of music can be found in Branson, drawing millions of fans to the self-proclaimed “live music show capital of the world.””We have …

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