Contest Winners Announced!
As part of an ongoing effort to transform
Ozark Mountain Country into Mid-America’s
Most Spectacular Christmas Destination, the Branson Christmas Coalition
initiated a Christmas Tree Competition for the first time this year. The
contest was announced in late September, entries were collected through
November 4, the judges reviewed trees the week of November 7 and today winners
are being announced. Thanks to generous sponsorship support, cash and various
other prizes were possible in a variety of categories.
First and foremost, the Branson Christmas Coalition recognizes the City of Branson with a special “Christmas Leadership Award” for their new and iconic Tree of Light installed this year in the roundabout at Business 65 and Branson Landing Boulevard near the Cox Medical Center Branson Campus. This landmark tree exemplifies the City’s commitment to both the legacy and the future of the Christmas season in this area. It is a bright, colorful, state-of-the-art 80 foot beacon representing our community’s effort to become a bigger, brighter and more popular holiday destination.
In the lodging category, Angel Inn Central (2350 Green Mountain Drive) has captured first place for their new, 36 foot tree with more than 1,500 lights. The decoration design and inspiration came from Dolly Sanderson, the Property Manager who wanted to convey that “our star will light your way and our angels will protect.” Shown in the attached photo accepting the award are Dolly and Jerry Emery, Property Owner (far left). Presenting the award from the Branson Christmas Coalition Steering Committee are (left to right) Janet Oller, Laurie Hayes (Dolly), Rick Todd and Stephen Marshall.
There was a tie for first place in the category for churches and civic organizations. The Branson Centennial Museum’s 1930’s era bristle brush tree (at 120 S. Commercial) and a tree of books by Taneyhills Community Library (200 S. 4th Street) will share the 2016 award. Judges reported that both trees were very well done and had such interesting stories to tell, that it was impossible to pick just one.
In the commercial business category, Ride the Ducks took top honors for their 25 foot tree made of 235 personal floatation devices (more commonly called life jackets) on a custom-made aluminum frame. Bright orange by day, the tree glows with 2,800 lights at night -- all dedicated to providing safe, fun and family friendly entertainment to guests as the attraction embarks on their 40th year of amphibious adventures in Branson.
These amazing and wonderful trees and many more like them are adorning all areas of Ozark Mountain Country this Christmas season. The Branson/Lakes Area CVB has produced a Branson Christmas Tree Tour map that includes 35 of the area’s most impressive displays. The Tree Tour brochure is available at the CVB offices, on-line and in local brochure racks. Many Ozark Mountain Christmas Trees are also marked with temporary signage that helps denote the tree locations and encourages “snap and share” photo and social media activity.
“The community has really embraced this new idea to develop our Christmas offering,” explains Ann McDowell, Executive Director of the Branson Christmas Coalition. “In addition to the City of Branson’s Tree of Light in the roundabout, we have three more programmable light trees on display this year. We have a creative tree that looks like a giant air freshener and one made of racing flag pennants. There are many more traditional trees on display all over town too, and folks are trying some pretty amazing lighting effects on their naturally growing trees as well. And this is just the first year!”