Tree History and Tradition, Lives On...Even Better!
Evergreen trees have been used to celebrate winter festivals for hundreds of years. Christians used trees and branches as a sign of everlasting life with God. Most trees in the 1400’s were put in the town square where local unmarried, male merchants, ship owners and foreigners sang and danced around them before setting the tree on fire. In Germany, the Christmas tree was displayed in a guild-house, the meeting place for a society of business men in the city. Early trees were often hung upside down from chandeliers or lighting hoops. During the Edwardian period, trees made from colored ostrich feathers were “fashionable” and during the 1900’s, white trees were quite common.
Traditions, like Christmas trees, are so important but too often disregarded and devalued in today’s society. Branson has a long history of celebrating a Christmas season full of family, faith, music and memories. That tradition is growing even bigger and more meaningful now with an added focus on Christmas trees! Our city’s business men (and women) don’t plan to set any trees ablaze, but they are dedicated to honoring the important symbolism, inherent Christian message and wide variety of creative opportunities that is a millennium-long, Christmas tree tradition.
With the goal of becoming “America’s Christmas Tree City”, Branson has undertaken the challenge of presenting the most amazing, varied and beautiful collection of Christmas trees to be found anywhere in this country. Introduced in 2016, the area showcased more than 50 different Christmas tree displays throughout the community for the inaugural season. A dancing tree of light at the Branson Landing roundabout reached 80 feet into the air for its nightly show of dazzling color and motion. We’ve yet to create an ostrich feather tree, but some of the first creative trees utilized more than 200 bright orange life jackets at Ride The Ducks, strings of colorful racing flags and lights at The Track Family Fun Parks, and even a tree made from 650 books at the Taneyhills Community Library!
For 2017, Branson expects to have more than 100 unique, colorful and amazing trees on display from the very traditional to the highly creative. Christmas trees will be featured indoors and out, at businesses, community organizations, and public spaces throughout the area. You’ll find themed trees, historic trees and one-of-a-kind whimsical adaptations of many shapes, sizes and colors. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium keeps the upside down traditional alive with four trees suspended above the balconies at their attraction. At the O’Reilly Auto Parts store in Branson you can see a 16-foot, giant pine tree air freshener, lit and on display for the season.
When a town this dedicated to tradition and this excited about Christmas puts their mind to something, you can bet this holiday destination will never be the same again! Join us this year as we become America’s Christmas Tree City!