Archived Story

Kicking off the holidays in Branson, Mo.

Published 2:00pm Saturday, November 30, 2013

As we eat the last of our Thanksgiving turkey, we can look back to our first holiday travel to Branson, Mo. It always continues to be a popular destination for us each year.

Our first night’s stay was in Kansas City, Mo. A tour was planned of the Treasure of the Steamboat Arabia.

This steamboat sunk more than a century ago in a Kansas farm field. The tale of this lost steamboat, and its precious cargo has become something of a legend. The Arabia was buried with more than 200 tons of fine dishware, jewelry, guns, clothing items and many precious items. It was bringing tons of new supplies westward to settlements along the Missouri River. In 1988, lying 45 feet underground, one-half mile from the rivers’ edge, it would become the discovery of a lifetime.

The process of cleaning the many items of the 171-foot-long Arabia, still continues. Local volunteers can share the story of the discovery.

We also learned that there are hundreds of other steamboats that, like the Arabia, also sank along the river’s uncertain course. They are forgotten legends, and more buried treasures.

Branson continues to make changes and still stays the same. New shows, lodging, and eating places are always fun to explore. Our tour included five Christmas shows along with lots of Veterans Day week activities. Each show acknowledged each branch of the military and invited them to stand.

A “Tribute to Andy Williams” by the Lennon Sisters plus the Osmond Brothers was one of our highlights. Andy Williams recently passed away but his songs still will carry on.

The Brett Family is a talented family and also performed. They have carried their show around the globe with more than 3,500 live performances.

Many other family shows are coming to the stage as these performers are making the Ozark area their permanent home.

The “Miracle of Christmas” at the Sight and Sound Theater performed their inspirational musical production with live animals and flying angels, is “Where the Bible comes to life.”

Some new shows and some of the favorites were on our schedule, with many more to choose from in a return visit.

 Upcoming shows

•Dec. 11: we will be attending “Fiddler on the Roof,” at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre. We will depart at 9 a.m. from Walmart and return about 6:15 p.m.

•Dec. 31-Jan. 1, 2014: Our New Years Eve Gala overnight trip to Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire, Wis. We will be attending the Fanny Hill Dinner Theater for a dinner show and welcoming the New Year In. We do have a few seats available to join us. You do not need to be members of the Senior Center.

If you are still looking for a holiday gift, consider a gift certificate in any amount to Evie’s Travel. Call us at the Travel Number at 507-438-3946.

Reminder: our Panama Canal tour on Feb. 4-12 is due soon.

Plans are also in the works for a travel schedule for 2014. We will host a travel show in late February.

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