Top 100 North American Festival Draws Vacationers for Entertainment, Cultural Extravaganza

BransonFest, April 5-9, Highlights What’s New, Hot and Surprising in 2005

BRANSON, Mo., March 24 /PRNewswire/ — This booming vacation destination kicks off its spring season of family entertainment with BransonFest, April 5- 9 at the Welk Resort. The five-day festival features great performances by more than 500 world-class entertainers, authentic Branson cuisine, demonstrations by local artists and craftsmen, and a business and hospitality expo.

Named a ‘Top 100 Event’ in North America by the American Bus Association for the second straight year, BransonFest gives visitors a sample of the many exciting and surprising things they’ll find awaiting them in the Branson/Lakes Area this year. For complete information, visit http://www.explorebranson.com/ .

Daily concerts, held inside the Welk Resort Theatre, feature some of the biggest names in live entertainment and numbers by many of Branson’s hottest production shows. See Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, Ed Ames of the Ames Brothers, Todd Oliver and his talking dogs, Mickey Gilley, The Lennon Sisters, Roy Rogers, Jr., Siegfried and Roy Presents Darren Romeo, The Platters, Dino Kartsonakis, Les Brown, Jr. & His Band of Renown, and Red Skelton, A Tribute by Tom Mullica along with the casts of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Country Tonite.

Each 3-hour performance represents 10 different Branson shows. Tickets are $29.50 per person, or $130 per person for all five shows. Call (417) 337-7469 or (800) 734-5515 for tickets and information.

Free live entertainment in the Real American Entertainment Tent on the Welk Resort grounds includes non-stop performances by groups such as Legends in Concert, Goldwing Express, The Platters, Cedric Benoit & Cajun Connection, plus many others. Costumed characters and performers from the Tall Timber Lumberjack Show, comedian Wayne Milnes, and the home-school performance group, the Make-Believers, roam the festival grounds daily, entertaining guests with impromptu performances.

Branson celebrities will pose for pictures and sign autographs inside the Business and Hospitality Expo Center. The center will also house 60 booths representing new and existing Branson area theaters, attractions, golf resorts, and other businesses of interest to visitors and area residents. Visitors can pick up show schedules and register for daily give-aways.

Inside the Taste of Branson Food Tent, guests can sample some of the most popular dishes from Branson’s finest eating establishments. In 2004, television personality Al Roker and his production crew filmed a special for The Food Network from BransonFest, which has aired multiple times since its premiere in November 2004.

Inside the Arts, Culture and Heritage Tent, visitors will have the opportunity to view and purchase the work of nationally recognized Branson artists, sculptors, jewelry makers, wood carvers and potters. A different artist, author or craftsmen will be on hand each day showcasing their work.

BransonFest 2005 runs daily, April 5-9. Free outdoor tent activities are noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5; and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday – Saturday, April 6-9. Daily concerts in the Welk Resort Theatre are at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5; and at 2 p.m. Wednesday – Saturday, April 6-9. The Welk Resort Theatre is located on Missouri Highway 165, just south of famous Highway 76 in Branson. To purchase indoor concert tickets call (417) 337-7469 or (800) 734-5515 or log on to http://www.sullivanshows.com/ . For a complete list of entertainers appearing inside the Welk Resort Theatre and for general BransonFest information, visit http://www.explorebranson.com/ .

The Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau present BransonFest 2005. To receive a free visitor information packet, call (800) 214-3661.

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