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BRANSON NEWS: Preparations have begun for the 2021 Christmas season for the Branson Christmas Coalition. This season the second annual Community Christmas Tree will be entitled ‘Be the Light’ and the theme for the tree will be a celebration of faith and inspiration to all, the Branson Christmas Coalition stated in a press release.“What do we mean by ‘Be the Light’ you may ask?,”Silver Dollar City Co-founder and Chairman of the Branson Christmas Coalition Board of Directors Peter Herschend said in the release. “Jesus said, ‘You are the light of the world,’ and encouraged us to let our light shine before others to glorify our Father in heaven. And that is exactly what we are striving to do in Branson Missouri for Christmas.”
The Community Christmas Tree will be displayed on Highway West 76 Country Boulevard between the Branson Ferris Wheel and the Holidays on Ice Skating Rink on the Track Family Fun Parks property.“We’re thrilled to host the area’s community Christmas tree again this year,” Julie Wilson, Director of Marketing and Sales for The Track Family Fun Parks and the Branson Ferris Wheel said in the release. “Our team is key to making this tree a reality and we look forward to welcoming all the visitors and residents who come to enjoy its message and its beauty this holiday season.”The Community Christmas Tree will be adorned with a combination of old and new, warm and cool, silver and golden tones, which will all create and reflect light. “This Christmas tree’s new lighting and decor will sparkle like never before, reflecting our community’s wish for peace, kindness, and joy this holiday season,” Ann McDowell, Executive Director of the Branson Christmas Coalition said in the release. “It will be a shining example of what makes the Branson area special and unique in the world — our genuine kindness, our shared faith, and the true joy our destination provides for millions.”Strings of nearly 10,000 Austrian crystals from a chandelier, which hung in the Grand Palace Theater lobby from 1992 until 2008, will be included in the tree’s decorations. The crystals are being provided by the Branson Centennial Museum and Branson Boardwalk, home of the Aquarium at the Boardwalk. When the theater was transformed by Kuvera Partners into the developing entertainment complex, Branson Boardwalk, home of the Aquarium at the Boardwalk, the partners donated the chandelier to the Branson Centennial Museum.
“In February 2020, we approached Kuvera Partners for the donation,” Jim Babcock, who is the co-curator of the Branson Centennial Museum with his wife Jean, said in the release. “Both they and White River Valley Historic Society, of which we are an affiliate, wanted to preserve and showcase this iconic chandelier from the region’s largest and most elaborate performance venue of its time.” The original fixture was created by the Gross Chandelier Company in St. Louis, Missouri (now G Lighting). The original fixture was 16’ tall, 10’4” across and featured 141 lights. It was delivered to the Grand Palace Theater in January 1992 for a price of $40,000.According to the release, since the museum has acquired the chandelier, it has taken extensive volunteer hours cleaning, sorting, and organizing thousands of crystals, candlesticks and polished brass and nickel adornments in order to reclaim the fixture. Strands of crystals will be featured on the 2021 Community Christmas Tree. Other smaller and unique items from the fixture will be on display and for sale at the Branson Centennial Museum.“This tree is a huge, collaborative effort by our community which is ongoing,” McDowell said. “Volunteers are still needed at the museum now, and with tree assembly in October. Our plans are to kick off the Ozark Mountain Christmas season with a community lighting event on Thursday, Nov.4, at 5:30 PM.”The release encourages area businesses and organizations to participate in building the holiday season by joining the Branson Christmas Coalition and by decorating, especially with Christmas trees, on their properties throughout the region. The goal of the displays is to prompt visitation and present an expansive and amazing collection of Christmas tree displays in the country. According to the release, the Christmas tree effort is also an ideal way to showcase the natural beauty, beloved Christian traditions, and immense creativity that is both the foundation and the future of a thriving Ozark Mountain Christmas season.In 2020, the Coalition helped develop, document, and promote 60 landmark Christmas trees in the area. Landmark trees are defined as 20 or more feet tall, or a display of 10 or more trees in one location, or a tree display that is a one-of-a-kind, only-in-Branson type presentation.The Branson Christmas Coalition is a non-profit organization formed in 2015 whose members are dedicated to growing visitation and enhancing the Ozark Mountain Christmas season for everyone in this region. Volunteers are invited to contact the Branson Centennial Museum at 120 S. Commercial Street in Historic Downtown Branson to schedule a day and time to help with crystal processing.For more information visit www.BransonChristmas.org.
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