Did you know Branson Missouri is turning 100 next year? That’s right, 2012 marks Branson’s centennial celebration. From humble beginnings came one of the biggest live music attractions in the world! Learn more about Branson history with us!
The city is named after Rueben Branson, who opened a post office in the city. Not long after, a unique cave not far from town was was bought by William Henry Lynch and quickkly became a tourist attraction with square dancing and entertainment. You might know this cave now as Marvel Cave – still one of the centerpieces of the world famous Silver Dollar City. So for more than 100 years, Branson shows and entertainment have been drawing in the crowds.
The wooded hills also proved popular for industry – in 1912, the American Pencil Company of New York and the Winch Spoke Company, which made spokes and other parts for wagons, created a logging factory in the city of Branson. After World War II, the city became a popular retiring spot for military servicemen, industry workers, artists, and craftsmen. It was in fact quite popular for its growing hand craft community. To this day Branson is still known as a home for American craftsmanship.
In 1953, the city began the annual Adoration Parade, a non-commercial Christmas parade held around early December drawing tens of thousands of people and visitors each year. A few years later, in 1959, the first show in Branson, The Baldknobbers Hillbilly jamboree Show, was created. Thereafter, more than fifty theaters would spring up in the location known as the “strip” located next to Highway 76.
The Starlite Theater was build in the 1980’s and became the first to incorporate non-country music, stage sets, and major costume changes. The non-traditional music helped launch the music careers of many popular music artists such as Doug Gabriel and Shoji Tabuchi, who has been performing country and bluegrass music for over 21 years in the city.
Many more music venues have opened up since the first music shows, attracting star performers such as LeAnn Rimes, the Oak Ridge Boys, and Charlie Pride. Overall, Branson, Missouri, is a popular tourist location for people interested in experiencing its rich history of the city. Popular destinations include the Silver Dollar City, Stone Hill Winery, the music “strip” and parades such as the Veterans Homecoming Week and the Adoration Parade.
2012 is going to be full of celebrations of our Branson Missouri heritage, and celebrations looking to the next 100 years of music, entertainment, and family-friendly atmosphere that we hang our hat on. Make plans now to join a part of Branson’s biggest year yet!