Branson, MO –
© Silver Dollar City
Silver Dollar City lights up its brightest season with a new $1 million light parade featuring the beloved Christmas character Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for An Old Time Christmas. One of the nation’s most acclaimed holiday festivals, An Old Time Christmas also features a 5-story Christmas tree with a light and sound show, Broadway-style musical productions, holiday foods and five million lights, November 1 – December 30 at the Branson, Missouri theme park.
Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade, led by the most famous reindeer of all, debuts on the 50th anniversary of the television special. First airing in 1964, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is the longest-running, highest rated Christmas special in television history. As Grand Marshal, Rudolph leads the new evening parade of nine musical, lighted floats – one featuring Sam the Snowman — as it winds through the streets of the City. The floats, illuminated with 100,000 ultra-bright LED lights, were designed exclusively for Silver Dollar City, with animated features from huge drumming bears and cymbal-playing penguins to a cowboy doll rocking on a hand-carved wooden rocking horse. The parade is accompanied by 33 colorful costumed characters, including Rudolph’s friend Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, 14-foot moose characters, 12-foot tall elves and 10-foot candy canes, plus penguins, elves and a troupe of marching wooden soldiers.
The parade follows the lighting of the 5-Story Special Effects Christmas Tree on the Square, a towering icon with over 250,000 colorful LED lights that is the centerpiece of the Christmas on Main Street light and sound shows beginning at dusk each evening. The massive tree blazes in synchronization to the musical movements of Christmas songs — up to 100 light changes per second — while lights around the Square flash along with it, accompanied by surround-sound.
The festival also features two popular musical productions, It’s a Wonderful Life and A Dickens’ Christmas Carol. It’s a Wonderful Life presents a musical interpretation of the inspirational story that was voted the #1 “Inspirational Film of All Time” by the American Film Institute, and features unique special effects and a talented cast of 14 singer/actors. A Dickens’ Christmas Carol, also an original musical adaptation of a famous classic story, includes elaborate sets and visual effects, flying spirits, pyrotechnic special effects and a talented cast of 15, accompanied by a live band.
Since its debut more than two decades ago, Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas has become one of the country’s most recognized events for spectacular lighting and world-class entertainment. Profiled as one of the nation’s top holiday celebrations by USA Today, CNN Travel, The Travel Channel, Good Morning America, AOL Travel, Yahoo Travel andMSN.com, the festival transforms the entire 1880s-style park into a glowing wonderland with 1,000 decorated trees and five million lights.
Guests can view the park’s lights from high above the ground too — in temperatures down to 42 degrees, guests can soar into the night on the park’s coasters and rides, including the ground-breaking top-rated wood coaster Outlaw Run. Fine craftsmanship is also showcased, as the park’s 100 demonstrating craftsmen create one-of-a-kind handmade holiday items, from blown glass ornaments and angels to pottery dessert platters.
The tastes of the season are in abundance throughout the park, including a prime rib buffet and traditional favorites such as turkey with apple-raisin dressing. Festive holiday treats from apple dumplings to hot wassail can be found throughout the park, and the bakery cooks up fresh homemade fruitcakes. For kids, there’s a lunch with Santa, available on weekends, and classes at the Midwest Living Culinary & Craft School feature holiday specialties.
During An Old Time Christmas, Silver Dollar City is open Thursdays through Sundays through December 21, plus Wednesday, November 26 and Monday – Tuesday, Dec. 22-23, closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and open daily December 26-30. Hours are 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. most days, with extended hours on Saturdays and Thanksgiving weekend