Branson, MO Tuesday November 5
Today’s rain and the projection for rain tomorrow has made us continue our more relaxed pace. Supposedly Branson Missouri has one of the largest veterans celebrations in the United States. It continues for a week and began today. One of the features is an opening ceremony here at the Welk resort. There is a replica Vietnam war memorial that has been constructed here each year for the last 17 years. We attended today’s opening ceremony. It was held inside because of the rain, the first time in 17 years. The hour-long ceremony was quite moving and included the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner by the Lennon Sisters.
Many of these celebrations here involve reunions of various military groups. At the Welk resort, Tony Orlando is the current main headliner. He was instrumental in starting the veterans celebration and for its continued success. Tony Orlando and Dawn was a hit group in the ’70s and their song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree” hit number one and references a Vietnam vet who had been captured and imprisoned wondering if his old love still wanted to see him. Tony Orlando puts on a free show for vets during this week.
We went to Branson Landing afterwards. This is a shopping area along the White River. It resembles the area around the Gaithersburg Courtyard that we stayed at for the Sarahs’ wedding Sept. 1-only the hotel is a Hilton, not Marriott. One of the anchor stores is a Bass Pro Shop which has everything you might need for fishing, plus more. We looked over several pontoons but chose not to buy one. Lunch was at their restaurant, The Fish House, where we had fish and chips.
The hot tub at the pool complex was our afternoon destination. Dinner was back at the Chateau Resort using our last $25 certificate. It is decorated for Christmas and includes several elaborate gingerbread houses made by the restaurant staff. We had planned to see one of the three Christmas outdoor lighting displays but the rain postponed our trip. We now hope to do one on Thursday evening and one on Friday evening. More on those once we actually tour them.
Ed and Chris 10:30 pm