Afternoon: Hotel check-in is available beginning at 3:30 p.m. Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, to get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule and other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in.
Dinner: Enjoy a get acquainted dinner with your fellow participants served in a private room at the hotel. Dinner may be a select entree or a buffet.
Evening: Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will then review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Indicated times are approximate; program activities and schedules may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Scheduled free time is set aside for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own.
Breakfast: Enjoy a wonderful buffet breakfast served each day at the hotel. Buffet includes hot entrees, cereal, toast, coffee, juice. Vouchers will be given for breakfasts.
Morning: Lecture and welcome with a staff member of Branson's CVB who will give a brief overview of Branson and Faith, Family and Flag culture. Next we'll travel to the Starlite Theater and meet with the cast of the newest show in Branson, "Raiding the Country Vault". This extraordinary group of musicians have performed with some of country music's greatest and will be sharing their stories with us.
Lunch: Lunch is served at the Grand Country Buffet.
Afternoon: After lunch we'll board the motor coach for a trip to the Starlite Theater for a matinee showing of "Raiding the Country Vault". Sit back and listen to a set list of Country Music's most talented musicians including: Conway Twitty, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, Charlie Daniels, Willy Nelson, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, George Strait, Garth Brooks and more. Easily on it's way to becoming Branson's new #1 hit show, today's performance will have you stamping your feet and clapping your hands. Following the matinee we'll take a trip to the College of the Ozarks for an expert led exploration to see the campus and learn about the College’s unique character and mission.
Dinner: On your own this evening. Your Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions on where to dine.
Evening: Free evening to explore, shop or take in a fabulous show. A complete listing of available shows and ticket pricing will be given out at Orientation. We strongly suggest that you do not order tickets prior to arrival in Branson as show times and itineraries are subject to change.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: This morning we’ll explore the area by motor coach with expert commentary by our Group Leader who will talk about the history of the Ozarks and Branson’s theatrical history from the early days on, and have a change to view the wonderful holiday decorations.
Lunch: Lunch will be served at Montana Mike's Restaurant.
Afternoon: We will attend a matinee showing of the #1 Hits of the 60's and 50's too, featuring select Christmas songs. Prior to the performance, we’ll have an exclusive meeting with the producers of the #1 Hits of the 60’s show. They will discuss their early careers prior to Branson as well as show production, choreography, and more. We’ll then attend #1 Hits of the 60's (and 50’s Too!), followed by a meet-and-greet with the cast. The show recalls more than 100 songs by the greatest performers of the decade, from Buddy Holly to Elvis, the Beach Boys, Supremes, the Beatles, and more. The energetic cast sings, dances, and makes more than 100 costume changes. There’s even audience interaction
Dinner: Dinner will be served this evening at the Uptown Café.
Evening: Free evening to explore, shop or take in an additional show. A complete listing of available shows and ticket pricing will be given out at Orientation. We strongly suggest that you do not order tickets prior to arrival in Branson as show times and itineraries are subject to change.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: We’ll be joined by local wardrobe professional, Barbara Cox who has worked with leading productions such as the Andy Williams Show and find out what’s involved in that aspect of Branson show business. As a very special highlight, we’ll have morning tea with Dianne “Dee Dee” Lennon, one of the fabulous Lennon Sisters. They were “America’s Sweethearts of Song” on the Lawrence Welk Show and elsewhere on TV and stage including Branson. Dee Dee will discuss her life as a performer with Lawrence Welk and entertainment legends such as Jack Benny, Jimmy Durante, Bob Hope, Dinah Shore, Andy Williams, and many more. The Lennon Sisters performed for seven Presidents, have a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and have been inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Dee Dee retired in 2001 and lives in Branson with her family.
Lunch: Lunch will be served at the hotel this afternoon.
Afternoon: This afternoon we will be joined at the hotel by one of the area’s top fiddlers will join us for a talk on fiddling and a performance just for our group. You will have additional free time this afternoon to explore.
Dinner: Dinner is at the hotel this evening where we will entertained by the Michams, Mike and Nancee, who headlined at Silver Dollar City for years and continue to perform folk music, gospel, and silly songs with lots of humor. We’ll also have a chance to talk with Mike and Nancee.
Evening: At your leisure.
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
Morning: The cast of the Lennon/Cathcart Show will join us at the hotel to talk about their lives and careers. These three notable entertainers are all part of the same musical family: Gail Lennon and husband Bill Lennon, brother of the Lennon Sisters, and Mike Cathcart, son of Peggy Lennon and Dick Cathcart, renowned trumpeter and singer with the Modernaires. We’ll then sit back and enjoy a private performance just for our group that features the trio harmonizing in folk music, blues, jazz, Rock & Roll, and hits by top pop groups of the ’60s, ’70s, and more. Following the show we meet and talk with Gail, Bill, and Mike.
Lunch: Lunch today is served at the hotel.
Afternoon: After lunch we visit the fantastic Sight and Sound Theater. A million watts of lights, sixty-thousand watts of sound and a massive stage over twenty-thousand square feet in size: Sight & Sound's theater offers live theatre productions on a breathtaking scale. Now, take an exclusive opportunity to go backstage and see how the drama unfolds in our Behind the Scenes Program. Discover the technology and ingenuity that powers the dramatic complexity of each show. Visit the nerve centers that keep the lights, sound, stage - and even animals - on cue. Get a rare glimpse of the state-of-the-art scene shop as our talented craftsmen create sets for upcoming shows, learn how Sight & Sound brings Bible stories to life and step on the stage for an actor's view at our incomparable theatre. < > Following our exploration we will enjoy the production "Miracle of Christmas".
Dinner: Dinner is served this evening at Florentina's Ristorante Italiano.
Evening: At your leisure.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: Closing lecture with a local historian on the future of Branson and the Ozarks and wrap-up before departure. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!