A unique entertainment experience Silver Dollar City, Bluegrass, BBQ and Branson

2009 SPBGMA winners Daily and Vincent.

Arguably, the attraction that has made Branson, Missouri one of the nation’s primary vacation destinations is Silver Dollar City. It is an internationally recognized theme park, themed on an 1880’s craft village, filled with the excitement, adventure, arts, crafts, thrill rides, restaurants, shows and just plain fun for all ages.

A value added feature of the Silver Dollar City (SDC) experience is its festivals and shows. From its famed “World-Fest” international festival in April to its “Old Time Christmas” in November and December it seems that there is always a festival going on at Silver Dollar City.

SDC has developed a series of themed festivals, each with their own special features and shows. Information received from SDC indicates that 2009 will be the “ “biggest show year ever” and a look at the shows and talent that will be coming to SDC as part of its next festival, the “Bluegrass & BBQ Festival,” running from May 13 to May 31, shows why.

Nine time IBMA female vocalist of the year
Rhonda Vincent.

The “Bluegrass & BBQ Festival” alone will feature 30 of the finest bluegrass acts in America. Along with about 27 other bluegrass acts, the shows scheduled to appear at SDC for the festival include nine-time IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year and 2009 SPBGMA Entertainer of the Year, Rhonda Vincent, two-time IBMA Entertainers of the Year and 2009 SPBGMA Instrumental Group and Album of the Year award winners, The Grascals and 2008 IBMA Entertainer of the Year and winner of the 2009 SPBGMA Bluegrass Band and Song of the Year Dailey & Vincent.

Of course BBQ will be featured prominently. SDC’s “House of BBQ will feature all types of BBQ from the Carolina vinegars to the Memphis dry rubs and Texas smoke style, with smoked chicken and St. Louis Ribs to Texas brisket and sweet roasted corn on the cob all coming direct from large outdoor charcoal grills and a custom-made 9-foot smoker. Hundreds of sauces from sweet hickory to Carolina vinegar and honey habanero to smoky chipotle will be available to sample.

New for the 2009 festival, on Friday and Saturday evenings, will be an all-you-can-eat BBQ dinner featuring four flavors of ribs an 18 hour smoked brisket and traditional BBQ sides. In addition SDC’s Culinary and Cart School will also have an emphasis on BBQ during the festival.

With all the festivals SDC has and the quality of its shows, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that SDC is an award winning theme park. It has won the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, “Applause Award” an honor it shares with the likes of Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida and the “Thea Classic Award,” recognizing worldwide excellence and outstanding achievement in themed entertainment from the Themed Entertainment Association.

On any given day during the season, Silver Dollar City offers over 30 entertaining and exciting rides and attractions. Whether it’s the G force acceleration of the Giant Swing” through the barn doors, a leisurely adventure ride on the “Frisco Silver Dollar Line Steam Train,” or being launched up to speeds of 53 mph in 2.8 seconds on “Powder Keg,” or an Ozarks based adventure on the “Fire in the Hole” indoor roller coaster, just to mention a few, SDC has rides, excitement and adventure for all ages.

In addition SDC’s 1880’s themed environment has 60 unique craft shops and an assortment of craftsmen demonstrating crafts such as glass blowing, tole painting, carving, candy making, blacksmithing, and a steam powered duplicating lathe just to mention a few. SDC has over 12 restaurants serving a variety of food at reasonable prices.

Silver Dollar City, without anything else is a world class theme park and a good value. When the world class entertainment features associated with most of its festivals and its location in the beautiful Ozarks hills are factored in with the fact that it is in “Branson,” providing access to its entertainment, shows, shopping, lakes, and excitement, the uniqueness and value of Silver Dollar City as a total entertainment experience is obvious.