Branson’s Adoration Celebration honors Christ

Branson’s 60th consecutive annual Adoration Day celebration will be special. Edd Akers, one of the community coordinators involved with the celebration said the purpose of the celebration over the past 60 years has been to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and honor Christ.

He pointed out that this year’s 60th celebration will include an event that was part of some of the earlier Adoration Celebrations but has been absent in recent years. In addition to the traditional Nativity Scene Lighting and parade there will a presentation of G. F. Handel’s “Messiah” by the Branson Area Community Chorus and Orchestra at Branson’s First Baptist Church. The performance starts at 2:00 p.m. and is free.

The “Messiah” performance will be followed by the 60th Annual Adoration Celebration in historic downtown Branson and Branson Landing. The celebration starts with the Nativity Scene Lighting Ceremony at the intersection of Commercial and Main Streets starting at 5:00 p.m. The highlight of the ceremony will be the lighting of the Nativity Scene high atop Mount Branson on the opposite side of Lake Taneycomo.

The Nativity Scene has figures in it that can readily be seen from downtown Branson as well as Branson Landing. Some of the figures are in excess of 30 feet high. Akers said that as spectacular as the scene is lit up at night it will be easier to view in daylight thanks to the efforts of the art class students at Branson High School who refurbished and repainted all the figures this year.

Immediately after the Nativity Scene is lit the first of over 54 units, 16 bands, 38 floats and walking units, will step off for the 60th consecutive Adoration Parade. The bands and floats will be competing and will be judged at different locations during the parade route. Two of the “performance areas” are in front of the reviewing stand at Commercial and Main Streets and by the Branson Landing Fountains as the parade comes down the Branson Landing Board Walk.

The parade route starts at Branson Landing Boulevard (the former Long Street) at the south end of Branson Landing. It will proceed west to Business Highway 65 and turn north onto Business Highway 65. At the “y” junction of Business Highway 65 and Commercial Street the parade proceeds down Commercial Street, through the entire historic downtown area to its intersection with Branson Landing Boulevard. At that point it will turn north onto Branson Landing Boulevard and go to the north to the end of the Belk parking lot where it turns east and crosses the parking lot until intersecting with the Brandon Landing Board Walk. The parade will continue south on the boardwalk to its end.

Akers pointed out that the Adoration Celebration is unique in a few respects. The 60 year tradition transcends Branson’s current tourism popularity and started as a way for the community to honor the true meaning of Christmas. The continuation of that tradition, combined with the non commercialism of the celebration, the theme of “Keeping Christ in Christmas,” and the time of day it is held all adds to its uniqueness. He pointed out that the Adoration Parade is one of the few nighttime parades held anywhere.

Click here for Adoration Parade Route.

Furnished Courtesy of the Branson Daily Independent.