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Monday, May 22, 2017, 2:34 p.m.

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Big Shoes To Fill

New attractions add variety to Branson mainstays

By Becca Martin-Brown

This article was published May 19, 2017 at 1:00 a.m.

The 200-foot Bigfoot Action Tower, new in Branson this spring, can be seen from the far side of Table Rock Lake, says spokeswoman Linda Peterson. It offers two new thrill rides for the resort town’s visitors.

"With so many new additions coming on the scene in 2017, there are more reasons than ever to bring your family to Branson."

At least, that's what Lynn Bennett Berry, director of communications for the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB, believes. She says this summer offers more opportunities than ever for day trips, and she singles out "Bigfoot, with state-of-the-art arcade games for all ages, a maze for little ones and the incredible 200-foot-tall drop ride."

Bigfoot on the Strip, which is rolling out in phases this month and next, is a $10 million project on Branson's main drag, between White Water and the Shepherd of the Hills Expressway. The biggest thing in Bigfoot-land is the Bigfoot Action Tower which, at over 200 feet tall, is the highest point in Branson. The Tower, already open, features two rides -- the Gravity Bomb, a free fall ride that drops riders from a height of 200 feet, and the Saddle Sling, a two-person saddle ride that launches riders high into the air and then lets them "tumble end over end as they descend back towards earth." According to spokeswoman Linda Peterson, both rides are the first of their kind to open to the public.

The new mini-theme park also offers the Bigfoot Discovery Expedition, opening soon, during which guests will join the Bigfoot Research Team and board safari trucks for a visit to Bigfoot Farms 10 minutes outside of Branson. Guests will interact with Scottish Highland cattle on a working farm -- while always keeping on the lookout for signs of Bigfoot activity. There's also an adventure maze, already open, and coming soon, 18 holes of golf and Bigfoot's 8Di Leadslinger Cinema, which allows players to participate in a totally immersive 8D interactive gaming experience.

Berry also points to another addition to the "strip," Fritz's Adventure, as a "family-oriented indoor array of fun. [You can] climb on a rock wall, try the ziplines and scale a city skyline with box cars, water tower and fire escapes. It's everything your mother told you not to do, but in a safe, controlled setting," she jokes.

Branson is also big on anniversaries and new music shows this summer. Here are Berry's recommendations.

Anniversaries

Presleys' Country Jubilee -- The Presley Family opened Branson's first music theater on June 30, 1967. This summer, they'll celebrate their 50th anniversary in their original location, 2920 West Highway 76. 800-336-4874.

Andy Williams Performing Arts Center -- Celebrates 25 years, managed by Jimmy Osmond since Williams' death, with illusionist Rick Thomas, the Drifters & the Platters, the Lettermen, Tanya Tucker, Loretta Lynn, Neil Sedaka, Frankie Avalon, Paul Anka and the Lennon Sisters, 2500 W. Highway 76. 800-MOON-094.

Titanic Museum Attraction -- In celebration of the 20th anniversary of James Cameron's "Titanic," a limited engagement new gallery will showcase costumes, set pieces, props, signed scripts and more, through June 13. 417-334-9500.

The Haygoods -- Celebrating 25 years of Branson's most popular show, Clay Cooper Theatre, 3216 W. 76 Country Blvd. 417-339-4663.

New Music

Raiding the Rock Vault -- The story of classic rock, performed by members of some of the greatest rock bands in history including Starship, Heart, Bon Jovi, Dio & Quiet Riot, Starlite Theatre. 417-337-9333.

Janice Martin Cirque Show -- With aerial stunts and an energetic musical performance by "the world's only acrobatic aerialist violinist," Americana Theatre. 417-544-8700.

Broadway's Greatest Hits -- From the greatest Broadway musicals of the last 50 years, King's Castle Theatre. 417-334-2500.

And at the God and Country Theatre, musical tributes to Motown, bluegrass, the music of the 1950s and '60s, disco, Johnny Cash, Three Dog Night and Kenny Rogers. 417-334-6806.

NAN What's Up on 05/19/2017

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