By Dave Woods
BRANSON, Mo. — Barb Culley and her husband came to Branson to share good times with old friends.
“We come down here for the camaraderie with our friends ... and the shopping,” said the 57-year-old Sioux City, Iowa, resident as she watched the recent Christmas Parade of Stars on the Branson Landing. “You’ve got to make it down here for the holidays.”
For three generations of the McKenzie family of Tulsa, Okla., coming to Branson’s Silver Dollar City for the holidays is a long-loved tradition.
“For the last 25 years or so, we do the same thing every year,” Cam McKenzie, 66, explained. “It’s absolute pure joy. We love Christmas in the Ozarks. It’s a special thing.”
The Branson holiday experience is relatively new to Betty and Alan McGallager, of Pacific, Mo.
The 60-something couple stood in line for almost two hours to get a good spot to view the lighting of Silver Dollar City’s five-story Christmas tree.
“We just found out about Christmas in Branson three years ago,” Betty McGallager said. “It starts the season off for us now; it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I’ve never seen a tree like that. I could not describe it to my friends, so I brought them with me this year.”
For the Culleys, McKenzies, McGallagers and many others, a trip to Branson during the holidays means more than shopping at the outlet malls and dollar stores. It’s about spending time with family and friends.
This year, more than ever, the town offers a wide variety of opportunities to make new friends and renew old acquaintances under the glow of millions of twinkling lights.
Silver Dollar City is serving up a spectacular Christmas experience, including its biggest light and sound show ever. The Branson Landing is bustling with shoppers from around the country and most of the usual shows have turned up the warm-and-fuzzy Christmas spirit.
By Dave Woods
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New festival focuses on short independent films
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Glory Days Music to resume weekly in-store concerts
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Anyone who has more than one device will understand this situation completely: Let's say a player fires up "Candy Crush" on his tablet computer and really digs the game. A lot. So much so that he downloads it to his smartphone.
Only there's one problem: All the progress made on the tablet is stuck on the tablet. The smartphone has a completely separate path of progress, meaning the player has to play each level twice. This makes progress through the game twice as long. (This problem can be fixed by signing up for the game on Facebook, but no one really wants their Facebook friends to know they spend so much time crushin' candy.)
The Asus PadFone X is the dream solution to this nightmare of a problem.
Available exclusively from AT&T, the device is actually two devices. A standalone smartphone can be plugged into a tablet computer, meaning the owner can take his pick of how he wants to play the game, and all the progress he makes is saved on one device's hard drive.
AT&T loaned us a device that we tested for more than two weeks -- didn't like having to send it back -- and we found a lot of its qualities and quirks.
Tantric tours in support of latest studio album
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New exhibit combines works of married couple
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