Now that I've shared some of the practical parts of vacationing in Branson such as dining and lodging, I'd like to let you know one attraction you do NOT want to miss when you visit! I'm sure you have all heard about it, but even after my research, I was not prepared for the beauty and excitement of visiting Dixie Stampede!
Our family attended the Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction one evening, and it is an event we will never forget. We arrived about an hour early, and enjoyed a few minutes of wandering through the stables, and seeing the gorgeous horses. I have had plenty of experience around horses, and even owned 2 at one time, but the younger girls only remember a couple of pony rides around a corral. So you can be sure they really enjoyed being up close to these beautiful animals! From Quarter Horses to Palominos, and a Tennessee Walker to the massive Belgians, we all appreciated being able to see the horses so close.
From the Horse Walk we headed inside to pick up our tickets. We were escorted through to a photo shoot, and then made our way to the Carriage Hall, where they have live entertainment, as well as refreshments and a gift shop. I'm not sure if he's the resident entertainer, or if it varies, but the evening we went featured David Lucas, a "comic juggler". I was somewhat leery of the show, as every "family-friendly" entertainment I've been acquainted with usually ends in a crude joke or something we don't want the children to hear. When we first walked in, however, Mr. Lucas was doing some juggling, so we stayed to watch. After a 35 minute mix of banjo playing, some very impressive juggling, and comedy thrown in, I was extremely impressed! Everything was indeed appropriate for the family, and David Lucas even said that his father taught him to be funny without being crude. Very much appreciated!! Hilarious yet clean!
A few minutes before the show started, we were able to head into the main arena. After being seated in the section cheering for the North (sorry, but I'm still a Southern girl :) our waiter appeared and took our drink order. We were able to choose from iced tea, Pepsi, water or diet soda, so there is a nice selection for everyone. At the start of the show, "Doc", the announcer and master of ceremonies for the evening, introduced himself and got things rolling.
The show itself is different from other dinner shows I've been to, as it combines amazing stunts, many fun songs, some humor, and even audience participation. Oh, and a herd of buffalo stampeding around the arena adds to the wild west air!
The list of events that take place are too many to mention, but I will share a couple of my favorites.
Probably my top favorite was the "Roman Rider" riding 2 horses-at once-in various stunts, and then finishing by jumping them through a hoop of fire. It was absolutely breathtaking!
A close runner up for first place was the "cavalry" riding around the arena, with some very intricate riding!
Of course, mixed in with the competition and events was some humor provided mainly by the "stable boy" name Skeeter, as well as interchanges between Skeeter and Doc. Other happenings during the night included a pig race, chicken chase, horseshoes (with members of the audience participating), barrel racing, bareback riders, an astonishing Indian aerial dance, a lumberjack competition, and a dance on horseback. The entire show was full of fun and surprises, as we never knew what to expect next!
And, as this was going on, we were fed an entire feast; a rotisserie chicken, pork loin, creamy vegetable soup (you've never tasted vegetable soup this good), herb-basted potato, corn on the cob, biscuit, and delicious pastry. Guaranteed you will not walk away from Dixie Stampede hungry-I even had leftovers that I brought back to the hotel for snacking the next day!
The evening ended with a beautiful patriotic song, "Color Me America", as riders in bold red, white and blue outfits took center stage. A lovely ending to a wonderful show!
Now, in order to be honest, I have to also share a couple things I didn't care for. Not bad enough to keep me from going back, but just a few things that I thought were out of place. First of all, the barrel racing women were in halter tops that tied at their midriff, and were just a little too revealing to be considered family friendly. Yes, they're moving fast, but it is still clear what they are wearing. Also, the entire show is set in the old west and Civil War era, and I know that women did not run around in half-shirts back then, so it was a little out of place anyways. In that same theme, some of the girls in the wagon train dance were a little too sensual for my tastes. Yes, they were dressed in old-fashioned dresses, with petticoats and pantalets underneath, but the way a couple of them swung and swayed was too reminiscent of a saloon girl, not a prairie girl headed west with her husband! Other than these 2 issues, the entire evening was completely acceptable for the family, and as I said, it would not stop me from attending again.
|Part of our happy family after an evening at Dixie Stampede!|