Friday, July 31, 2015

Lake of the Ozarks to be Featured on "FAMILY TRAVEL WITH COLLEEN KELLY"

"Family Travel with Colleen Kelly," a popular National Public Television series, will feature Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks, highlighting the outdoor adventure, water activities, shopping, dining and attractions that make the area a great family vacation destination. The Lake of the Ozarks episode will be part of the show's season two lineup and will air at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2 on KMOS - Channel 184 on Charter Communications and also in Springfield on OPT-Create TV Channel 21.3 at 8:30 a.m. on August 2.

"We are very excited to see the program air in our geographic area and even more excited about the national coverage the show will bring to the Lake of the Ozarks," says Tim Jacobsen, executive director of the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau.

The show's host, Colleen Kelly, and the crew spent time throughout the Lake of the Ozarks area in July 2014, shooting segments at Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Bridal Cave and Thunder Mountain Park and Captain Ron's Bar and Grill. They also went fishing, had some fun on the lake with Iguana Watersports, took a flight over the Lake with AirLake Aviation, went on an excursion on the Tom Sawyer Paddlewheeler at Bagnell Dam and shopped at Blair's Landing on Main Street.

Kelly says the Lake of the Ozarks was an obvious choice for the show and that she looks forward to introducing viewers to all that the area has to offer. "With the beautiful lake scenery and fun activities for all ages, the Lake of the Ozarks is a perfect fit for our family travel program," she says. "It's already a popular vacation destination for Midwestern families, and we are thinking that people living in other parts of the country will find that it's worth the trip."

"Whether you want to do nothing but relax on the water, have an adventure in the great outdoors or take part in the many attractions for people of all ages, this lake vacation has something for everyone," Kelly concludes.

"Family Travel with Colleen Kelly," which helps families plan memorable vacations, reaches 90 percent of the country on National Public Television stations and recently was picked up by APT Worldwide for international distribution. Each half-hour episode gives viewers a personalized, behind-the-scenes tour of must-see locations throughout the U.S. and abroad.

"Family Travel with Colleen Kelly" is written and produced by Travel Film Productions, LLC, a Chicago-based, multi-media production company. The series originally premiered on National Public Television in October 2013 and is now also running on Create® TV, delivered nationally via 220 public television stations. Check local listings, or visit to watch complete episodes.

About Colleen Kelly: As a family travel expert and modern-day parent, Colleen Kelly isn't afraid to kick back, get a little messy and have fun. In addition to being co-creator, co-executive producer and host of "Family Travel with Colleen Kelly," she was the Emmy-nominated executive producer of NBC's successful show "24/7 Chicago." She is the co-creator of that show and is currently its travel correspondent. Colleen is also a featured travel expert for a top Chicago morning TV show. She frequently speaks at high-profile travel conferences and is often used as an expert source for media stories and interviews regarding travel topics.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Lake of the Ozarks Named #1 Recreational Lake in the U.S.

It was announced Friday, July 24 that Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks was voted the "Best Recreational Lake in the US," according to a USA Today readers poll.  

The Lake of the Ozarks, which covers 54,000 acres with 64 billion gallons of water and features over 1,150 miles of meandering shoreline (more than the entire Pacific Coast of California!), beat out Lake Tahoe in California and Nevada, Big Bear Lake in California, West Okoboji Lake in Iowa, Lake Cumberland in Kentucky, among many others for the coveted top spot.

"We're just thrilled to receive this recognition," says Jim Divincen, administrator for the Tri-County Lodging Association. "We are blessed that the Lake of the Ozarks has such a variety of recreational activities, both on and off the lake, that appeal to people of all ages." Divincen continues, "There are so many ways to enjoy the cool waters of the Lake of the Ozarks and its tributaries, be it on-the-water activities like swimming, fishing, boating, tubing, wake boarding, paddle boarding and kayaking, or by taking in fun water-focused events like AquaPalooza, the Canine Cannonball and the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout powerboat races."

The Lake of the Ozarks was among 20 lake destinations across the US selected by a panel of travel experts and journalists from USA Today, and other media outlets. Online voting took place over the course of four weeks, and although it was a close race, the Lake of the Ozarks received more readers' votes and ultimately won the contest. For a complete list of winners visit

"We simply could not be more excited," added Divincen. "This is a testament to what a great family-friendly destination the Lake is and why we have nearly 5 million visitors to the area each year. We're so very grateful and we would like to thank everyone that voted for the Lake of the Ozarks as the 'Best Recreational Lake' in the country."

For more information about all the on-the-water fun and activities and Lake-area events, attractions, dining and lodging options, call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB) at 1-800-FUN-LAKE, or visit the CVB's award-winning website,

Friday, June 19, 2015

AquaPalooza Returns July 18, 2015

AquaPalooza, the Lake's largest family-friendly boating and floating event, returns to Dog Days Bar & Grill at the Lake of the Ozarks on Saturday, July 18, 2015.

One of the most popular summertime happenings at the Lake, AquaPalooza,  brings in thousands of people to Dog Days Bar and Grill for a free event, which is equal parts concert-on-the-water and boating party. The festivities run from noon until 5:00 pm and feature live music, games, prizes and much more.

The music begins around noon, but on Saturday morning, spectators in boats and floats begin lining the cove outside of Dog Days, which is located at the 19 mile marker by water and 1232 Jefferies Road in Osage Beach by land, creating a colorful and  festive flotilla in front of the waterside stage to get the best vantage point of the live musical entertainment. Dog Days features a swimming area, boat slip rentals, as well as an impressive selection of delicious dining options and frozen concoctions, making it a one-stop-shop for an enjoyable day on and around the water.

"There is nothing else like this at the Lake," said Tim Jacobsen, executive director of the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau. "It's a really cool event at a great venue and it's totally free to come watch the different bands. It's awesome to see how many people come out to enjoy AquaPalooza."  Jacobsen credits Dog Days' General Manager Luke Hagedorn, along with local community members, including fire, law enforcement and ambulance services, for coming together to ensure the enjoyment and safety of all attendees.  "Dog Days Bar and Grill always does such a great job to make sure it remains a safe and fun event for everyone," he added.

Event organizers always go out of their way to book entertaining and energetic bands to make a fun and memorable day on the water. The 2015 lineup includes several fan favorites from across the state spanning a variety of genres. Members Only (pictured to the right) hails from Springfield, Mo. and plays chart-topping hits from the '80s. State Line Drive is an infectious country-pop band from Kansas City. Disco Dick and the Mirrorballs, also from Kansas City, will keep the crowd in a frenzy with up-tempo, funky disco hits. And, Double Vision, a Foreigner tribute band who also calls Kansas City home, will play all the classic songs from one of the best-selling bands of all time. But, the party doesn't stop there. The live music continues inside on Dog Days' interior stage as Pearl Nation plays from 5:00 -9:00 pm, followed by an unabridged encore performance by Members Only from 10:00 pm until 1:00 am.

AquaPalooza is a Benne Media production and this year's title sponsor is Budweiser. Additional sponsors include the Lake of the Ozarks Marine Dealers Association, Hy-Vee, First State Bank Mortgage and Elite Roofing. As part of the Benne Media group, the Lake's Classic Hits station, Cool 102.7 FM, will broadcast the concerts live on air, in their entirety, and Mix 92.7 FM and KS 95.1 FM will be making live updates throughout the event. For more information about AquaPalooza and to register for a Yamaha VX Deluxe Wave Runner to be given away right before the last band takes the stage, go to the website at

For those looking to schedule a full weekend around AquaPalooza, the Lake of the Ozarks offers many different attractions and lodging options to fit all budgets and travel plans. From large, full-service resorts to smaller, family-owned resorts, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds and RV parks, to chain hotels and independent motels, the Lake has it all. Many of the Lake's lodging properties also offer different discount packages, "shop and stay" packages as well as "stay and play" packages throughout the summer. For a complete list of lodging options, please visit the lodging page at

Monday, June 15, 2015

Fun, Fireworks and Live Music at The Lake (2015)

Families looking to make their Fourth of July weekend one to remember need to look no further than Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks. The holiday weekend provides ample on-the-water action, fun festivals, interesting and unique attractions, live music, lodging specials and, of course, lots of impressive fireworks.

The festive weekend gets started on Friday, July 3 with several resorts hosting family-friendly activities and large-scale fireworks displays. Old Kinderhook Golf Resort, located in Camdenton, will be featuring fun and fireworks on July 3 at their fifth annual Fireworks Fun Fest (pictured to the right) from 5-9 p.m.  Activities are free and include bounce houses, face painting, games and live music followed by fireworks at dusk.  There will be concessions and an all-American cookout and pig roast for just $12 per person. For more information, visit or call 573-317-3500.

Also on Friday, just down the road from Old Kinderhook, Windermere Baptist Conference Center will host a "Freedom Celebration" from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. This celebration features family-friendly entertainment, old-fashioned games, live music and a barbecue supper. Fireworks will begin around 9 p.m. For complete details, visit or call 573-346-5200.

Two of the Lake's largest full-service resorts, The Lodge of Four Seasons and Tan-Tar-A Resort, will host a weekend full of fun for their guests, including two of the area's largest and most impressive fireworks displays.

The Lodge of Four Seasons will host a festive weekend for their guests, as well as a barbecue, carnival and major fireworks display on Saturday, July 4.  Visitors who are not overnight guests at the resort can enjoy the fun and fireworks from 6-10 p.m. for $22 for adults and $12 for children over age 5.  Paid visitors must be on the property before 8 p.m.  For reservations and additional information, call 573-365-3000 or visit

Guests of Tan-Tar-A Resort can enjoy a weekend of fun that includes swim-up movies, live music, fun games, a scavenger hunt, mini-golf extravaganza, all-American barbeques and a parent/child golf tournament in addition to a brilliant fireworks display on the Fourth. To make reservations or for more information about the weekend's activities, call 573-348-3131 or visit

On Saturday, July 4, two Lake-area communities, Eldon and Versailles, host traditional Fourth of July festivals in their city parks.  Rides, concessions and fireworks at dusk keep the fun going all day long.  For more information on the Eldon festivities, contact the Eldon Area Chamber of Commerce at or call 573-392-2291. For details about the Versailles 4th of July activities, contact the Versailles Area Chamber of Commerce at or call 573-378-4401.
Other resorts and entities around the Lake area will be lighting up the sky on the Fourth as well. Sonlight Christian Fellowship, Lake Valley Country Club and Captain Ron's Bar and Grill are offering a variety of activities and entertainment, including fireworks, which are open to the public. No advanced reservations are needed. Point Randall Resort, Mother Nature's Riverfront Retreat and Bear Bottom Resort also will host fun activities and fireworks for their guests' enjoyment. Advanced reservations are recommended. 

For on-the-water fun, there are three options for a chartered fireworks cruise. The  Tropic Island luxury yacht , which boards at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, is offering a fireworks cruise from 7:30-9:30 p.m. To book a cruise on the Tropic Island, call
573-348-0083 or visit The Celebration luxury yacht will begin boarding its two-and-a-half-hour Fourth of July cruise at 7 p.m. at The Lodge of Four Seasons. To make reservations, call 573-480-3212 or visit CruiseLakeoftheOzarks.comPlayin' Hooky Water Taxi and Charters, which boards at Millstone Marina in Gravois Mills, is offering a Fourth of July Fireworks cruise from 8:30-10 p.m. For more information, or to make reservations, please call 573-434-2627 or visit All three cruises fill up fast, so visitors should be sure to call ahead to make reservations.

For a complete list of activities and locations of firework displays, please visit

For those looking to add some live music to their holiday weekend, there will be several live concerts throughout the Lake area. At the newly opened Ozarks Amphitheater, located in Camdenton, the legendary Ozark Mountain Daredevils will perform all their classic hits on Friday, July 3. The great music keeps going further into the weekend with another spectacular show at the amphitheater on Sunday, July 5, showcasing '90s country music heavyweights the Kentucky Headhunters and Confederate Railroad. For more information, or to order tickets for the Ozarks Amphitheater, please visit or call 573-346-0000.

On Friday, July 3, Shawnee Bluff Vineyards, located near Eldon, hosts the Steeldrivers from Nashville, Tenn., while the Dog House Daddies entertain the crowds at the Shawnee Bluff Winery, which is located in Lake Ozark. On Saturday, July 4, Shawnee Bluffs Winery will host a double bill featuring Phillip Twitchell from 3-6 p.m. followed by Catfish Willie from 6:45 until 9:45 p.m. The winery is located on a bluff overlooking the Lake and will have a great vantage point of the myriad fireworks displays over the water. For a complete schedule of events, hours of operation and how to purchase tickets for Shawnee Bluff Vineyards and Winery, please visit or call 573-365-WINE (9463).  

For more information about all the fun activities, events and dining options at the Lake of the Ozarks, call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB) at 800-FUN-LAKE, or visit the CVB's award-winning website, Stay up-to-date with all the goings-on at the Lake by liking their Facebook page at

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Lake Race 2015 Set for June 6 – 7

Watch the biggest and baddest powerboats from all over the country compete for big prize money and bragging rights at the Lake of the Ozarks during the 2015 Lake Race, June 4 – 7.  

"The Lake Race is a great opportunity for fans of boat racing to get an up-close-and-personal view of these awesome boats," says Tim Jacobsen, Executive Director of the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau. "There's nothing quite like watching these power boats reach top speed as they make their way around the course."

The lower area of the historic Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark will shut down to traffic and transform into the Lake Race headquarters on Friday, June 5. There will be a Lake Race Street Party at 6 pm, complete with a family-friendly race "village" where the public can meet the racers and check out all the impressive speed machines. Live musical entertainment starts at 7 pm with the Patrick Lentz Band from Kansas City.

The Lake Race gets underway on Saturday morning with the opening ceremonies beginning at 11:30 am at Beavers at the Dam restaurant. All the excitement comes to a climax when the race officially kicks off at noon as competitors thunder across the Lake to see who can clock the fastest four-mile time. Spectators will be able to watch all the high-speed action from prime viewing spots along Bagnell Dam as well as at many of the sponsoring establishments as boats run from the zero-mile marker to the four-mile marker of the Lake of the Ozarks. The first day of racing comes to a close at 4 pm. There will be a celebratory Lake Race party at Beavers at the Dam with live music from Disco Dick and the Mirrorballs.

Racing continues on Sunday from 12 noon until 4 pm. The winners of the 2015 Lake Race will be announced at 5:30 pm at Beavers at the Dam.

The Lake Race is produced by the Offshore Powerboat Association and hosted by Beavers at the Dam and the Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance.

For more information on the 2015 Lake Race and a full list of viewing locations and participating sponsors, visit  

For more information on other events, attractions, accommodations and dining options in the Lake area, please call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB) at 1-800-FUN-Lake. Or, visit the CVB's award-winning website at

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Canine Cannonball at Lake of the Ozarks, June 12 – 14, 2015

Man's best friend will soar through the air and make a huge splash in competition to see who is the top dog at the ninth annual Canine Cannonball, June 12 – 14 at Dog Days Bar & Grill in Osage Beach, Mo.

Canine Cannonball is a Dock Dogs-sponsored, dock-jumping competition that has been an annual event at the Lake of the Ozarks since 2007 and attracts crowds in the thousands. Dog Days Bar & Grill, located at 1232 Jeffries Road on land or at the 19-mile marker on the water, has been the lakeside host of the Cannonball since its inception.

Many families mark the Canine Cannonball on their calendar and build an entire weekend around the dock-jumping spectacular. The event is especially a highlight for Jeff and Rebecca Green of Osage Beach and their dog Ruger, a seven-year old yellow Labrador Retriever (pictured below), who has participated in Canine Cannonball the past six seasons and is set to make another appearance this year.

"The Canine Cannonball is just so much fun," says Rebecca Green. "It's a great family-friendly event that's always really well attended. It's so awesome to watch all the dogs do their thing and the crowd gets really into it cheering them on. And, it's free to attend, so we just kind of camp out and make a weekend out of it. My husband and I really enjoy it and Ruger does, too."

The Canine Cannonball judges a dog's physical prowess in three categories: the Big Air Wave (dock jumping), Extreme Vertical (high jump) and Speed Retrieve (fetching). The Big Air Wave, one of the most enjoyable competitions in this three-day event, consists of the dog running down the 40 x 8-foot competition dock and jumping off into the water for distance. The Extreme Vertical is a dock dog's version of the high jump. In this leap-for-height event, a canine leaps high into the air off the "dock" to retrieve a toy suspended above the water. The third event, the Speed Retrieve, is a timed fetching event that has the dog jump into the water and swim to fetch a thrown toy into the water.

Canine Cannonball events get underway with the first three rounds of the Big Air Wave at 2, 4 and 6 pm on Friday. On Saturday, the next three rounds of the Big Air Wave take place at 11 am, 1 and 3 pm with the Extreme Vertical event taking place at 5:30 pm. The Cannonball concludes on Sunday after two more rounds of the Big Air competition at 11 am and 1 pm followed by the Speed Retrieve at 3 pm.

All Canine Cannonball activities are free for spectators. Money raised at the event through donations will benefit the Dogwood Animal Shelter, a no-kill shelter in Osage Beach. The Shelter will also have pets available for adoption on-site during the three-day meet. According to Dogwood Animal Shelter officials, these pets have been given all required shots at the time of adoption.

Dog owners headed to the Lake for the Cannonball have many options for pet-friendly accommodations, from resorts and hotels and motels to campgrounds and RV parks. Most of the pet-friendly lodging facilities require a small per-day pet fee and/or a refundable deposit in return for a comfortable lodging experience for pets and their owners. A few of the campgrounds and RV parks require advance approval, so be sure to call ahead. For a complete list of pet-friendly lodging options, please visit

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Can-Am Games Come to The Lake in 2018

During a press conference on Wednesday, May 20th at Tan-Tar-A Resort, Lagina Fitzpatrick, Director of Sales for the Lake of the Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association and member of the Lake of the Ozarks Can-Am Police-Fire Games Committee, announced that the Lake of the Ozarks has been selected as the host site for the 2018 Can-Am Police-Fire Games.

The Can-Am (Canadian-American) Games is an Olympic-style sporting event featuring over 50 different competitive categories including archery, basketball, cycling, fishing, golf, ice hockey, shooting, swimming, weightlifting, wrestling and many others. The Can-Am Games, which was started in 1977 to promote physical fitness and camaraderie among law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical service (EMS), protective services personnel and related agencies, is expected to bring 1,200 participants to the Lake from across the US and Canada. The 2018 Can-Am Police-Fire Games is slated for June 25 through July 1 and will take place throughout the entire Lake of the Ozarks area with Tan-Tar-A Resort serving as the host hotel.

"Hosting the Can-Am Games will have a huge economic impact for the Lake of the Ozarks of over $4 million and we look forward to working with the entire community on making the 2018 games a hugely successful event," Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick stated in her announcement that she and the 25 members of the Lake of the Ozarks Can-Am Police-Fire Games Committee have been working to bring the Games to the Lake for over two years. On behalf of Tri-County Lodging Association and the committee, Fitzpatrick expressed her gratitude to the Can-Am Games Federation board for selecting the Lake of the Ozarks as the host site and "making this dream a reality for the entire Lake area."

Fitzpatrick continued, "This has truly been the work of the community coming together for a common goal and could not take place without the support of our local law enforcement, fire, emergency and protective service personnel, their agencies and their boards." Fitzpatrick also acknowledged and thanked the boards and staff members of the Tri-County Lodging Association and the Convention & Visitor Bureau for their support and commitment.

Other speakers at the press conference included Captain Kelly Luttrell of the Camden County Sheriff's Office, Fire Chief Jeff Dorhauer of the Osage Beach Fire Protection District and Bill Merrylees, CEO of the Can-Am Police-Fire Games Federation board of directors.  Also present from the Can-Am board were Can-Am US president and treasurer Lynn Hillman, and Can-Am Canadian president Terry Tycholis.

Following the announcements, the press conference concluded with the joint signing of the contract by Bill Merrylees and Lagina Fitzpatrick.

This major international multi-day event takes place every other year and past locations include Regina, Saskatchewan; Milwaukee, Wis.; Spokane, Wash., London, Ontario; St. Cloud, Minn.; and York County, Pa. The 2016 games will be held in Thunder Bay, Ontario and the Lake of the Ozarks will host in 2018. The Lake also has the opportunity to be the back-to-back host site as its still in the running to host the 2020 games. The Can-Am Police-Fire Games Federation board will name the 2020 host in October 2015.

The Can-Am Games is a non-profit event. All proceeds from the 2018 Lake of the Ozarks Can-Am Police-Fire Games will go to Special Olympics Missouri. "Special Olympics Missouri is honored to be the designated charity of the 2018 Can-Am Games," says Mark Musso, president and CEO of Special Olympics Missouri. "We look forward to assisting the games' host committee with the resources of our 24,000 volunteers, 16,500 Special Olympics athletes and our event management staff."

For more information on the Can-Am Police-Fire Games, please visit