Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Although the first day of summer is officially June 20, Memorial Day Weekend has traditionally marked the start of the summer season at Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks.  As the days grow longer and the weather continues to warm, the action at the "Best Recreational Lake" in the Nation really begins to heat up. Read on for more information on the area's Memorial Day Weekend celebrations.


Many resorts host professional fireworks displays to start their busy season with a bang. Resort guests and visitors to the area are welcome to enjoy the festivities by either land or by water.

Old Kinderhook Golf Resort in Camdenton invites the public to join them for their annual Fireworks Fun Fest from 5-9 pm. Admission to this sparkling spectacle is free and features live musical entertainment from Slick Nickel; bounce houses, clowns, face painting and games for the kids; an "All-American" cookout, which will be available for $13; and fireworks at dusk. For more information, visit www.OldKinderhook.com.

Two Lake-area resorts will put on professional pyrotechnic displays for visitors on Saturday, May 28. The fireworks at the Inn at Grand Glaize, located in Osage Beach, will begin at dusk and will be viewable by land at the Inn or by water at the 1 mile marker of the Grand Glaize Arm of the Lake. Bear Bottom Resort, located in Sunrise Beach, will feature live music by Money for Nothing followed by fireworks at 9:45 pm. And, on Sunday, May 29, the celebration continues at Bear Bottom with a double-concert featuring Money for Nothing and the return of country music star Matt Stillwell. There will be a second fireworks display at 9:45 p.m. on Sunday as well. For more information about the Inn at Grand Glaize and its fireworks, visit www.InnAtGrandGlazie.com; and for more details about the events at Bear Bottom Resort, including musical performance times, check out www.BearBottomResort.com.

Tan-Tar-A Resort celebrates Memorial Day with a weekend full of festivities for their hotel guests. Visitors can look forward to live music, cookouts, miniature golf, fun games and contests (limbo, hula hoop, watermelon eating) for the kids, a scavenger hunt, swim-up movies, cosmic bowling and more. The resort's fireworks take place at dusk on Sunday evening, May 29. For more information, visit www.Tan-Tar-A.com, or call 573-348-3131. Also, those who would like to see Tan-Tar-A's fireworks display on the water, but don't have a boat, can reserve a spot on the Tropic Island luxury cruise yacht. Make reservations by calling the Tropic Island at 573-348-0083 and view their website at www.tropicislandcruises.com. This cruise fills up fast, so travelers should reserve their spots early.

The Lodge of Four Seasons will also be hosting a large-scale fireworks display on Sunday beginning at dusk.  The fireworks can also be viewed by water at the 13-mile marker.  Call 800-843-5253 or visit www.4SeasonsResort.com for more information.

For more information on all Memorial Day Weekend events, as well as Lake Area lodging, dining, attractions, golf and more, visit www.FunLake.com.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Lake of the Ozarks Music Scene In Full Swing This Summer

On any given weekend during the summer, visitors to Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks will find a wide array of musical performances taking place around the area. Many of the Lake's resorts and 200 eateries and night spots showcase local musicians as well as some more renowned acts, because what's a trip to the Lake without a little music and sunshine? It doesn't matter what genre a visitor is looking for, whether it be rock and roll, blues, country or bluegrass, the Lake of the Ozarks always strikes the perfect chord.  Below is a highlight of some of the musical acts coming to four of the Lake's larger outdoor stages this summer.


H. Toad's Bar and Grill at Camden on the Lake Resort, Spa and Yacht Club features live music on two separate stages, one indoors and one outdoors, every weekend. In the past, H. Toad's entertainment complex has featured well known acts like Cheap Trick, Molly Hatchet, Nelly, Dr. Zhivagas, the American Hitman Band, as well as many popular local bands. Over Memorial Day Weekend, H. Toad's hosts Contagious, dubbed one of the best party bands in the Midwest, for three consecutive nights on their outdoor stage, May 27-29. This summer, H.Toad's, which was just voted the "Best Entertainment on the Water" by readers of Lake Lifestyles Magazine, will host at least four live performances every weekend. The event schedule is too packed to list all of the bands performing, so for a complete calendar of upcoming shows, please visit www.HToads.com.


This 10,000-seat open-air music venue celebrated its grand reopening in mid-June 2015 with its first annual summer concert series featuring many big name bands, including the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, The Guess Who, Tracy Lawrence, Warrant and others.  This summer, the owners and operators, who also have experience at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater outside of Denver, Col., have more in store for music lovers as they kick off their second annual concert series Memorial Day Weekend with a show headlined by GRAMMY-nominated, multi-platinum-selling recording artist Aaron Lewis on Sunday, May 29. The show will open with Andrew Stratman and CristiAna, with a special appearance by the Army National Guard.

On Saturday, June 11, one of the most influential bands of the '90s, the Gin Blossoms, and their signature "jangle pop" sound will be on full display. The amphitheater hosts two of country music's biggest names in July and August. The Country Music Award-winning Eli Young Band headlines on Saturday, July 23. Nationally renowned Parmalee bring their North Carolina-based Southern country-rock music to the Ozarks stage on Saturday, Aug. 6.

The 2016 summer series hits a crescendo as the legendary "Motor City Madman" Ted Nugent and special guests Head East wrap up the party on Saturday, Aug. 12.

For tickets and more information on the upcoming performers and/or the venue, please visit www.OzarksAmp.com, or call 573-346-0000.


Picklehead's Road House is one of the Lake of the Ozarks' newest music venues and immediately put its stamp on the local music scene last year as it hosted Head East, Bret Michaels and 38 Special, and more. Picklehead's boasts a four-story entertainment complex complete with a large outdoor stage, multiple dining options and a zip line. 

Picklehead's summer season gets underway with a jam-packed Memorial Day Weekend as they host Members Only on Friday, May 27; a double-bill featuring Madd Hoss Jackson followed by Blackberry Smoke on Saturday, May 28; and, on Sunday, May 29, Drew Baldridge headlines a free, all-ages show beginning at 8 p.m.

In mid-June, the MidCoast BikeFest rolls into town. This weekend will be packed with custom motorcycles, contests and live music, including Shannon Curfman of Kid Rock as well as local heavyweights Shaman's Harvest on June 17. On June 18, attendees can look forward to performances by Adairs Run followed by the Bellamy Brothers. The weekend will also feature several special guests, including emcee "Goat," as well as bartenders from the famous Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, South Dakota.

To celebrate America's Independence Day, Picklehead's will host two double-bills on Friday and Saturday.  Lenny Cooper and Colt Ford will entertain audiences on Saturday, July 2, and, on July 3, Brushville and Backroad Anthem close out the weekend with a free, all-ages show.

For aficionados of one of America's most beloved musical genres, the blues, Picklehead's will be the place to be on Saturday, July 23. The 2016 Blues Festival features the Norman Jackson Band, Steve Smith and the Sneakers, E.D. Anderson, Steepwater Band and Davy Knowles. Music begins at 1 p.m.

To view Picklehead's complete event schedule, or to order tickets and get more information on the venue, visit www.PickleheadsRoadHouse.com.


Shawnee Bluff Vineyard is situated on 40 scenic acres of rolling pastures lined with rows of grapevines and is a year-around destination for Lake visitors wanting to sample some of the area's best wines. But, during the summer months, many flock to the Vineyard not just for the fruits of its labor, but for its musical performances. 

Shawnee Bluff's annual outdoor concert series has been both a highlight and staple at the Lake of the Ozarks for years and always brings in some of the biggest names in country and classic rock for select weekends throughout the season. The 2016 summer series features the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, famous for their monster hit, "Fishing in the Dark," on June 3. Country music sweetheart Lorrie Morgan graces the stage on July 15. The multi-award-winning country star Mickey Gilley plays his famous hits on August 19, and the legendary Charlie Daniels Band returns to the Vineyard on August 26. The summer series concludes with two shows in September, featuring the raucous rockabilly sounds of Reverend Horton Heat on September 10 and the sweet harmonies of The Oak Ridge Boys on September 23. 

Aside from these notable acts, Shawnee Bluff Vineyard also features local artists every Sunday throughout the summer and their second location, Shawnee Bluff Winery in Lake Ozark, features live music every weekend throughout the year. For more information on both locations - the Vineyard and the Winery - as well as a full events calendar, visit www.ShawneeBluffWinery.com.

For a complete list of concerts and other family-friendly events taking place at the "Best Recreational Lake" in the Nation, 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 www.FunLake.com. Visitors can also find a wealth of information about the different lodging facilities, 200 restaurants and bars and other Lake-area attractions on the CVB's website as well.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Fishing Lake of the Ozarks in Spring and Beyond

Although it's widely recognized as one of the best vacation destinations in the Midwest, Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks has also earned the reputation of being one of the best fisheries in the nation, too. Thousands of anglers return to the Lake time and time again to take to the waters in search of that next big catch.

The sheer size of this man-made reservoir can be difficult to comprehend: it covers over 54,000 acres with over 64 billion gallons of fish-filled water supplied by five tributaries, all enclosed within 1,150 miles of meandering shoreline. To put that in perspective, that's more shoreline than the entire Pacific coast of the state of California.

That's exactly what makes the Lake of the Ozarks one of the best destinations for anglers of all experience levels. With all that water, shoreline and natural and artificial habitat, as well as careful management, the fish populations flourish, making for a lot of line-tugging, fish-fighting fun throughout the entire year.

The most prevalent species at the Lake include largemouth and spotted bass; white bass; black and white crappie; hybrid white bass/stripers; bluegill; walleye; and channel, flathead and blue catfish, as well as paddlefish. But, arguably the most sought after are crappie and bass. The Lake hosts over 500 professional and amateur fishing tournaments each year, the most popular being the semi-annual spring and fall Big Bass Bash tournaments, which typically pay out a whopping $60,000 cash prize to the amateur that reels in the biggest fish.

Fishing has been a popular family activity at the Lake of the Ozarks for over 80 years. "If you're interested in catching your daily limits of sizable fish, the Lake of the Ozarks provides a wonderful opportunity to accomplish that,” says Jim Divincen, administrator for the Lake of the Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association. "It's also a great way to spend quality time with your family. Generations of families have grown up fishing here and continue to pass on the tradition to each new generation or addition to their families. In fact, some of my fondest memories are of fishing with my daughters on the Lake."

John Neporadny, a longtime Lake of the Ozarks resident and a member of the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, shares Divincen's enthusiasm for the Lake and believes it lives up to its billing as one of the best fisheries in the nation. "I've had the opportunity to fish many of the best rivers, natural lakes and reservoirs throughout the country and on many occasions I've discovered there is no place like home."

This former fishing guide and author of The Lake of the Ozarks Fishing Guide book continues, "Missouri has many fine fisheries, but I would have to rate Lake of the Ozarks as the best reservoir in the state for catching a variety of game fish. I believe that day in and day out, Lake of the Ozarks gives anglers an equal opportunity to catch bass, crappie, white bass or catfish."


The autumn season is a favorite among anglers for the cooler temperatures, colorful fall foliage and productive fishing. The warmer weather and extended hours of daylight make spring and summer the most popular seasons with boaters and anglers alike, but that doesn't mean the fish stop biting in the fall and winter.

The cooler temperatures and vibrant fall foliage make fishing at the Lake in autumn both beautiful and productive. And, during the fall and winter seasons, many of the Lake-area resorts offer discounted rates on lodging, providing yet another reason to plan a fishing trip to the Lake of the Ozarks.

Those willing to layer up and brave the colder conditions, may have the largest payoff as some of the Lake's record-breaking fish have been caught during the winter months. And, a handful of Lake-area resorts feature enclosed heated fishing docks for catching crappie, some are even furnished with couches and TVs to ensure a comfortable and pleasurable winter fishing experience.


The Lake area not only boasts a good number of trophy-size fish, but also a good number of national trophy-winning fishermen. Guido Hibdon, winner of the Bassmaster Classic and two-time BASS Angler of the year; Dion Hibdon, winner of the Bassmaster Classic and FLW Forrest Wood Cup; fishing legend Denny Brauer, the first ever angler to be featured on the Wheaties Box; Brian Maloney, FLW All-American National Champion; and Marcus Sykora, FLW All-American National Champion, all call the Lake of the Ozarks home. Clearly, there must be something in the water.

So, what makes the the Lake of the Ozarks so special and so attractive for professional anglers?

"The Lake is an unbelievable place to be for pro anglers because there are many different river systems, many different types of cover for the fish, and you have four distinct seasons, so fishing this lake prepares you for all sorts of scenarios,” says Sykora, who won the 2014 FLW All-American championship on Wilson Lake in Alabama. "You learn to excel at fishing in very shallow water; very deep water; in warm and cold weather; windy, rainy and sunny conditions; so you develop a unique sense for the different patterns and techniques you need to use for each given scenario. That, in my opinion, is why Lake of the Ozarks anglers tend to be so successful in big tournaments. Our home lake has prepared us well. And, that's also why the Lake attracts and produces so many great anglers."


If you come to the Lake to do some fishing, it's never a bad idea to do a little research. There are many resources available to anglers providing information on the best locations, patterns, bait and more. A great online resource is www.BassingBob.com, where you can get current reports on water conditions and tips from local pros. In print, there's the Lake of the Ozarks Fishing News available for free at most bait shops and grocery stores around the Lake area, and several local newspapers also feature up-to-date fishing reports and tips as well.

But, you can always cut to the chase and hire a certified fishing guide. Local guides know the waters better than almost anyone and make for a relaxing and effortless fishing experience.  With one call, you can book these professionals, who will take you to the Lake's fishing "hot spots," and will also provide the boat and all the equipment needed for the excursion. All you have to do is show up and your guide will take care of the rest.

"A big lake like this can be intimidating for some people," says Ed Franko, owner of Big Ed's Guide Service in Lake Ozark. "Professional fishing guides make it easy and they maximize the quality of time a person spends on the water. Most of us are out on the Lake 250-plus days a year, so we know where the fish are and what they're biting. We also have some of the best equipment and a wealth of knowledge to ensure that people have a great experience here at the Lake of the Ozarks. Because, when you get down to it, it's all about the experience and a good guide can be the difference between a great fishing trip or an extremely frustrating one."

For a complete listing of Coast Guard-certified fishing guides in the area, visit www.FunLake.com


Many Lake-area resorts feature fishing docks for their guests' convenience and enjoyment. The Lake of the Ozarks has made a point of providing top-notch services for anglers for decades. So, if you're planning a trip to the Lake, know that many of the resorts at the Lake cater to anglers and their needs and offer fishing docks, submerged crappie beds and cleaning stations on location. And, as mentioned previously, some have heated fishing docks for comfortable winter fishing as well.

Public launching sites are available in the Lake area's two state parks - Lake of the Ozarks State Park and Ha Ha Tonka State Park - as well as at full-service marinas and resorts around the Lake.  A lot of the same marinas and resorts also offer boat rentals.

Fishing licenses are required for most anglers in Missouri.  Licenses can be purchased at many Lake-area resorts, convenience stores and bait shops. For more information, including all rules and regulations, or to purchase your fishing license online, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation at  www.mdc.mo.gov/permits 

Whether fishing with buddies or family, time spent off the water can be as enjoyable as the time spent fishing. The Lake of the Ozarks, which was named the "Best Recreational Lake" in the Nation by readers of USA Today, has activities and events for every age and interest.  To learn more about these, plus dining and accommodations 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 at www.FunLake.com 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Lake of the Ozarks Eagle Days 2016

The act of viewing a bald eagle in flight is a memorable moment that brings excitement and joy to adults and children alike. One of the best times of year to spot these majestic birds is during the winter season as they migrate from Alaska and Canada to warmer climates. Visitors to the Lake of the Ozarks will have the opportunity to view these awesome feathered creatures and learn more about them and other birds of prey at Lake of the Ozarks Eagle Days, January 9-10.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, more than 2,000 bald eagles are reported around the state's large rivers and reservoirs in the wintertime, making Missouri one of the leaders in bald eagle viewing in the lower 48 states. The bluffs and large wooded areas surrounding the Lake of the Ozarks make this area a popular stop during their annual exodus from the frigid temperatures of the north. 

Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks Eagle Days activities allow attendees to see the birds in a natural setting, perched in the trees or in flight, as well as offering opportunities for up-close viewing at programs offered by the World Bird Sanctuary from St. Louis. Events on Saturday, Jan. 9, begin at 9 am and continue until 5:30 pm.  On Sunday, Jan. 10, events begin at 10 am and end at 4:30 pm. All Eagle Days activities are free and open to the public and take place in Lake Ozark, all within a short drive of one another.

When Sue Westenhaver, chairman of the board of the Lake of the Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association, owner and operator of Inn at Harbour Ridge Bed and Breakfast and one of the original organizers of the Eagle Days event at the Lake, first moved to Missouri from northern Illinois, she had no idea bald eagles inhabited the Lake area, much less that they were so plentiful. After attending her first eagle viewing event in Warsaw, Mo. at the Truman Dam in 1983, she wanted to establish a similar event at the Lake of the Ozarks. Westenhaver recruited some good friends and together they orchestrated the first program at the Lake, which was initially a one-day event held at the School of the Osage Heritage Elementary School and the Bagnell Dam Access. Over the last 30 years, this celebration of America's national bird has continued to grow in scale and popularity from a couple hundred spectators that first year to nearly 4,000 expected over the course of the weekend for the 2016 event.

"My favorite part about Eagle Days is watching the beautiful birds flying, swooping, dipping and dancing right above everyone's head," Westenhaver says. "That, and seeing the children's eyes light up when they get to see a bald eagle up close during the naturalist programs. The little kids get so excited and just start to squeal in delight. It's just wonderful."

Wild eagle-viewing activities are hosted by the Camden County Astronomy Club and will take place at Willmore Lodge, 1 Willmore Lane, and the Bagnell Dam Access, located off of Highway 54 on Osage River Bridge Road. Eagle-watchers are encouraged to dress for the weather and bring cameras and binoculars. Interactive exhibits and crafts will be on display at Willmore Lodge each day, and eagle nest-building and rope-making exhibitions will be held at the Bagnell Dam Access. Free hot chocolate will also be available at the Bagnell Dam Access to help birders of all sizes stay warm and enjoy their time outdoors. 

At Osage National Golf Resort, 400 Osage Hills Road, live eagle programs presented by the World Bird Sanctuary begin on the hour at 9 a.m. with the last of the day starting at 3 pm on Saturday. And, on Sunday, the first program begins at 10 a.m. and the last begins at 2 pm. Naturalists from the World Bird Sanctuary will be on hand to interact with attendees as they show off live birds, explain about what makes these birds unique and answer questions from the audience.

School of the Osage Heritage Elementary, 1571 Bagnell Dam Boulevard, will feature two programs by Springfield's Dickerson Park Zoo. The "Day Shift, Night Shift and Garbage Gal" program provides information about hawks ("Day Shift"), owls ("Night Shift") and turkey vultures ("Garbage Gals"). The second program, "Live Owls of Missouri," features information about the species of owls indigenous to Missouri. These shows will be held every hour on the half-hour beginning at 9:30 a.m. and the last program of the day beginning at 4:30 pm on Saturday. On Sunday, programs begin at 10:30 am with the last occurring at 3:30 pm. There will also be photo contests, coloring contests and other activities for kids, as well as nature-related exhibitors including the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Lake of the Ozark Eagle Days is made possible by the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau, Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Osage National Golf Resort, FaceLift Marketing, School of the Osage, Camden County Astronomy Club, Missouri Master Naturalist - Lake of the Ozarks Chapter and Boy Scouts of America.

More details on Eagle Days, including a complete schedule of events, listing of 2016 vendors as well as photos from past events, can be found at www.LakeoftheOzarksEagleDays.com.

Many visitors build a winter weekend getaway around Eagle Days to take advantage of the off-season lodging rates and smaller crowds at the various year-around attractions and activities at the Lake. For other fun events, or for more information on all attractions and lodging and dining options at the "Best Recreational Lake" in the Nation, visit the the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau's award-winning website, www.FunLake.com,

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Lake of the Ozarks Holiday Events, Attractions and Information for 2015

The holiday season is a joyous time of coming together and celebrating with friends and family. But, sometimes the stress of planning parties and meals and frantic last-minute trips to crowded markets can make the season lose its luster. The activities and attractions at the Lake of the Ozarks can be just the thing to breathe new life into seasonal traditions. The Lake offers family and friends the opportunity to relax, reconnect and even add a little extra spice to their holidays.

Thanksgiving is especially festive at the Lake of the Ozarks as many of the businesses around the area get into the holiday spirit. Several resorts and hotels offer bountiful Thanksgiving meals with all the trimmings, but without the hassles of cooking and cleaning up. The Lodge of Four Seasons and Camden on the Lake Resort, both located in Lake Ozark, as well as The Inn at Grand Glaize in Osage Beach, will have full-blown Thanksgiving buffets on Thursday, Nov. 26. To make reservations for overnight stays, Thanksgiving meals and other activities, contact The Lodge of Four Seasons, call 800-THE-LAKE or visit  www.4SeasonsResort.com; for Camden on the Lake, call 888-365-5620 or visit www.CamdenOnTheLake.com; for The Inn at Grand Glaize, visit www.InnAtGrandGlaize.com or call 800-348-4731. 

Tan-Tar-A Resort, located in Osage Beach, will host its Winter Holiday Festival over Thanksgiving weekend. Guests and the general public can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner buffet on Thursday, Nov. 26 along with a bonfire, sing-along, comedy show, visits with Santa Claus, a ceremonious lighting of the resort's wealth of Christmas decorations and tram rides throughout the resort property that evening. For guests staying at the resort, the entire holiday weekend is packed with activities, including a "Midnight Madness" shuttle to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets, "Black Friday" sales at Tan-Tar-A, a Turkey Trot 5k race, stations for writing letters to Santa, a duck drop race at the resort's indoor water park, tailgate parties, a scavenger hunt for the kids and additional holiday tram tours. To make reservations for lodging or the Thanksgiving day meal, visit www.Tan-Tar-A.com or call 800-826-8272.

Guests at Old Kinderhook Resort can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, Nov. 26 at The Trophy Room; and on Friday, Nov. 27, the resort will transform into a Christmas "village." The new village will be open to the public on weekends until December 20 and will feature Santa Claus and story-telling elves, carolers, s'mores, gingerbread house-making stations and horse-drawn carriage rides. Small fees may apply for some activities. Old Kinderhook's new outdoor ice rink will be open to all visitors that want to do some holiday skating. For reservations for lodging and Thanksgiving dinner at Old Kinderhook, or for more details on their holiday offerings and prices, call 573-317-3560 or visit www.OldKinderhook.com.

One of the Lake's most popular and enduring holiday traditions involves the area's different drive-through light parks. Admission to the light parks is free, but donations are welcome. 

The Lake's largest light park, The Enchanted Village of Lights, meanders through 27 acres of the Laurie Fairgrounds and is celebrating its 22nd season of warming hearts. The Enchanted Village opens on November 20 and runs through January 2. The light park is open daily from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. on weekdays and closes at 10 p.m. on weekends. Complete details can be found at www.CityofLaurie.com/EnchantedLights.

Also in Laurie, just a mile from the Enchanted Village on Highway 5, is the Festival of Lights at the Shrine of Saint Patrick. Started in 1981, the festival is now in its 32nd year and has continued to grow each season, with thousands of lights decorating the buildings and grounds. The site is the home of the National Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Church, so this display focuses on Jesus and His mother, Mary. The St. Patrick Festival of Lights will be open daily from 6-10 p.m. from Thanksgiving through January 1. Learn more at www.ShrineOfStPatrick.org.

Versailles joins the lighting celebration from Nov. 26 through Jan. 1 with its own Unity Circle of Lights, featuring 40 lighted holiday exhibits in the city park, at the junction of Highways 5 and 52 in Morgan County.

In Osage Beach, the city park and many businesses along Osage Beach Parkway will be dressed in holiday lights from November 28 through January 3. And, on December 12, children of all ages can meet Santa Claus from 3-5 p.m. at the Osage Beach city park. For more information, visit www.OsageBeach.org.

Other fun holiday events around the Lake include the City of Eldon's "Home for the Holidays" celebration on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20 and 21, consisting of a holiday parade, face painting, craft-making stations, dance performances, live concerts from the Eldon High School Jazz Band and Chamber Choir, and, of course, a visit from Santa. 

The City of Versailles' "Olde Fashioned Christmas on the Square," which takes place from 4-8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28 in its historic downtown, features many craft and food vendors, live choir performances, a silent auction and an appearance by Old Saint Nick.

Also on November 28, visitors can watch a processions of fun floats decked out in lights during the 14th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade in Laurie.

Children of all ages can enjoy Breakfast with Santa on December 5 and 12 at HK's Restaurant located on property at The Lodge of Four Seasons.

Camdenton offers a day of family fun at Christmas on the Square, December 5. This all-day event features food, games, gifts and, of course, a visit from the season's guest of honor - Santa.

In addition, on December 12, Lake Ozark celebrates its 31st "Christmas Magic" parade, which will wind along the historic Bagnell Dam Boulevard. Following the parade, families can join Santa's Caravan, by meeting Santa at Prewitt's Point and following his sleigh to Bagnell Dam. Children will have the opportunity to visit with Santa and receive a free stocking stuffed with goodies from the merry-maker himself. 

For more information on these and other holiday events around the Lake, visit the event calendar at www.FunLake.com.

Another popular Lake of the Ozarks tradition is taking in all the sights and sounds of "Christmas on Mainstreet," an annual presentation by the talented performers of the Main Street Music Hall in Osage Beach. The show is designed to be a treat for all in attendance with beautifully decorated sets, glamorous costumes, special effects, musical impersonations, comedy skits and the best songs of the season. The Main Street Music Hall audience will enjoy every style of holiday music, from the latest in contemporary songs to favorite Christmas hymns and carols. The show is offered Tuesdays through Sundays, beginning Nov. 27 and continuing through Dec. 20. To order tickets and to get more information, including show dates and times, as well as ticket prices, call the Main Street Music Hall box office at 800-348-9501 or visit www.LakeMusicHall.com.

Those looking for the perfect gifts for their friends and loved ones will appreciate the wide variety of shops available at the Lake. Osage Beach Premium Outlets, the largest outlet mall in Missouri with 110 name brand stores, offers extended hours and special savings throughout the season to make holiday gift-buying easier.  In addition, the boutique stores found at The Landing on Main Street, a picturesque Victorian-themed village, offer gifts for the home, unique clothing, jewelry and other personal items, as well as homemade confections.  Antique shops are packed with treasures from the past and handmade crafts.  For more information about shopping at the Lake, click on the "shopping" tab at www.FunLake.com.

Visitors to the Lake can also ring in the New Year in style as area resorts offer dining specials and festive overnight packages complete with live music, dancing, champagne toasts at midnight and more. Call your favorite lodging property to ask about their New Year's Eve specials.

Whether coming to the Lake to enjoy festive lighting displays, check items off the holiday gift list or to escape the demands of the season, the Lake's lodging properties offer the gift of off-season savings.  Winter and holiday special lodging rates are some of the lowest of the year at Lake-area resorts, hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, condos, vacation homes, campgrounds and RV parks.  In some cases, travelers can save as much as 40 percent off in-season rates and give themselves the gift of a good night's rest and relaxation. For a complete list of lodging options, visit www.FunLake.com.

To find out about all the fun holiday events, year-around attractions as well as dining and accommodations at the "Best Recreational Lake" in the nation, call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB) at 800-FUN-LAKE, or visit the CVB's award-winning website www.FunLake.com.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Lake Stock Fall Crawl 2015

Enjoy lots of live music and great food and drink specials during the third annual Lake Stock Fall Crawl, Saturday, November 7th at various locations around the Lake of the Ozarks.

The event has been dubbed "Woodstock on Wheels," as attendees can hop on shuttle buses to travel to and from some of the Lake's hottest nightspots to check out and enjoy live musical entertainment throughout the evening.

"It's kind of like a mini-music festival right here at the Lake," says event organizer Jeff Carroll. "You have some really great live bands playing everything from rock and roll to blues and country all throughout the night at some of the best bars and restaurants around the Lake. Everyone who has participated in the past, whether as attendees or musicians, has really enjoyed themselves."

Carroll says participating in the Lake Stock Fall Crawl is easy. Attendees purchase a $10 wrist band that gets them into all 10 event venues without paying a cover charge, as well as free shuttle service to and from all Lake Stock locations. Once they have their wristbands, participants can choose how and where they spend their evening. The shuttle service will run in a continuous loop from many local hotels, motels, resorts and condominiums to all of the Fall Crawl venues. Shuttles begin running at 6 p.m. with the event officially kicking off at 7 p.m.  In most locations, live music will be showcased from 8 p.m. until closing. A detailed shuttle route can be found on the event's website, www.LakeStockFallCrawl. Wristbands can be purchased at all 10 Lake Stock venues the week before, as well as the night of the event.  
Now in its third year, Carroll says Lake Stock has only been getting bigger and better. "We're expecting around 2,500 people to come and spend a festive Saturday evening at their favorite restaurants and bars. And, hopefully they'll discover some cool new bands, too." Carroll also says the "throwback vibe" of the event has really caught on. "A lot of people will be dressed up in '60s and '70s attire: tie-dyed shirts, bell bottoms, big collars, big boots, big hair. The whole getup. It's a lot of fun." And, to keep with the spirit of the event, custom tie-dyed Lake Stock Fall Crawl t-shirts will be on sale throughout the night at each location.

In addition to the live entertainment, "crawlers" are eligible for prizes and giveaways throughout the evening to ensure a fun and festive event.  Carroll urges participants to book their lodging packages early and also suggests coming in a day early and making a weekend out of it. "If you're coming in from out of town, there are many awesome attractions and a lot of cool stuff to do, so you might as well make the most of your time here at the Lake."

Although the music and good times take top billing, safety is also a key component in the event. "We want to make it easy for anyone who wants to join us to have a good time and get home safely. Those are our main two concerns, with safety being at the top of the list," says Carroll. "With our shuttle service to and from all of the entertainment venues, we make it very easy to put your keys away and have a safe and worry-free night out on the town."

For a continuously updated list of participating venues and performing bands, as well as local lodging options and a detailed shuttle route, visit www.LakeStockFallCrawl.com. 

To find out about all the fun events, attractions as well as dining  and accommodations at the "Best Recreational Lake" in the nation, call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB) at 800-FUN-LAKE, or visit the CVB's award-winning website, www.FunLake.com.

Monday, October 5, 2015

The 30th Annual Fall Harbor Hop

One of the best ways to take in the beautiful fall foliage lining the 1,150 miles of shoreline at the Lake of the Ozarks is, of course, by boat. Visitors and locals alike will have another opportunity to cruise the Lake, enjoy the colorful seasonal transition and win big prize money, during the landmark 30th anniversary of the Fall Harbor Hop poker run on Saturday, October 10th. 

The goal of this semi-annual event is for participants to complete the best poker hand (or hands) by traveling by lake or by land to their choice of waterfront checkpoints across the Lake (there are over 40 businesses consisting primarily of bars, restaurants and marinas on the Hop).

Tim Jacobsen, executive director of the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau, says that the Fall Harbor is always a fun event and brings out approximately 2,500 people excited to extend the boating season into the fall.

"We have many groups of people who come back year after year for the Harbor Hop. Everyone has a good time, and, really, it's just a great excuse to get out on the Lake and enjoy the wonderful scenery."  Jacobsen also says it's a good way for visitors and locals alike to discover new restaurants and bars in the Lake area and make some new friends along the way. And, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Fall Harbor Hop, every participant will receive a free vinyl waterproof phone case compliments of the Lake of the Ozarks Marine Dealers Association. "We just want to commemorate this milestone and thank everyone for participating and making it such a great event."

Players will begin their "hop" by making a suggested donation of $20 per hand and drawing their first card at any of the participating locations.  Six additional cards will be drawn for each hand as participants visit the various Harbor Hop locations around the Lake.  When the seventh card is drawn, the hand is complete and is turned in at that final location.  An additional card to help improve the hand can be obtained at that final location for a $5 donation.

For those that want to participate but don't have a boat, Playin' Hooky Water Taxi and Charters is offering a Harbor Hop Cruise where visitors will be chauffeured to many of the Harbor Hop stops. Playin' Hooky departs from the Millstone Marina in Gravois Mill. The cruise costs $40 per person and will leave the dock at noon and return at 6 pm. To book a place on the charter, visit PlayinHookyAtTheLake.com. There are also many marinas around the Lake area where visitors can rent boats by the hour, day or longer.

Harbor Hop prizes will be awarded to the top 10 poker hands, as well as the four worst hands and 10 randomly selected players. Winners will be notified by certified mail. There also will be prizes for "section winners" who complete their entire hand in one of these four sections:
  • Section I is the Gravois Arm of the Lake
  • Section II includes Bagnell Dam to the 10 mile marker on the Main Channel
  • Section III runs from the mile markers 13-26 on the Main Channel
  • Section IV includes mile markers 31-38 on the Main Channel and Big Niangua Arm
Most Harbor Hop locations open at 11 am, though some open as early as 9 am. All eligible hands must be turned in by 7 pm. However, because hours vary from location to location, "hoppers" should consult the list of locations and operating hours by visiting FunLake.com/HarborHop.  Complete rules for the Harbor Hop can also be found on that site, or by calling the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau at 1-800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253).

To find out more about all the fun events and attractions, as well as dining and accommodations at the "Best Recreational Lake" in the nation, call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB) at 800-FUN-LAKE, or visit the CVB's award-winning website www.FunLake.com.