Wednesday, February 18, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Festivities at The Lake

Saint Patrick’s Day at Lake of the Ozarks is kind of a big deal. Not only is it a day (and night) dedicated to fun parties and all things green, it heralds the return of Spring - a time when we can emerge from our sheltered winter existence and enjoy warm sunshine and our beautiful Lake landscape coming back to life.

Start your St. Paddy’s Day at Lake of the Ozarks with a unique parade experience - on the water! The Saint Patrick’s Parade on the Water will be held on March 14th, 2015 and is a fun day trip on the Lake and a perfect way to kick off the Spring boating season. A new route this year will start at Captain Ron’s in Sunrise Beach. An optional breakfast buffet at Captain Ron’s is available, beginning at 8 am. Boats depart and the parade officially begins at 10 am. There will be the cruise boat again this year with tickets available through the Lake West Chamber office for only $25.

The Water Parade route is as follows: Captain Ron’s (34.5 MM by water, LR 5-50 by land) to Bear Bottom (38 MM by water, LR 5-36 by land) to Bulldogs Beach House (33 MM by water, LR 5-65 by land) and then Larry’s on the Lake (31 MM by water, Pier 31 Road by land). Stay up to date and get more information on the St. Patrick's Day Water Parade on Facebook at

The 31st Annual Lake of the Ozarks St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on March 14, 2015 at 1:00 pm on the historic Bagnell Dam Strip (Bagnell Dam Boulevard) in Lake Ozark, Missouri. The St. Patrick's Day Parade is Lake Ozark's longest running traditional parade and is guaranteed to bring out the Irish in you. Deck the whole family in green, grab the lawn chairs and head out to the Bagnell Dam Strip for an afternoon of family fun watching the various floats, cars, motorcycles and yes even boats as they make trip along the Strip. And who knows you might even score some candy! 

Do you or your group/organization have a boat, float, car, truck or motorcycle that you would like to enter  in the parade? You can download the official entry from and return it to the Bagnell Dam Strip Association no later than March 9, 2015. See past parade photos and get more information, including registration at

Whether they are Irish or not, visitors to the Lake of the Ozarks can get a head start on St. Patrick’s Day at The 5th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Short Bus Shuffle, to be held March 14 on the west (Hwy 5) side of Lake of the Ozarks. Ten restaurants and nightspots will offer live entertainment and St. Patrick’s Day food and drink specials. In addition, six West Side lodging establishments will provide special Short Bus Shuffle rates for participants who make reservations in advance. 

Shuttle buses will safely transport “shufflers” from location to location, beginning at 4 pm. A required $5 wristband grants entrance to any participating entertainment venue along the shuffle route and is also necessary to ride the shuttles. “The Lake of the Ozarks West Lake Chamber of Commerce’s goal for the Short Bus Shuffle is for participants to have a fun time and be transported safely when doing so,” Chamber Executive Director Deborah Buscher said. “We are currently selling wrist bands and they can be ordered directly from the Lake West Chamber of Commerce office.”

Many participants will be honoring the St. Patrick’s Day tradition of wearing green, including green souvenir shirts from the Short Bus Shuffle. Like the wrist bands, the shirts are available prior to the event at any participating location or the Lake of the Ozarks West Chamber of Commerce office.

A list of the businesses and lodging establishments participating in the St. Patrick’s Day Short Bus Shuffle can be found at: or the event’s Facebook page:

If you plan to visit Lake of the Ozarks for your St. Paddy's day celebration, head to or call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau office for complete area lodging, dining, attractions and more. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Cold Water Warms Hearts at the 2015 Polar Plunge

Going for a swim in Central Missouri's beautiful Lake of the Ozarks is a common occurrence. Doing it in February is less common. Nevertheless, brave souls with warm hearts will "take the plunge" for Special Olympics at the Polar Plunge on February 28. 

2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the plunge at Lake of the Ozarks. Organizers expect approximately 600 "plungers" and another 1,500 spectators to be on hand for the event at Public Beach #2 in Lake of the Ozarks State Park. Many of the participants don a costume for their plunge, so the event begins with a costume parade at 2 pm, prior to the 2:30 pm plunge. The Polar Plunge makes a great centerpiece for a winter weekend of fun at the Lake of the Ozarks. Lodging facilities offer great winter rates and activities like shopping and golf, if the weather permits, add to the fun. Restaurants and nightspots can help plungers, and their fans, celebrate their success.

Special Olympics Missouri's 14 Polar Plunges take place around the state in February to generate funds for the organization's year-round program of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

New for 2015, Special Olympics Missouri has extended the Polar Plunge to include the little ones who want to participate in the event. The all new Pee Wee Polar Plunge will take place on Friday, February 27 at Timber Falls, Tan-Tar-A Resort's indoor water park. The Pee Wee Polar Plunge is open to children up to 9 years of age.

Is jumping into frigid waters not your thing? Maybe a brisk run through Osage Beach would be more your speed with the Polar Bear Strut. The only thing is that you'll have to rise and shine early as the Strut starts at 8:00 am sharp on February 28th. Visit for more information and registration.  
All participants fundraise for the Special Olympics prior to the plunge and prizes are awarded for top fundraisers. These donations help the participating individuals and teams show their pride and dedication to the cause, giving them, as one team puts it, "a reason for freezin'." The Polar Plunge is a project of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Missouri and is proudly hosted by the Osage Beach Police Department. For more information and registration for both Polar Plunge events, visit Special Olympics Missouri's Polar Plunge Lake of the Ozarks website at

For general Lake of the Ozarks lodging, dining and more information, visit or call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau at 800-FUN-LAKE or 573-348-1599.