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

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Family Travel with Colleen Kelly Visits The Lake

Now airing its second season, PBS syndicated show, "Family Travel with Colleen Kelly" is set to show off Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks in their third episode of the season.

Rewind 1 year ago to June, 2014; The Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau played host to Colleen, her two daughters and production crew. With a jam-packed, four day itinerary secured, the cast, crew and members of the CVB staff set out to give the cameras a complete Lake of the Ozarks experience focusing on family friendly activities.

From deep underground to hundreds of feet above the entire Lake, the cast and crew filmed our caves, parks, attractions, fishing, water sports, local dining experiences, shopping destinations and lodging facilities. From a Convention & Visitor Bureau perspective, it was fantastic to see newcomers enjoy what Lake of the Ozarks has to offer first hand. The cast and crew stated numerous times how impressed they were with our destination and how they couldn't wait to come back and experience a vacation here without having to "work". It also reminded us (at the CVB) that we often forget how much fun there is to be had right here in our back yard. With the year-round, daily tasks that go into promoting our destination, we sometimes lose track of how fortunate we are to live and work in an area that most people only visit in their free time - and for that reminder, we sincerely thank Colleen and her crew.

Here is a 37 second preview of the Lake of the Ozarks episode:

The Family Travel with Colleen Kelly episode is set to air on Chicago PBS affiliate WTTW Channel 11 at 10:00 am on Saturday, May 16th and on Springfield, MO PBS affiliate KOZK on Sunday May 17th at 8:30 am and Wednesday May 20th at 8:30 am. The Lake episode will continue to air on PBS stations across the country throughout the summer and fall of 2015. Check local PBS schedules and set your DVRs. After the premier, the show will also be available to stream online on the Family Travel with Colleen Kelly website here:

Additionally, Colleen Kelly recently featured Lake of the Ozarks as a favorite pick for her "Family Friendly Summer Vacation Destinations" segment on the Hallmark Channel's morning show, "Home & Family. You can see the full segment right here: 

A full gallery of photos taken during the taping of Family Travel with Colleen Kelly at Lake of the Ozarks can be viewed at - And if you're looking to create your own memories at Lake of the Ozarks this summer, visit for all of the information you need to plan your family vacation.

BROstock 2015 Set for May 27–30

Liquidforce's BROstock, the world's most prestigious professional wakeboarding event, returns to the Lake of the Ozarks with more high-flying, jaw-dropping on-the-water action, May 27-30, 2015. 

Twenty-four of the world's elite wakeboarders will invade the Lake to compete for a prize pool worth over $30,000. Captain Ron's Bar and Grill in Sunrise Beach will be the host headquarters for the event.

Admission to all BROstock events is free and the public is welcome to attend. BROstock officially kicks off on Wednesday, May 27 in Osage Beach with a meet and greet at Wake Effects marine dealership, followed by a barbecue at Performance Marine. On Thursday, the BROstock charity golf tournament tees off at noon at the Hidden Lakes course at Tan-Tar-A Resort followed by a 5 pm social hour at NautiFish Rum Bar in Camdenton.

The heart-pumping, adrenaline-fueled fun begins on Friday, May 29 with the first round of the competition at Captain Ron's Pirates Cove at the 34.5 mile marker. From 2-7 pm, spectators in boats and floats will line the cove to watch the twenty-four competing wakeboarders push themselves to the limits. Following the first round, the general public is invited to attend a party at Captain Ron's where they can meet and mingle with the athletes.

The 10 best riders from Friday's heat will compete again on Saturday, May 30 beginning at noon. Following this heat, at 2:30 pm, the final five competitors will go head-to-head to decide who will walk away with bragging rights and all the prizes. After the crowning of the 2015 BROstock champ, there will be a ten-year BROstock anniversary "blow out" party at Captain Ron's beginning at 6 pm.

For a detailed map of the race area, a full roster of the participating competitors and complete schedule of events, please visit

For more information about accommodations, activities, events and dining at the Lake of the Ozarks, call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB) at 1-800-FUN-LAKE, or visit the CVB's award-winning website,

Monday, May 11, 2015

Memorial Weekend Celebrations at The Lake

Several resorts at the Lake of the Ozarks are celebrating the unofficial kick off of the summer travel season with stunning fireworks displays over Memorial Day Weekend, May 23-25.

Although June 21 is officially the first day of summer, Memorial Day Weekend has been the traditional start of the tourist season at the Lake, which gives many resorts, restaurants and local businesses plenty of reason to celebrate.

On Saturday evening, Bear Bottom Resort, in Sunrise Beach, will entertain visitors with live music from Money for Nothing beginning at 7 pm followed by a professional pyrotechnics display at 9:45 pm. The fun continues at Bear Bottom on Sunday with a live, double-bill concert featuring another performance by Money for Nothing from 7:00 - 9:30 pm, a second fireworks display at 9:45 pm and country music superstar Matt Stillwell will close out the evening with a much-anticipated performance beginning at 10 pm. For more information, call 573-374-6905 or visit

On Sunday, two of the Lake's premier resorts are sure to bring "oohs" and "aahs" with their fireworks displays over the Lake. Tan-Tar-A Resort, located in Osage Beach, invites Lake visitors to view its fireworks display by water at the 26-mile marker. Viewing opportunities on the resort property are for guests only. For more information, call 573-348-3131, or visit

The Lodge of Four Seasons will host a grand opening of the newly redesigned cloverleaf swimming pool and poolside Parrot Bar throughout the holiday weekend and will also host a barbeque and carnival followed by fireworks on Sunday. The barbecue and carnival start at 5 pm on Sunday and cost $23 for adults and $12 for children. Reservations are highly recommended. The fireworks can also be viewed by water at the 13-mile marker. Call 800-843-5253 or visit for more information.

Those who would like to see the Memorial Day fireworks in style can reserve a spot on the Tropic Island or Celebration luxury cruise yachts.  Make reservations by calling the Tropic Island at 573-348-0083 or the Celebration at 573-480-3212. These cruises fill up fast, so travelers who want to experience the fireworks by water should reserve their spots early.

There is always something special to see or do at Missouri's Fun Lake. Find out more about the events, activities, accommodations and dining at or by calling 1-800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253).

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Battle of Monday's Hollow, A Civil War Reenactment Weekend

Experience history as it comes to life May 30-31 with two reenactments of the Battle of Monday's Hollow at a Living History and Civil War Reenactment Weekend, held at the Missouri Trapshooters Association Grounds located at 51 Trapshooters Road off of State Road A near Linn Creek.

This event, sponsored by the Camden County Historical Society & Museum, will feature a full-scale, historically accurate reenactment of the battle on both Saturday and Sunday to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, 1861-1865. 

Although Missouri was the third bloodiest state during the war, its role in the conflict is often overshadowed by the major battles of Virginia and Tennessee. Missouri was home to several large scale engagements, but much of the bloodshed resulted from ambushes and skirmishes. 

"The Battle of Monday's Hollow is a perfect example of what happened in Missouri throughout the Civil War because it was a skirmish," says Valerie Thomas, event coordinator and Camden County Historical Society & Museum archivist. "In October 1861, a wagon train left Rolla, Mo. for Linn Creek loaded with wintertime supplies for the troops stationed in the area. As the wagons entered Camden County, 40 Union infantry men accompanying the wagons were ambushed by rebel soldiers. As the Union troops gave chase, they quickly realized they were riding into a trap as they found themselves surrounded by hundreds of Confederate soldiers. Word spread to the nearby Union calvary, who came to their rescue and in the end, 62 Confederates were killed in the fight with only one Union casualty."

The event runs from 9 am to 5 pm Saturday and 8 am to 3 pm Sunday and will feature many period-specific activities throughout the weekend. The reenactment of the Battle of Monday's Hollow will start at 1 p.m. each day. Afterwards, according to Thomas, "the 'dead will rise' and we will reenact a more 'generic' Civil War battle with cannons, calvaries, and the whole works."

Battle reenactments of this scale generally attract an average of about 400-600 reenactors and spectators can often number in the thousands. Thomas is expecting around 6,000 attendees this year.

"It's the only reenactment of its kind in the central portion of Missouri," Thomas continues. "It's like having a front row seat to a live-action Civil War battle movie. It's quite a spectacle - Union and Confederate soldiers with sabers drawn, cannons firing, infantries shooting and the cavalry charging. Adults are absolutely fascinated by it, and kids love it, too. It's really a spectacular two-day event."

Each day visitors to the grounds can walk through Confederate and Union military camps and interact with the soldiers on both sides. Throughout the weekend, strolling minstrels will be on the grounds entertaining visitors with Civil War-period music and songs and there will be interpretative reenactment speakers talking about the effects of the war and the life of slaves. On Saturday, from 7-9 p.m., there will be a Civil War dance where soldiers in full regalia and women in period dresses will join arms and step and swing to the authentic sounds of the Gum Springs Serenaders. The dance is free and open to the public, and anyone wishing to join in the fun is welcome. Following the dance, 11 cannons will make an "announcement" using multi-colored powdered flares to close out the evening. A Civil War-era worship service is also scheduled at 8 a.m. Sunday.

Attendees can complete the historical experience by visiting the "sutler village," consisting of period vendors, craftsmen, laundresses, woodworkers and soap makers peddling their wares, all of which will be for sale to the public. There also will be traveling museums and a Civil War-era medical tent. Inside the medical tent, visitors can learn how surgery was performed and how illnesses were treated in the 1860s, as well as observe a demonstration of how wounded soldiers would have been treated in the heat of battle.

A variety of food vendors are scheduled to be at the site, featuring pulled pork, chicken and ribeye sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, nachos, funnel cakes, kettle corn, ice cream and more.

Admission is free to this maximum-effort reenactment of the only Civil War battle fought in Camden County. Parking is available for suggested donations of $10 per car and $5 per motorcycle. Handicap parking is available and shuttles to and from the battle field will be free of charge.

For more information, including an event schedule or for details on how to get involved with the reenactment, call the museum at 573-346-7191 or visit The Camden County Historical Society & Museum is located at the corner of U.S. 54 and Route V in Linn Creek and is open from 10 am to 4 pm five days a week (when volunteers are available).