Friday, March 20, 2009

Silver Dollar City Expedition

This group of bundled-up expeditioners braved the chilly temperatures yesterday, to be present for the first operating day of the gigantic Silver Dollar City entertainment complex near Branson, Missouri. The top photo shows Thomas Cochran, Ryan Cochran, Jacob Ragsdale, Kaitlyn Ragsdale, and Tricia Turner. The bottom photo shows (left to right) Jennifer Turner Ragsdale, Jim Ragsdale, Kristin Turner Cochran, and Dave Cochran. The traffic getting into the park was heavier and more backed up than I had seen it in years, with "old- timers" there saying it was because they were trying out new parking lots for the first time that day, as well as new roads, new traffic patterns, new trams, and new employees. The heavy attendance seemed to defy any notions of there being a bad economy, or the fact that it was unseasonably cold! One of the newer attractions at the park that I am delighted to see, is the beautiful new Culinary and Craft School that has been built across from Red Gold Heritage Hall. The public lobby of the building has a two-story fireplace (with a welcome fire going yesterday to warm up attendees!), surrounded by comfortable seating to enjoy the cozy atmosphere. The state-of-the-art cooking demonstration area is a large room, set up with plenty of tables/work spaces for those folks who sign up to take classes offered there. You can go to to sign up for a class. Classes offered will change out with each festival. Another feature worth checking out, especially if you are planning a visit with your children, is the "Moms Blog" at Also, as a Registered Dietitian familiar with the problems of meeting the demands of quantity food preparation vs. the need for individualization due to special dietary restrictions, I was impressed to read that allergen-free menu options are now available. By calling in advance, (800-251-5576), such meals can even be delivered to the restaurant of your choice! With the many types of rides available in the park, the numerous theaters showcasing all kinds of entertainment, the shopping, the dining, the Marvel Cave Tour, I would recommend including a visit to Silver Dollar City on your "Vision Board" of future expeditions. Miles of smiles! Tricia
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