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Ireland The Show and a Day at Silver Dollar City 2015
For more years than I can remember, I have been enthralled with Riverdance. The sheer speed with which they move their feet, the music, the complexity amazed me. Silver Dollar City has held its World Fest annually and the timing was never right to be able to go and see Ireland the Show there during its brief stint annually. But finally, we were able. Finally!
Ralph Foster Museum at College of the Ozarks
The weekend did not begin as smoothly as it could. We were a bit late getting to the park on Saturday morning and were actually not even able to get into the park itself. Every lot was full and they were pushing people up to two miles away to find parking, then busing them back. No, that's a bit much for me. I was upset, to say the least, at the traffic and it took a bit for me to turn my feelings over to Him to deal with, which allowed me to relax a bit and think on what else we could do while there. We turned our lemons into lemonade and traveled the short distance to College of the Ozarks in Hollister. Our youngest daughter has an interview there this week with the opportunity to attend Hard Work U. as they call it in the fall. While wandering around on this magnificent campus, we found a true hidden jewel. The Ralph Foster Museum, also called The Smithsonian of the West, is simply an amazing museum. Artwork, dioramas, ancient pottery, gun collections: you name it, they probably have it. We wandered for a couple of hours among the collections on its three floors and did not come close to spending the time there it warranted. From the Beverly Hillbillies car to Buffalo Bill items to art by Thomas Hart Benton, we stood in awe. The gift shop is well appointed and nowhere near as pricey as one might think, with the added benefit that many of the items available for sale are actually made by students at the campus. I have to wonder why this is not more well known. Right there and then I decided to include it here on my site for all to see and hopefully visit. Cost is a miserly $6.00 for adults, and children high school age and below are FREE! The collections are many and varied and everyone is sure to find that something special to appeal to them. For our young son, it was the pocket watch collection. For myself, it was the barbed (bob) wire collection. My lovely wife was enthralled by the diverse taxidermy collection with an eye for the Bengal Tiger display.
I heartily encourage any who vacation in the Branson area to take the short jaunt across Lake Taneycomo on HWY 65 to Hollister, then visit the campus. A hospitality house awaits the traveler with exquisite food offerings (so I am told) and a place to lay your head. The campus it beautiful and peaceful, and this museum: priceless. I look forward to many more visits now that we are aware it is in the neighborhood.
- College of the Ozarks
College of the Ozarks Home, Hard Work U. where no tuition is charged, all students work on campus, debt is openly discouraged
- Ralph Foster Museum at College of the Ozarks
The Ralph Foster Museum at College of the Ozarks Home collects, perserves, interprets and exhibits items relating to the Ozarks region.
College of the Ozarks
Have you visited this museum?
Back to Silver Dollar City
We tried to go back to SDC later in the day, and succeeded late, around 4:00 PM. All of the shows were filled to capacity so were unable to see Ireland. We did speak with one of the people who work for the show and they informed us that the traffic that day was so bad that the troupe arrived for their 11:00 AM show at 10:55 AM that day! Talk about making it the skin of your teeth!
My Angel knew how badly I desired to see this show and with World Fest ending Sunday, May 3rd we had one more shot to see it this year. I had waited ten years, and told her one more year would be okay but she took control and told me we WERE coming back up the next morning.
Who am I to argue with my lovely wife?
So, bright and early we hit the road. SDC opened at 10:00 AM; we were in the park by 10:15 AM. The first show began at 11:45 AM so we let our youngest take a romp through Grandfather's Mansion (a staple of ours) before heading to the Opera House to get into line. Reaching it by 10:30 AM, we discovered a line had already begun! We quickly found our place and settled in to wait. Our youngest two asked and received permission to go ride some rides so off they went. We spent a pleasant hour or so visiting with the people around us and then were allowed to enter in. A short show preceded the main show, featuring a husband and wife team of flute/harp music that was divine. Now I have never listened to harp music live before; in fact I found what I saw on the tube a bit stuffy. But this duo was simply amazing. The harpest, Dearbhail Finnegan (now there's an Irish name for sure!) drew us into her melodies while her husband Robin Slater accompanied her on the flute to songs that swept through the heart. I was stunned at the depth of sound produced by the instrument, and found myself smiling with joy at experiencing it for the first time.
After a bit, the main show began with a charge. A female fiddler came out and had everyone clapping in time to her music quickly. As we were only a few feet from the stage we were able to see quite clearly just how fast her hands and fingers were. Unbelievable. The group interjected music with dance with singing by a true Irish gentleman whose voice could have just as easily been in a pub on the Emerald Isle. The dancers were all that I had hoped they would be, and so much more. Three each male and female, they cavorted across that stage, oftentimes doing things I never imagined possible. One of the ladies spent as much time on the tips of her toes, as a ballerina would, still tapping away a complex rhythm to the beat. One of the men moonwalked across the stage while continuing the Irish dance at the same time! Stunned? Oh, so much more than merely stunned! The time passed far, far too swiftly and it was over; my dream accomplished. We met the troupe out front and shook hands, with me tongue tied trying to describe my feelings at their ability and talent, along with a feeling I felt somewhere deep in my soul.
- Dearbhail Finnegan - Internationally acclaimed harpist
Irish concert professional harpist and silver flautist available for weddings, funerals, corporate events nationwide throughout Ireland
- ‘Ireland the Show’ the next generation of Riverdance set for boundless success - VIDEO - IrishCentra
Are you researching Irish last names or your Irish genealogy? IrishCentral.com offers a large range of resources to help you trace your Irish roots.
So, after the show we wandered around SDC for the rest of the day, poking our noses here and there. The kids wanted to ride some roller coasters so we hit Thunderation first. Fire In The Hole was covered while we were enjoying the Ireland the Show entertainment so we did not go back there. Our youngest wanted more so we hit Wildfire. It took a bit to get on due to circumstances outside of our control but eventually we rode. His sister and I sat on either side of him and he had a ball! When we got off, he asked if there were any more to ride. We kind of looked at each other then were amazed when he asked about Outlaw Run. I told him "It's fast; really fast." and he said "Okay! Let's go!" so off we went!
Only to find it was shut down. So back we went to hit Powderkeg. Boy, did he enjoy that one! Twists and turns, speed galore! I found myself asking "What have I done? I've created a roller coaster riding monster?"
I only know that I have someone to ride with me for years to come, at least until I am unable to ride these crazy things any longer!
After a Friday moving things into our new house; a Saturday spent partly in an unhappy frame of mind at the traffic and partly in wonder at the campus, then a Sunday spent in pure joy, we traveled back to our home in the bottom of our little valley, settled down and relaxed before turning in for the night.
I wonder what wonders await us next weekend?!?