MO-7 Unbridled Tourism


Commerce & Industry Trail

The Missouri-7th has been represented by Representative Billy Long since 2011.

Cities & Towns in the Missouri 7th include:

  • Springfield
  • Joplin
  • Branson


dixie stampede

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede

There are lots of tourism-focused places in the United States: Disney World, Las Vegas, Times Square. But as the city’s website proclaims, there is only one Branson, Missouri. Every day of the year there are dozens of live shows. Today, for instance, you would choose from over 50 attractions listed on from an Eagles Tribute concert (or Neil Sedaka tribute if you prefer) to something called Barney Fife Fully Loaded. There are Chinese acrobats, amazing pets and a dinosaur museum. There may be no accounting for tastes, so Branson seems to have accommodated all of them. Or, to put it another way, if someone will buy a ticket to it – they have it in Branson.

The cynical among us would label Branson as one big tourist trap, which perhaps it is. But I don’t view it that way. I challenge you to watch the Dixie Stampede video (linked by clicking on the picture at right) on YouTube and imagine taking your family there and not having a good time. Hokey? Almost certainly – that’s why it’s fun. If we have lost the ability to just have fun then perhaps that explains why our representatives in Congress often seem to be such a joyless lot.

My question about Branson, though, is how did this happen…here? For that I turn to Wikipedia (to which I made a donation today – you should too.) According to the Branson entry, the town was incorporated in 1912 but up until the 1960s its location in the Ozark mountains was the primary draw (and remains a significant part of the attraction.) In the 60’s a variety of musical acts started to move their regular shows to the area on Missouri Highway 76 and then the Roy Clark Celebrity Theatre opened in 1983 and brought the area to national prominence. Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, duplicated its original offering in her home state of Tennessee, in 1995.

One Great Day in the Missouri-7th

A note about this section.  One day isn’t long enough to spend in any district – it’s not nearly long enough to really understand the place and everything that makes it unique. But time for both real and virtual expeditions is often limited so I’ve chosen a day to try to encapsulate what the district is like. If you go…and have longer to spend, you should.

Furthermore, these are just the things my family and I would find interesting, many of which I’ve never been to – you probably would find and suggest others.  If you want more information on the specifics of each stop please follow the links 

9:00 am: Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center – Joplin. On the short list of things I look for in potential places to check out are the terms…”found only in this area” and “last remaining.” Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Chert Glades

12:00 pm: Lunch @ Farmers Gastropub – Springfield. The 417 Magazine (named for the local area code) recommends the Stilton Burger. I’m listening

12:30 pm: Pythian Castle  – Springfield. Cool castle – rumors of ghosts – what else do you want to know?

3:00 pm: Titanic Museum – Branson. Where else would the Titanic Museum be?

5:30 pm: Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede – Branson. Unbridled Tourism


Life in the Missouri 7th

News in and about the district

Ten Links



What do you think? Do you live in the Missouri-7th? Have we got it right or are there other more pressing issues that will make a difference to you in the next election cycle? If you live elsewhere, do you see commonalities with your district?

 Next Up:

The History Trail continues in MA-3 Friday

The Commerce & Industry Trail heads back south to the Oklahoma-5th soon

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