Treasure Lake RV Resort will welcome several regionally and nationally known performers to Branson for its 2nd Annual Treasure Lake Gospel Festival this weekend.
The festivities begin on Friday, July 23, at noon and run through 8 p.m. The event will pick back up at noon on Saturday, July 24, and will once again end at 8 p.m. Treasure Lake Activities Director Rhonda Hull said a total of nine gospel singers and groups will perform in the festival.
“We have local, regional and national artists and groups. Locally we have The Missourians, The Abundance Quartet, Dan Keeton from The Baldknobbers, Brian Pendergrass & Sheila Meeker, Dwayne Williams known as The Texas Teddy Bear, Daryl Mosley — he wrote ‘Ask the Blind Man, He Saw It All’ that made The Booth Brothers very popular,” Hull said. “Our headliners are Michael O’Brien, Brian Free & Assurance and Legacy Five.”
Compared to other gospel concerts, Hull said they’re going to be able to offer attendees something a little different.
“Our headliners normally do 30 minutes at other venues,” Hull said. “Our three headliners will do 90 minutes with a small break in between. (Attendees will) be very much up close and personal to the stage and the venue and the acts, which is totally different than when you go to other places as well. You’ll really feel like you’re right there in the thick of things.”
Following their performances, all of the entertainers will be available for meet and greets at their merchandise tables. On top of the live music performances, the festival also includes around 25 vendors on site, as well as a few barbecue and concession booths.
“We’ll have people that will have handmade, homemade goods, which are hard to find anymore these days. We’ll have crafters all the way through direct sales. We’ll even have some informational booths as well,” Hull said. “Then we’ll have Bammerman’s BBQ, which will serve brisket and pulled pork, pulled pork nachos, and we’ll have drinks and sodas and things of that nature. It will be a good variety.”
Treasure Lake General Manager Lenny Ammerman said, like many inaugural events in 2020, the festival was inspired by the pandemic.
“We moved a lot of our entertainment and activities outdoors and we’re like, ‘Well, what other things can we host here, because we have this great venue. How do we host something like this?’ It worked out extremely well,” Ammerman said. “We asked our board if we could get some people coming from the outside for good PR and things like that. Let people locally enjoy some outdoor entertainment to where they can social distance, they feel comfortable and things like that. We want to continue the same route of things even this year and hopefully just on a much bigger scale. Hopefully we can grow the event even bigger this year and next year and so on.”
One of the things the RV resort is already implementing this year in their effort to evolve the festival is the introduction of a new stage and sound system.
“We actually have a bigger outdoor stage and sound being brought in compared to what we had last year. We did it under a pavilion last year, a large pavilion and now we’re moving it out more to a, if you will, an amphitheater in a way,” Ammerman said. “We’ve hosted a couple of concerts out there and it worked extremely well and hopefully it works out this year.”
Guests of the 2020 festival will also notice a difference in acts for this years event.
“This year we decided we really wanted to step up our game and bring in some bigger, national acts,” Hull said. “We’re very, very thrilled and surprised that we were able to do something of that big of scale with it just being a second year event. Very blessed and excited to have and offer two days of gospel music.”
To help folks get around the property more fluidly during the festival, Treasure Lake Assistant Activities Director Ashley Ammerman said they have introduced a new piece of technology for this event.
“We have a Treasure Lake app and people can go onto the app and just click for the shuttle and that will alert our shuttle drivers to where they’re at. The shuttles will come right to their location to pick them up and bring them to the concert area and then they’ll take them back after the event,” Ashley Ammerman said. “They can come and go as they please throughout the event. We’ll have about five different station pick-ups for the shuttle at bath houses around Treasure Lake and in the parking area. That way folks all over the resort can take advantage of that.”
As Treasure Lake is predominantly a private RV resort, Lenny Ammerman said it’s a unique opportunity to welcome non-members into their park. As a part of the festival, the resort is offering a limited number of non-member camping options.
“We will open up the park a couple days prior to and all the way up through the event. If they want to come and camp and check out Treasure Lake they’re more than welcome to,” Lenny Ammerman said. “I believe the site fee is $40. That’s a full hookup and you get full access to the entire resort; 350 acres all amenities are wide open and there for them to enjoy themselves when they’re not doing the gospel festival.”
Attendees are also encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets to sit on during the festival.
“It is open seating, first come, first served. They can put their chairs out for the entirety of the festival and we have a good security team. It’s a secured venue, so they can leave their chairs there,” Hull said. “We’re just looking to have a good time and enjoy some great gospel music and companionship and just have a good weekend.”
Following the success of the gospel festival last year, Treasure Lake also held a bluegrass festival in the fall. As it was also met with enthusiasm by attendees, the resort will be hosting its 2nd Annual Treasure Lake Bluegrass Festival from Sept. 9 to 11. Be on the lookout for more on that event in a future edition of this newspaper.
Tickets for the event are $25 per day or $50 for a weekend pass. For additional information about this festival, to make ticket reservations or to view the complete performance schedule visit tlresort.com or call 417-331-2822 or 417-699-0839.