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We are ready for you here in the Valley. Our parks are ready. And our Wintertainers™ are ready to entertain.

The general feeling is we will see a great season this year. I don’t want to say, ‘despite the circumstances,’ but, we have to be upfront here and say that we know what the situation is, and we know you have a decision to make.

Activity Directors, Wintertainers™, and Stakeholders have had two meetings that Teresa Stoffel, creator of Winter Texan Times Activities Group on Facebook, has organized. In both meetings, everyone has had a positive attitude that we will see smiling faces soon – or we will assume you are smiling behind your mask.


While some of you might not be heading down yet, we want to assure you that everyone is gearing up for their winter visitors. With things as they are, parks are prepared to take the extra precautions necessary to make their residents feel safe. They are also planning new types of activities and modifying favorites so everyone can feel comfortable in attending events in the parks.

The Wintertainers™ that were present at the meetings say they are scheduled to put on their shows. Some of their shows have been pushed back or moved outdoors, but very few have had any cancellations.

Rick McEwen, who has been entertaining in Branson this summer, says you just have to do it the right way.

“We’re in this together,” he said about coordinating with the parks on entertaining while still maintaining social distancing requirements.

Dennis Craswell, from The Castaways, mentioned they have been using a mobile truck while Bob Courtney, the Rodeo Clown, said his group is bringing a flatbed trailer so they have a portable stage.

Pickpocket Gene said the key is to be flexible with everything.

Ideas were tossed around about activities that can be done while still having fun and including everyone. Among the ideas were scavenger hunts, beautiful yard awards, Christmas decorating contests, pajama day, and setting up community gardens.

“Get them involved,” said Stoffel speaking about park residents. Teach them how to use Zoom or Facebook live so you can hold book clubs, yoga classes, and other activities, she added.

Debbie at Sleepy Valley said they have already begun their karaoke nights. She said they have to turn people away because of the turnout. They have purchased a special canister to disinfect the microphone after use.

Other parks have invested in sanitizing products such as foggers to use in between activities.

Some responsibility is going to be put on the residents too, Debbie added. Things such as having a table with sanitizer or spray so items such as dominoes can be cleaned after a game.

Lisa at Green Gate Grove said they have been using a bleach mixture to clean surfaces.

Curt James, 2020 Valley Star Awards Male Vocalist of the Year, said the key thing is working together to make a great season.

Using wipes, sprays, being super safe with sanitizations and follow city, county and state guidelines, he added.

Not only are the Wintertainers™ and parks ready for you, but so are the cities and restaurants. We are open. Events are being held and specials are being had.

The season will be different, but it will happen, we will be here waiting for you. We will be ready to welcome you with smiling eyes.