Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Light Parade cruises the Silver Dollar City streets nightly during An Old Time Christmas with over a dozen LED light floats and numerous colorful, costumed characters.
By Don Corrigan
It’s worth a trip to Branson this holiday season to take in that Christmas Classic, It’s A Wonderful Life, as performed on stage at Silver Dollar City.
This time of year, Branson is full of lights and color and holiday cheer. And Silver Dollar City has a Christmas Parade that’s perfect to cap off a day of entertainment that includes, It’s A Wonderful Life, and other great shows.
Frankly, the live theatre production of It’s A Wonderful Life at Silver Dollar City breathes new life into a movie that airs too frequently on television this time of year. It’s so refreshing to get a new, musical take on what is admittedly one of the most critically acclaimed films ever made.
A Silver Dollar City musical adaptation of a beloved classic, A Dickens’ Christmas Carol is an hour-long Broadway-style production featuring theatrical special effects, flying ghosts and numerous set changes.
Celebrated director Frank Capra referred to the film as his personal favorite of all his movies. Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore and Henry Travers all deliver memorable performances in the Capra favorite – and the ensemble in Branson lives up to their legacy.
My only criticism is that the Silver Dollar City production doesn’t make more of Uncle Billy and his pet squirrel as found in the movie production. And Silver Dollar City is the perfect locale to capitalize on the antics of a trouble-making squirrel.
Read more below.
Olney, Illinois, has a white squirrel monument in its downtown. It conducts a squirrel parade and what is tagged as a “Squirrel Scamper” event for kids. Numerous squirrel happenings take place in the rural Illinois town with a population of 8,500 that positions itself in tourism materials as “The Home of White Squirrels.”
Marysville, Kansas, bills itself as the “Home of the Black Squirrels,” and has been promoting a special Black Squirrel Night for almost a half century. The town has named the black squirrel its official mascot and honors it with a Black Squirrels on Parade event.
Squirrels are honored with statues, parades and festivals in more than a score of Midwest cities, according to Don Corrigan, author of “Nuts About Squirrels: The Rodents That Captured Popular Culture.” Corrigan presented a lecture, “Squirrels: Icons of the Midwest,” in Cincinnati, Ohio, in October at the annual Midwest Popular Culture Conference.
Photo by Ursula Ruhl.
Survey research by Don Corrigan released in his July 12 Webster-Kirkwood Times column, “Squirrels: Friends Or Foes?” reveals that almost 70% of survey respondents think squirrels are our friends. Of note, all these people relate to mass-mediated squirrels. They are infatuated with Rocket J. Squirrel, Rally Squirrel, Squirrel Nutkin and Surly the Squirrel from the movie, The Nut Job.
Here are some research results not covered in the column: More the 70% of respondents believe that squirrels will be thriving on our Earth long after human beings have vanished from the planet.
Climate change is causing some squirrels to give birth earlier, to migrate north, to move to different elevations in mountain areas. Should humans bear any responsibility for the disruption of the habitat for squirrels? Are squirrels better equipped than humans to deal with such disruption? Respondents were mostly undecided on these two questions.
If you would like to give your two cents on the issue of whether squirrels are our friends or our foes, please leave a comment on this post below. (At the end of this post.)
If you would like to complete a squirrel research survey, open and/or print the following attachment. You can either send your answers via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail the completed survey form attention to Don Corrigan at 122 W. Lockwood Ave., 2nd floor, Webster Groves, Mo 63119.
See the Calendar of Squirrel events for the month of July below. Squirrel research surveys will also be distributed to audiences attending the events.
Don Corrigan talks with Jean Ponzi on her popular KDHX radio/podcast “Earthworms.” Ponzi jumps into all things squirrels with Corrigan in this fun and informative interview.
KDHX Earthworms goes nuts as Don Corrigan talk Squirrels with host Jean Ponzi, proving that Pop Culture and enviro purpose can truly hole up together.
Hear the Earthworms radio/podcast interview HERE.
Check out the upcoming lectures and book signings by Don Corrigan below.
Pictured: Don Corrigan
Don Corrigan continues his crusade to give squirrels their due and to put Mickey Mouse in his place.
“Everyone thinks Mickey Mouse is the most important anthropomorphic rodent in our popular culture. No question that Walt Disney’s mouse is formidable, but taken in the aggregate, squirrels have much more of a presence in our popular culture,” said Corrigan.
Corrigan points out that squirrels are in our children’s books, newspaper headlines, TV news, radio shows, movies, public relations and advertising. Corrigan will bring his squirrel-centric message to the following venues in July:
On Thursday July 4th, Jean Ponzi of KDHX Radio and the show, “Earthworms,” will post a podcast of her interview with Don Corrigan, author of “Nuts About Squirrels: The Rodents That Conquered Popular Culture.” The show will cover the environmental aspects of squirrels, from their mass migrations prompted by climate change and food supply disruptions to the gray squirrels’ history in England as an invasive species that is driving out the red squirrels.
Don Corrigan is editor of the West End Word, Webster-Kirkwood Times and South County Times, as well as a professor of journalism at Webster University.
See a full listing of July 2019 event dates below.
Pictured: Don Corrigan
Don Corrigan talks about his new book with Kristi Carson. The interview was broadcast on local radio stations, such as The Point, KSHE and more.
Listen to the full interview below. (The interview with Don Corrigan starts at 18 minutes into the show.
Father’s Day gift ideas eluding you? Come to the Webster Groves Bookshop, 27 N. Gore, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, June 1.
Annie Blum will explain, sell and sign her book, “The Steamer Admiral.” Ditto for Don Corrigan with “Forest Park: Images of America.” He also will debut, “Nuts About Squirrels.”
These books are conversation pieces for nostalgia on Dad’s Day!
StL Sports Page recently posted a book review for Don Corrigan’s new book, “Nuts About Squirrels.” It’s a great read and showcases Rally Squirrel!
With the Cardinals in such a dismal period, fans are looking for Rally Squirrel. Where has he been the past few weeks?
“Rally Squirrel needs to return,” said local author Don Corrigan, who has just penned a book a book about the furry creatures. “He is in the book several times, thanks to the Cardinals and Dan Martin, who gave permissions for him to jump into the pages of Nuts About Squirrels.”
Corrigan will be signing the book at the Webster Groves Bookshop, 27 N. Gore, from 11 a.m. to1 p.m., Saturday, June 1.
Read the full StL Sports Page HERE.
The Leader newspaper wrote a great review of the new book, “Nuts About Squirrels” by Environmental Echo Editor Don Corrigan. The article was written by
“Squirrels certainly have their enemies – resulting from a long list of troubles they cause – but for the most part they maintain popularity. I waffle at times between disdain and admiration, but overall I agree that they are pretty impressive.”
Click below for a link to read the full article.
Photo courtesy MDC. A Grey Squirrel keeps its eye for a danger.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds Missourians that squirrel and black bass seasons open May 25, the Saturday before Memorial Day.
Do you know the history of squirrel hunters in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War? It’s quite a legacy. …
Don Corrigan, author of “Nuts About Squirrels,” reminds Missourians to remember the legacy of squirrel hunters in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Corrigan notes the contribution of the volunteer Squirrel Army Brigades who came from all over Ohio to protect Cincinnati from approaching Confederates in the Ciivl War. The state legislature of Ohio did, however, officially thank the patriotic volunteers with a resolution, which read: