On October 3rd of this year, Shepard of The Hills Outdoor Drama announced after 54 seasons they would take their final bow with the last performance being October 19th.
In a statement released from Shepard of The Hills personnel regarding the decision to end the show, they cited a in rise production costs and a decline in attendance as determining factors in this hard decision.
The Shepherd of the Hills play, which began in the 1960s, is considered of of Branson’s founding shows. At its peak during the 1970s and 1980s, it drew more than 2,000 guests each night, and most shows were sold out, the company said in its statement.
“It is with a very heavy heart that we make this difficult announcement,” Gary and Pat Snadon, owners of the park said. “We have had an incredible run.”
The outdoor drama is based on the book of the same name, published in 1907 and written by Harold Bell Wright. His visit to the Branson area became the basis for the novel, which is said to have become the first book in the United States to sell more than 1 million copies.
Re-enactments of the story began as early as the 1920s, but it wasn’t until Aug. 6, 1960, that the Old Mill Theatre began regular performances.
The Shepherd of the Hills Homestead, another Branson attraction, will be preserved and maintained as a historical landmark, the company said, and tours of Old Matt’s Cabin, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, will still be available during the summer months.
Inspiration Tower and the Vigilante Extreme ZipRider will be open year-round. During November and December, the Trail of Lights Drive-Thru and the Christmas on the Trail Chuckwagon Dinner Show will still operate normally.
We wish Shepard of The Hills the best of luck in this new chapter! Thank you for bringing quality entertainment to Branson and sharing the story of The Shepard of The Hills.