BRANSON, Mo. -- -

 Is it ever too early to start celebrating Christmas? November 1st marked the 1st day of what the Branson Area Chamber of Commerce calls the Christmas season. From singing with Kenny Rogers and Billy Dean, to a snow machine and of course lots and lots of lights, folks met to get into the Christmas spirit, for this years 25th annual Branson Area Festival of Lights opening ceremony.

"Ya I'm really exited to see everything, I think it's going to be really pretty, I've never been here before but I think it's going to be really pretty" says festival goer Ashley Blake.

Chamber member Yvonne Brubacher says she comes out every year.

"I'm also a tour guide and when I come out on a coach with the group and we go by the 12 days of Christmas we always start signing and trying to remember okay now it's whatever it is and it's just, it's just a fun time" says Brubacher.

For some they've been waiting all year to celebrate the holiday. "I counted in October, but then I lost track" says Espen Crockett. While others are okay with celebrating later on, but enjoy the lights. "We don't start till after Thanksgiving, just because that's the way we were brought up but like Yvonne said when you live in Branson, it's here" says Barb Larsen.


Every year more than 25 thousand people come out to enjoy the drive through light display.

"We like to say we have 5 seasons in Branson, winter, spring, summer, fall and Christmas and it truly is a separate season for us, we celebrate that, we want to remember why we're here and we invite everybody from across America to come and celebrate a Christmas that you're probably not going to get in very many places" says chamber President and CEO Ross Summers.

Whether you're use to celebrating the Christmas season early or not, it's hard not to get excited with the hundreds of thousands of lights.

"There is really no place like Branson when it comes to celebrating Christmas, you hear about other cities that don't want to say Christmas or they can't sing Christmas carols in school anymore, we take exactly the opposite approach, we celebrate Christmas and we say Merry Christmas to everyone we meet" says Summers.

Each car costs $15 dollars to drive through, large groups, buses and limos can also ask for special deals. The light display will last now through January 2nd. Silver Dollar City also started it's annual Christmas festival tonight.