Tuesday, April 25, 2017

An Award-Winning Science Project Conducted Inside Bridal Cave

Recently one of our staff members, River Wise, conducted a science project that we featured in our blog about The First Ever Biological Inventory of Bridal Cave. We weren't the only ones that found this to be an intriguing subject. River was recognized for his outstanding study of our popular Lake of the Ozarks scenic attraction with an impressive award! 

The project was titled "Biological Inventory of the Invertebrate Fauna of Bridal Cave." The Science Research Class at Camdenton High School, where River attends as a junior, had been discussing the fact that a biological inventory would be an interesting subject. River immediately thought of us as the perfect place for this class project to happen. 

Ten invertebrate were found as well as an invasive species, Oxidus gracillis, more commonly know as the Greenhouse Millipede. In the previous blog published last November, we shared a few photos of some of the other creatures that were discovered.  

photo from Wikipedia 
These findings were presented in detail at the Ozarks Science and Engineering Fair at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO this past April 4-6, 2017. Over 20 projects in a variety of categories in the Senior Division were represented. There were three in the zoology division.       

We are extremely proud to announce that River won second place in the competition in the zoology division. His efforts were very impressive and the findings are incredibly exciting. We are looking forward to getting a closer look at the final study to learn all about the diverse biology that exists in the unique ecosystem inside Bridal Cave. 

River's award-winning science project inside Bridal Cave.
River is the son of Jamie Reid, a tour supervisor here at Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park. Please join all of us in congratulating River on this impressive accomplishment. Be sure to ask him plenty of questions about the amazing creatures he discovered inside America's most scenic cave tour if you happen to run into him this summer!  

                                                                                                                 
One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It's Festival Time! The 67th Annual Dogwood Festival

Every spring in mid-Missouri we anxiously anticipate the beautiful blooming Dogwood trees. In honor of these magnificent natural works of art, every year Camdenton hosts the Annual Dogwood Festival. All of the family fun activities take place just up the road from Bridal Cave and Thunder Mountain Park. This year we expect everything to be bigger and better than ever before! 


This festival is one of the best annual events at the Lake of the Ozarks. It celebrates Missouri's state tree, the Flowering Dogwood. While usually seen with gorgeous white flowers, Dogwoods can also be discovered with pink petals too. 

Camdenton's Dogwood Festival holds the record for the longest continuously running festival in the lake area. This year's theme is "Good To Be Green" partly due to the fact that this year's event takes place during Earth Day on Saturday, April 22. 



THURSDAY, APRIL 20TH

Fine Art Display 
9 AM – 4 PM - First National Bank
Carnival
5–10 PM - Middle School Parking Lot, S. Bus. Hwy 5
$20 Wrist Band from 5-9 PM 

FRIDAY APRIL 21ST 

St. Anthony’s Church Garage Sale
7 AM - 6 PM  -  1874 N. Bus. Hwy 5
Our Savior Lutheran Church Garage Sale 
8 AM - 4 PM  -  442 E. Hwy 54
Fine Art Display
9 AM – 4 PM  -  First National Bank
Knights of Columbus Fish Fry
4:00-7:30 PM  -  547 W. Hwy 54 
Dinner Theater
5:30 PM  -  Camden County Museum
Melodrama 
7:00 PM  -  Camden County Museum 
DECA Craft Show
5:30 – 8:00 PM  -  Middle School, S. Bus. Hwy 5
Food & Craft Booths
5:30 – 9:00 PM  -  Middle School, S. Bus Hwy 5
Live Entertainment
Middle School Parking Lot
6 PM-7PM – LOZ Dance
7PM – Soul Joke
Carnival
5 – 10 PM — Middle School Parking Lot
$20 Wrist Band from 5-9 PM


SATURDAY, APRIL 22ND


Pancake Breakfast
6:30 - 10 AM – United Methodist Church, W. Hwy 54 
Fine Art Display
9 AM – 3 PM — First National Bank
St. Anthony’s Church Garage Sale
7 AM-2 PM—1874 North Hwy 5 
Our Savior Lutheran Church Garage Sale
8AM-Noon, — 442 E. Hwy 54 
DECA Craft Show
9 AM – 4 PM — Middle School 
Food and Crafts
10AM – 6 PM — Middle School Parking Lot 
Dogwood Festival Parade
10 AM — Downtown Camdenton 
Young Eagles Flights
Noon – 3:30—Camdenton Airport, S. Hwy 5 
Live Entertainment
Middle School Parking Lot 
12:00 American Gymnastics Team
1:00 Baby Contest
2:30 Mitch Shields
3:30 Dog Contest
4:30 Helen Russell & Company
6:00 Shawn C
Worship Under the Dogwoods
1:00 & 3:00 - Community Christian Church, 1064 N. Bus. Hwy 5 
Dinner Theater
5:30 PM - Camden County Museum
Melodrama
7 PM-Camden County Museum 
Carnival
 Noon – 10 PM — Middle School Parking Lot
$20 Wrist Band from Noon to 4 and 5-9 PM

SUNDAY, APRIL 23RD

Worship Under the Dogwoods
8:00 AM - Community Christian Church, 1064 N. Bus. Hwy 5


You can find out even more information, like indoor and outdoor booth layouts and participating vendors, on the Camdenton Chamber of Commerce website. If you've never been to the Annual Dogwood Festival, you're missing a fun time for all ages. This year, try your best to get over there and check it all out. It's taking place very close to our family fun Lake of the Ozarks attraction, so you might as well come on out and see us this weekend too! Make it an entire weekend full of Family Fun... As It Should Be! 


One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020

(573) 346-2676

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Simple Ways You Can Be A Part Of Keep America Beautiful Month

Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park are full of all kinds of natural beauty, but if not taken care of properly, that beauty can be dulled by everyday wear and tear. We have a full-time staff making sure our Lake of the Ozarks scenic attraction is well-cared for, but there's a lot of gorgeous earth that doesn't have a caretaker all of the time. That's where each of us can make a difference. 


There are many things that you can do that will quickly become a habit and second-nature to you. There are also some extra steps you can take that aren't difficult and make a huge impact on the world we live in. 

Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle
You can reduce the amount of waste made by reusing items whenever possible. For example, taking your own reusable bags to the grocery store is an easy way to cut down on all of those plastic bags that seem to pile up around the house. Use washable containers when you pack lunches instead of disposable sandwich bags. Get creative and find new ways to use different items instead of tossing them out right away. 

Cities don't always make it an easy task to recycle, but with a little bit of research you should be able to find a place to take your items. Many grocery and general merchandise stores offer small bins for some recyclables. You'll be surprised how many fewer trips to take out the trash you'll make once you start separating your recyclables! 

Pick Up After Your Pet
According to Earth911.com, animal waste getting washed down storm drains can account for 25% of the bacteria in our water. When you are in a public area or walking on a trail that others share, it's just common courtesy to clean up after your pet. It's tough to keep a smile on your face with dog poo on the bottom of your shoes!   

Pick Up After Humans Too
We are much bigger culprits then our pets when it comes to leaving unwanted items behind in nature. Theirs, at least, is a natural thing. Humans aren't always as careful as they should be when it comes to disposing of trash. The first thing you can do is make an effort to never litter. The second thing is to pick up the litter left behind by others. Keep a small bag in your car to carry with you when you hike. You can even arrange for a group of friends and family to join you and make an event out of cleaning up a stretch of highway near where you live.  

Plant Native Plants

If you're wanting to add some natural beauty to your own yard, choose plants that are native to the area in which you live. They are much easier to take care of because they are "built" to thrive in your part of the country. These are also the types of plants that local birds, insects, and other animals need for their survival.  


Making the above suggestions a habit isn't hard to do, and it's a wonderful start to playing your part in keeping America beautiful. If you would like to read more about this subject, and even get some additional ideas on how you can help, visit "Keep America Beautiful" at www.kab.org

When you are ready to relax and enjoy some of that American beauty, head on over to our family friendly attraction at the lake of the Ozarks. You get a look into the past with a tour of Bridal Cave, with formations that began growing millions of years ago. A walk through Thunder Mountain Park will give you a good look at some of the plants and animals that presently make up this scenic wonder. The world we live in is amazing, and it's up to each and every one of us to help keep it that way!  


One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020

(573) 346-2676

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spring is Blooming at Thunder Mountain Park

Here in mid-Missouri, we get to enjoy the gorgeous colors of many different flowering trees every spring. The "April showers" help to bring the sleeping trees to life at our scenic Lake of the Ozarks outdoor attraction, and eye-popping blooms begin emerging everywhere that you look. The trees on the trails at Thunder Mountain Park change from dull browns and grays to vibrant greens, pinks, whites, and more! 


Spring Travels North
Southern Missouri actually gets to see these beautiful colors a little earlier than the rest of the state. Spring blooms begin showing themselves in March down there, then slowly travel north, from lower to higher elevation as the average daily temperature rises. The northern cities will see the peak of their flowering trees begin to fade away in May. The last two weeks in April is about the time when it's breathtaking, no matter where you are in the state.   

Flowering Dogwood
The flowering dogwood was designated as Missouri's official state tree in 1955. It is a small tree with graceful branches that produce large, showy flowers, which are often white, but can sometimes be found with pink or yellow blooms. It will spend the summer with rich, green leaves, then develop berries in autumn. Before the leaves fall off as winter approaches, they turn a deep red. 

Missouri flowering tree, spring in Missouri, Lake of the Ozarks, flowering dogwood

Hawthorn
The lovely White Hawthorn Blossom that blooms on this one was designated as Missouri's official state flower in 1923. The woody plant can reach heights of 20 feet, and the tiny, apple-like fruit of the hawthorn not only provides food for birds and small mammals, but it is also collected to make jam. Our state boasts over 75 species of hawthorn, many of which are found right here in the Ozarks. 


Missouri flowering tree, spring in Missouri, Lake of the Ozarks

Downy Serviceberry
This tree is also known by many other names: Juneberry, Shadbush, Sarvissberry, Shadblow, and Sugar Plum, to name a few. Before the summer leaves emerge, silky-hairy, slightly fragrant petals often show themselves. Over the summer, small reddish-purple berries will grow.   

Eastern Redbud
Another small tree that offers a brilliant pop of color to the dreary winter forest is the redbud. The small, clustered rose-purple flowers cover the bare branches before its leaves appear. 


How Do You Enjoy Spring Blooms?
A relaxing stroll through the trails at Thunder Mountain Park is our very favorite way to take in all of the natural beauty that is popping up everywhere that we look. Another excellent way to celebrate spring in Missouri is to take a road trip and marvel at the wild trees that line the roads and highways. Some of the most beautiful photos that we have seen of our nature park were taken in spring. 

Camdenton's 2017 Dogwood Festival will be taking place April 20-22, just up the road a little ways from Bridal Cave. It's a festival full of fun to celebrate our beautiful state tree, which grows abundantly all around this area. Spend a couple of days enjoying the arts, crafts, food, carnival rides, parades, and more, then head on over to our family-fun Lake of the Ozarks attraction and see the dogwoods, as well as many more varieties of gorgeous Missouri trees, up close. A walk through the park to take in nature's beauty is always Family Fun... As It Should Be!  


One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020

(573) 346-2676

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Voted "Best Wedding Destination of Rural Missouri!

We're so excited and honored to announce that we've been voted the "Best Wedding Destination of Rural Missouri" for 2017 by Rural Missouri Magazine! Thank you to all who made this possible for us. We couldn't be where we are today without the love and support of our guests and community! To date, we have had 3,548 weddings so far. This year is starting out on a record pace with six weddings planned for the first week of April alone! If you've recently got engaged and are looking for a wedding venue at the Lake of the Ozarks, we'd be happy to accommodate your needs.


Here are some things we do that you can expect to help to make your special day as smooth and seamless as possible so that you can have a stress free experience:

Number of Guests

The chapel inside the cave can accommodate up to 50 guests standing room and the outdoor pavilion overlooking the Lake of the Ozarks holds up to 80 guests seated.

Licenses

A valid Missouri marriage license will be required for all weddings with the exception of renewal of vows in which your existing marriage license should be shown to the wedding officiant. For more information on Missouri marriage licenses please contact the Camden County Court House, Recorder's Office at 573-346-4440

Dress

For weddings performed in the cave chapel, we suggest appropriate dress. The Cave’s temperature is always a pleasant 60 degrees. During certain times of the year the concrete walks inside the Cave may be damp. A private dressing area is provided for the immediate wedding party for those wishing to dress upon arrival at the park.

Publicity

All weddings at Bridal Cave are open to the general public. Wedding couples should arrive at least 45 minutes prior to fill out necessary forms including a release form granting Bridal Cave rights to publicity and photographs.

Florist

We retain the services of a full service florist in Camdenton. Special requests for additional flowers, candelabras, etc. should be made directly with the florist. For more information please call Janine’s Flowers at 573-346-3388, www.janinesflowers.com

Photographer

The house photographer has years of experience in photographing in our chapel. Extra photographs may be ordered prior to your ceremony. For further information please contact Lindsey Webster Photography at 573-286-4561, www.lindseywebsterphotography.zenfolio.com

Wedding Party Discount

If any of your guests would like to tour the entire cave prior to the wedding we extend a 25% discount on all admissions. Please allow 90 minutes prior to the wedding to complete the tour.

Reservations 

Reservations are accepted with a minimum of 7 days' notice. A MasterCard, Visa or Discover is required to guarantee your reservation and must be paid in full when making your reservation. A cancellation fee of $300.00 will be assessed on wedding cancellations with less than 24 hours' notice. To make reservations or for more information please contact our wedding reservations department at 573-346-2676 or visit bridalcave.com

We also offer two very special wedding packages for you to choose from for your special day. When you choose Bridal Cave for your wedding venue at the Lake of the Ozarks, you can rest assured that your wedding day will be an unforgettable experience for all attendees. Again, we want to thank everyone who made it possible for us to be awarded the "Best Wedding Destination of Rural Missouri"!
One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
Follow us on LinkedIn

526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fishing is Big Family Fun at the Lake of the Ozarks

There are lots of exciting activities to enjoy when you're looking for family fun at the Lake of the Ozarks. One of these happens to be fishing, and our great big gorgeous body of water offers some of the best fishing in the nation. From bass to catfish to sun perch, there is a fish for everyone's liking. 


Great Fishing, All Year Long
The Lake of the Ozarks contains over 64 billion gallons of water and covers more than 54,000 acres. That's a lot of room to hold lots and lots of fish! Whether you are an experienced angler or a newbie to the sport, you can find tons of incredible fishing spots in and around the lake. 

The fish have plenty of natural habitats to thrive in, and local residents do their best to provide artificial ones too, giving the fish an assortment of places to live. As a matter of fact, every January Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park collect used Christmas trees and distribute them into the lake, helping to keep fishing in the area plentiful. 

Spring and summer might seem like the most popular seasons to fish at the Lake of the Ozarks, but it can actually be enjoyed all year long. In the fall, the fish are still lively and biting, plus the scenery all around the lake area is truly a site to behold. You'll need to bundle up well if you want to get out on the water in the winter, but it's not unheard of. If you're lucky, you will find one of the enclosed, heated fishing docks that some resorts in the area offer. 


Competitive Fishing
More than 500 professional and amateur fishing tournaments take place at the Lake of the Ozarks every year, and there's big money to be won doing it. One of the most popular competitions is coming up next month. The Big Bass Bash is happening April 22 & 23, 2017, and it is the largest amateur bass tournament in the nation. No pros are allowed, so it's a great one for anyone to give a try that normally fishes just for fun. The biggest bass caught that weekend will earn someone $70,000!        

Family Fun
It's not always all about competition when you fish on our lake. The activity is great for spending a relaxing day on the water with a bunch of good friends, and it's a great thing to do as a family. Fishing is a wonderful activity for any age, and your best tips and tricks can be passed down from generation to generation. 

You do need a fishing license if you live in Missouri and are between the ages of 16-64. For out-of-state visitors fishing in Missouri, you need a license if you are 16 years or older. Permits can be purchased at different places in the area, including many convenience stores and bait shops. You can also order them online, by phone, or through the MO Hunting app on your mobile device. Visit www.huntfish.mdc.mo.gov for more information.   

If your family isn't excited about catching the fish in the lake, you can enjoy feeding them from the dock at Thunder Mountain Park instead. There's always a group of giant grass carp hanging around, looking for a handout, and we offer free fish food to all children that ask for it.    


Show Us Your Big Catch & Win Bridal Cave Passes!
We've decided to host a fishing contest with a family pass to our Lake of the Ozarks family fun attraction as the prize! All you have to do is submit a picture of your big catch on our Bridal Cave Facebook page for a chance to win a pass good for 2 adults and 2 children to tour Bridal Cave. You've got until Friday, March 31 to get your pictures to us, and we'll announce a winner on Saturday, April 1. (No fooling!) 

Sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate when you want to go fishing, and other times those finicky fish simply don't feel like biting. Anytime you find yourself in one of those situations, that's the perfect time to explore Bridal Cave, the lake's all-weather attraction. It's a great place to stay warm and dry on cold or wet days, and the perfect place to cool off on the hot ones, since it's always a lovely 60° inside. No matter what you decide to do, you always know the Lake of the Ozarks offers plenty of Family Fun... As It Should Be!     


One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Original Opening of Bridal Cave

A popular question from visitors to our scenic family attraction at the Lake of the Ozarks is "What was the first thing built in Thunder Mountain Park?" They are usually surprised to find out that the first structure built was actually the boat dock. As a matter of fact, it was one of the very first boat docks on the Lake of the Ozarks. (According to Union Electric, dock #527, to be exact!)

Bridal Cave, Thunder Mountain Park, Lake of the Ozarks

Why a Boat Dock First?
When the excavation of Bridal Cave's entrance started in the spring of 1948, there were no roads in the area yet. Two separate crews worked simultaneously to get the park opened. The first crew started their work at the old highway 5, where the built a road and parking lots, and also installed power lines. 

The second crew was hired to excavate the cave entrance, but the only way for them to reach the cave was by boat. Without that initial boat dock, they wouldn't have been able to get to work each morning. 

Bridal Cave, Thunder Mountain Park, Lake of the Ozarks
Bridal Cave, Thunder Mountain Park, Lake of the Ozarks

Opening the Cave
Since the first crew was still working on putting up power lines, all of the initial work done to open up the cave entrance was performed by the light of lanterns. The original entrance was very small, only 18" X 36." In the beginning, it had to be dug out by hand. 

The workers in charge of that were also responsible for building wooden walkways and wiring the cave for electric lights. Bridal Cave was one of the first cave tours to have electric lights. The original development of the cave took 6 months to complete. It was opened to the public for tours on October 16, 1948. 

Bridal Cave, Thunder Mountain Park, Lake of the Ozarks

The Weddings Begin
Soon after the opening of the cave to the public, inquiries began coming in about hosting weddings inside of it. While there were originally no intentions of holding weddings here, the continuous requests prompted Bridal Cave to host its first wedding on June 1, 1949, less than a year after its opening date. 

Mr. & Mrs. Basil Cole from Sedalia, MO had the honor of being the first couple married inside Bridal Cave in modern times. To this day, over 3,547 couples from all around the world have exchanged vows in our stalactite adorned underground bridal chapel, a very unique wedding venue at the Lake of the Ozarks

Bridal Cave, Thunder Mountain Park, Lake of the Ozarks

Look At Us Today
Over the past 69 years, Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park have continued to expand with the addition of more parking lots, the rock and mineral shop, the sportswear shop, nature trails, the picnic pavilion, and the gemstone sluice. (Which was just doubled in size recently! See our "Calling All Rock Hounds" blog for more about that.)

We've become one of the best attractions at the Lake of the Ozarks, visited by thousands of people from all over the world every year. Sometimes it hard to believe that it all started with a dock on the lake! We're certainly glad that someone had the vision to make this place a reality so that people from everywhere can visit us for Family Fun... As It Should Be! 


One of America's most scenic 
cave tours.

Visit us at www.BridalCave.com
Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Follow us on Google+
Follow us on LinkedIn

526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020
(573) 346-2676