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Ho, ho, holy cow: It’s a Santa invasion in Branson, Mo.

Tim Connaghan.
In full costume, Tim Connaghan, organizer of the Santa convention in Branson, Mo., zips across Table Rock Lake. Behind him is moored the Showboat Branson Belle, a popular tourist attraction. Santas will congregate in Branson beginning July 6.
(Branson CVB)

A swarm of Santas is about to descend on Branson, Mo.,  which is better known for country musicians than jolly men in bright red suits.

Discover Santa 2016 will take place July 6-10 and is expected to draw about 1,000 amateur and professional Santa Clauses — and plenty of elves, too — to Branson, a popular tourist destination in southwest Missouri that draws thousands to its theaters along 76 Country Boulevard and Shepherd of the Hills Expressway.

The festivities will be in full swing for the Parade of Red Suits at 8 a.m. July 7. The event, at downtown’s Branson Landing promenade, will feature floats and marching bands, as well as entertainers from local shows singing Christmas carols. 

The Santas are sure to work up a sweat during the July 8 SNO-lympics on the grounds of the Chateau on the Lake hotel, with its enviable location perched above scenic Table Rock Lake

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From 9 a.m. to noon, the Kris Kringles will engage in activities such as a tug of war and, very appropriately, a contest to determine which teams can assemble new bicycles the fastest. 

Most attendees boast real white whiskers and hair, because they earn their livings portraying Santa, said organizer Tim Connaghan. A variety of career-enhancing workshops will be offered during the convention.

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