SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Today is National J1 Day, a holiday designed to celebrate visa participants and bring communities together to share and learn their cultural diversity and American customs.

Over 700 exchange students currently reside and work in the Branson community. Tonight, organizers will host an event that will celebrate the exchange students and show appreciation to the students for all of their hard work.

“Well, it is exhilarating and much appreciated,” said Lynn Berry, the director of communications for the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. Berry expressed her gratitude for exchange students’ work all over the City of Branson, from Silver Dollar City to hospitality. Over 750 participants in the program are making an impact in the community.

“Some of these folds you will see becoming doctors, lawyers, people that will serve the world,” Berry said.

In honor of these young students, Branson Bridge USA will be hosting the Moonshine Beach Bash today from 4-7 p.m. This is a gesture for all of the hard work that the exchange students have done for the Branson community,

“Well, this afternoon, we are going to have a big beach party out on the lake,” Berry said. “Table Rock Lake has the beautiful Moonshine Beach. There’ll be dancing. There’ll be music. There’ll be food.”

This program dates back to 2014 and unfortunately had a dip in exchange student participants due to COVID-19. But this year, they were able to get more students here and are glad that they are able to enjoy the area.

Attendees planning on going to the Moonshine Bash have an opportunity to bring a non-perishable food item. All donations will be doing to the Ozarks Food Harvest.