There are places that explain history and there are places where you can feel history. The Surf Ballroom is located in Clear Lake and has been host to hundreds if not thousands of artists from big bands to rock legends. It was also the location where Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson played their last concert at the now legendary Winter Dance Party. Following that concert, trio chartered an airplane to take them to their next location, but the airplane crashed just 5 miles from the airport. All three artists and the pilot lost their lives.
On a tour of the Surf, you’ll see photos of the original Winter Dance Party, the phone booth where Holly made his last call, and the greenroom where hundreds of artists and celebrities have signed their name. Every inch of the Surf brings a sense of nostalgia and is also a great place to see a current concert. (Country star Martina McBride is performing tomorrow night!)
Plan to spend some extra time in Clear Lake. From boat rides on the Lady of the Lake to a charming downtown, there’s plenty of places to explore.
The Surf Ballroom is a featured destination in the Iowa Lottery’s newest game with Mike Wolfe, original American Picker. In the second chance drawing, the Iowa Lottery will be giving away various prizes including items from Mike’s favorite Iowa picks. Mike’s picks are being revealed weekly until the drawing at the end of June. Come back to our blog each Friday to learn about his favorite Iowa locations! Learn more about the Mike’s Picks game here.