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2011 Winter Dance Party weekend underway in Surf Ballroom

Dancing at the 2011 Winter Dance Party in the Surf Ballroom
CLEAR LAKE – Clear Lake’s annual weekend of music and good times is underway at the Surf Ballroom. multi-media journalist Dave Hansen is on the scene with updates and video.

On Wednesday night the Surf Ballroom hosted what it billed as an evening “Warm Up” event concert.

Rock ‘n roll fans braved bone chilling temperatures and a number of women sported poodle skirts as they danced and enjoyed the music of Good Time Oldies at the Surf.

The Winter Dance Party weekend celebrates the lives and legacies of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson.

They gave what would turn out to be their final performance at the Surf during what was known as the “Winter Dance Party” Tour in 1959.

The trio, along with pilot Roger Peterson was killed hours later in a small plane crash north of Clear Lake in the early morning hours of February 3, 1959.

This year’s celebration will feature several performers including Gary Lewis & The Playboys on Thursday evening.

Gary Lewis will host Friday’s concert and the Winter Dance Party Sock Hop will feature Flash Cadillac and Mad Hatter’s Tea Party with Tommy Allsup and Sonny West.

Performing at the 2011 Winter Dance Party in the Surf Ballroom
“The Killer,” Jerry Lee Lewis is scheduled to headline the Saturday evening show, which will also feature performances by Roy Head, Little Peggy March and The Fleetwoods.

Thursday’s schedule of events includes dance lessons at the Surf from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Afternoon live entertainment at the Surf will feature Denny & The DC Drifters from noon-3 p.m.

There will also be a Winter School Dance Party performance from “Buddy’s Buddies” featuring Richie Lee.

The event is scheduled to run from Noon- 3 p.m. at the E B Stillman Auditorium, Clear Lake Middle School, 1601 3rd Avenue North in Clear Lake.

Kids will be allowed in for free, adult tickets are $5 and prizes will be given for the best period costume.

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