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News & Entertainment for Mason City, Clear Lake & the Entire North Iowa Region

Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa.
Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa.

The Surf Ballroom has been a landmark music venue for decades.

The Surf was originally built in 1933 and then re-located to its current location at 460 North Shore Drive in 1948. Countless musicians and performers have graced it’s one-of-a-kind stage over the years.

In 2015, the Surf Ballroom has hosted such musical acts as 80’s metal bands ZZ Top and Whitesnake, 80’s rap artist Sir Mix-a-Lot, country music star Gary Allan, Breaking Benjamin, and many others.

In addition to musical entertainment, the Surf also welcomed the Democratic Wing Ding this summer, which featured presidential candidates and other politicians. The Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce held an event there which offered a chance to enter a contest for the town’s “signature cocktail“.

Of course, no one can mention the Surf without harkening back to Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens, who played their last concert there on February 2, 1959 before a tragic plane crash took their lives. To honor their memory, an annual Winter Dance Party is held with all the old-time favorites from that era. It’s cold in North Iowa in February, but the Surf heats up every February for this event.

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