Surf Ballroom
The Surf Ballroom (the Surf) is a Historic Rock and Roll Landmark at 460 North Shore Drive, Clear Lake, Iowa. The Surf is closely associated with The Day the Music Died - early rock and roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson gave their last performances at the Surf on February 2, 1959 as part of the "Winter Dance Party Tour".

The Surf Ballroom was originally built in 1933, burned down in 1947, and rebuilt in 1948, across the street from its original location. It still hosts numerous events and has a seating capacity of 2,100 and a 6,300-square-foot (590 m 2) dance floor. Attached to the building is the Surfside 6 Cafe. The facility includes a museum of music memorabilia and a Hall of Fame of the many famous artists who performed at the venue. The Surf Ballroom is currently owned by the Snyder family of Clear Lake and is open to the public daily. The exterior of the ballroom, and the neighborhood around it, has changed very little since the 1950s. Backstage, in an area known as " The Green Room," acts that have played in the ballroom, such as Little River Band, Loverboy, The Righteous Brothers, The Temptations, The Beach Boys, Waylon Jennings and Bobby Rydell have signed their names on the whitewashed walls, as well as have had photos of themselves placed on a wall alongside those of early rock and roll pioneers. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum designated the Surf Ballroom a historical landmark on January 27, 2009. The ceremony giving landmark status to the site kicked off a week-long celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the February 2, 1959, "Winter Dance Party" concert and the tragic incident of February 3, 1959.

The Day the Music Died
Holly, Valens and Richardson left the Surf immediately after the show. They went to the nearby Mason City airport and chartered a small plane to take them to Fargo, North Dakota to prepare for their show at the Moorhead Armory in Moorhead, Minnesota . The plane took off at 12:55 AM Central Time on Tuesday February 3, 1959. Shortly after takeoff young pilot Roger Peterson, in a combination of spatial disorientation and misinterpretion of a flight instrument, flew the plane into the ground , killing everyone aboard. A concrete monument was erected outside the Surf and the ballroom is adorned with large pictures of the three musicians. A street flanking the facility's east property line is named Buddy Holly Place in his honor.

Winter Dance Party Tribute
Each February 2, since the 1979 twentieth anniversary of the original "Winter Dance Party" concert, the Surf Ballroom hosts a a "Winter Dance Party" tribute show . The next day, a memorial service in Clear Lake officially honours the February 3 anniversary of the deaths of the three musicians.