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CLEAR LAKE — The big tribute to rock 'n' roll legends -- the 2017 Winter Dance Party -- kicks off Wednesday, Feb. 1, with the family sock hop at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake.

The sock hop begins at 6:30 p.m. with the "Johnny Rogers History of Rock ‘n Roll Show." It includes portrayals of country legend Johnny Cash, a re-creation of Elvis Presley in his Sun Studio and early RCA years, and an "uncanny recreation" of hits by Buddy Holly, according to a press release.

Rogers has performed during several Winter Dance Party events, including tributes in 2006-2009 and 2016. Single tickets for this show are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. 

The three main days of the Winter Dance Party are Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 2-4.

Thursday’s lineup includes a Tommy Allsup Tribute featuring Austin Allsup. Austin is the son of Tommy Allsup, an original guitarist on the 1959 Winter Dance Party Tour, who died earlier this month. Tommy had performed at the Surf’s event for 12 consecutive years and was scheduled to perform this year as well.

Others performing Thursday are Lloyd "Mr. Personality" Price, Jack Scott, and The Holy Rocka Rollaz. This is Price's first Winter Dance Party appearance, while Scott performed in 1991 and 2004. The Holy Rocka Rollaz return to the main stage after having performed as part of the Friday night Sock Hop last year.

Friday evening’s Traditional Sock Hop will feature The Whitesidewalls, Orbison & The Everly Brothers Reimagined, The Del Shannon Show Starring James Popenhagen and the Tailfins.

"The Whitesidewalls have been a part of the event many times back to the beginning and continue to be fan favorites," said event Producer Shane Cooney. “And we’ve added the Del Shannon Show Starring James Popenhagen in honor of our event’s very beginnings, when Del Shannon was a regular performer in the tribute’s lineup.”

Saturday's headliner is legendary rock ‘n' roller Johnny Rivers, best known for his hits “Poor Side of Town,” “Baby I Need Your Lovin,’ ” and “Memphis.”

Also on Saturday's bill are Albert Lee and Friends, and The Fireballs featuring Jimmy Gilmer and George Tomsco who have performed at six previous Winter Dance Party events. Rockabilly music’s Danny B. Harvey and Annie Marie Lewis are performing at the event for the first time.

Lee first appeared at the Surf’s Winter Dance Party in 2006 as part of The Crickets. He returned in 2013 and has performed each year since.

The Killer Vees, featuring Jeff, Tommy and Matt Vee along with Ar J Stevens and George Maurer, will reunite for a tribute to Bobby Vee, who died Oct. 24, 2016.

This show, complete with Bobby Vee's touring string section and cast members from "Teen Idol: The Bobby Vee Story," will follow the annual Three Stars Finale.

It will feature video and stories from Bobby Vee’s career along with his hits. His nephew, Matt Vee (son of founding Shadows member Bill Velline), and Ar J Stevens, Bobby Vee’s long-time lead guitarist and musical director, will cover the lead vocals. 

Tickets to the Winter Dance Party are $115 and are good for Thursday through Saturday evenings. The VIP tickets are sold out.

Tickets may be purchased at or by calling the Surf’s box office at 641-357-6151. Box office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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