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CLEAR LAKE | Multiple generations took a trip back to the 1950s with a poodle skirt workshop Saturday morning at the Clear Lake Arts Center.

"I thought it would be fun, and I've always wanted to make a poodle skirt for them," said Joan Bruggeman, who was there with her granddaughters Kenadie Bruggeman, 7, and Charlie Bruggeman, 6. All are from Klemme.

The Clear Lake Arts Center decided to offer the workshop after being approached by the Surf Ballroom and Kate Christensen, Clear Lake, who made poodle skirts with her grandma as a child, said Paula Hanus, art center executive director.

"One of our missions here is to create memorable moments," said Hanus, noting that the workshop attracted daughters, mothers and grandmothers.

Working with Larson Mercantile, the arts center purchased all of the necessary supplies, including fabrics, while Christensen and another woman did all of the sewing. Participants cut out the skirt pattern and did the decorating.

"It's fun," Charlie said. "It's hard but really fun to do."

She and her cousin Kenadie were both making purple poodle skirts with a poodle and music notes on them.

Kenadie was especially excited since she goes to Garner-Hayfield/Ventura, which will be hosting a Winter School Dance Party on Wednesday. The event includes a 1950s costume competition.

"It's really fun," she said about the event.

The Winter School Dance Party is part of the 2015 Winter Dance Party, which starts on Wednesday. The Surf Ballroom's annual event honors the musical legacies of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, who died in a plane crash just after playing at the Surf in February 1959. Pilot Roger Peterson was also killed in the crash.

The event also includes the Rockin' Kids Show on Friday, which is what attracted Marcie Hess, Clear Lake, and her daughter Ali, 8, to the workshop.

“Usually we're sorting through past Halloween costumes or calling around trying to borrow a poodle skirt," Hess said.

Now Ali will have her very own blue poodle skirt.

"I'm very excited," Ali said about the dance on Friday.

"I think she'll enjoy it more because she made it," Hess said.

Christensen said she was glad to see her project idea happen and thinks it's important to share the history of the Winter Dance Party with each generation.

"I think it's amazing," she said about the annual event, which she attends parts of. "This is my favorite time of the year because the sock hop is usually around my birthday. They throw one heck of a birthday party for me."

Hanus said the arts center will offer the poodle skirt workshop again next year.


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