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Winter Dance Party to be celebrated in Pine Island

February 1, 2019

PINE ISLAND — One of the most famous — and tragic — concerts of the early rock ‘n’ roll era will be recreated Saturday on the stage of the Olde Pine Theatre, 113 Second St. SW in Pine Island.

The Winter Dance Party concert of Feb. 2, 1959 marked the final show by Buddy Holly before he was killed that night in a plane crash shortly after takeoff from the airport in Mason City, Iowa. Also killed in the crash were Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson.

The three rockers were flying to the next tour stop in Fargo, N.D., because the bus on which they had been traveling couldn’t cope with the cold weather. At that next show in Fargo, Bobby Vee launched his career by stepping into take Holly’s spot in the lineup.

For this Pine Island show, tribute artists will portray Holly, Valens, the Big Bopper, Vee, Dion & the Belmonts and Brenda Lee.

Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door, $15 for students and children; 507-491-2639. The concert starts at 7 p.m.

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