The Free Press, Mankato, MN


January 24, 2014

Kato Ballroom hosting Dance Party anniversary concert

Kato Ballroom hosting Dance Party anniversary concert

MANKATO — Just months after her last appearance in southern Minnesota, Connie Valens — sister of the late rock icon Ritchie Valens — will be performing Saturday at the Kato Ballroom.

Valens will be joined by Austin-based band Denny and the DC Drifters. Doors open at 7 p.m. and music begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18 at the door.

The concert coincides with the exact date, 55 years later, on which the ill-fated Winter Dance Party Tour stopped at the Kato Ballroom in 1959. On that tour, of course, were Buddy Holly, J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson and Ritchie Valens — all of whom perished eight days later in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.

Valens traveled to southern Minnesota last October for a fundraising concert Saturday in St. James. Proceeds were used to help add playable music to the 15-foot memorial sculpture at Three Stars Plaza in Clear Lake that honors the memory of the three rock icons who died near there.

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