Where the Music Lives

Tributes to "The Music Man" & Buddy Holly

4 Days  |  Sept 15-18, 2017 and Sept 21-24, 2018

Starting At $679.00
Faith, Small Town Values & Happy Endings at the movies are part of Meredith Willson's message in "The Music Man," a common theme in many of his songs and shows, Tragic youth, loss and remembrance are part of the message in our tribute concert to the "Night the Music Died." This is small town America, it's a Celebration of Life and a musical journey. Come be nostalgic, enjoy musical history, and honor one of the greatest Rock n' Roll Shows of all time. This is a Special Event with limited seats. Book your space now.

Where the Music Lives

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Two Music Shows:

  1. Tribute to the 1959 Winter Dance Party Tour of Buddy H0lly, Richie Havens and The Big Bopper featuring Johnny Rogers
  2. Stebens Childrens Theatre Musical Revue at Music Man Reunion Hall
  • “Music Man” Meredith Willson’s Boyhood Home
  • Music Square & the Great River City Festival
  • Guided Tours of Mason City & Clear Lake
  • The Charles H. MacNider Art Museum
  • John Dillinger Bank Robbery Re-Enactment
  • The Historic Surf Ballroom
  • Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, & Big Bopper Memorial

  • Visit the Kinney Pioneer Museum
  • Scenic Lady of the Lake Cruise
  • Three Nights First Class Lodging
  • Three Hotel Breakfasts
  • One Lunch
  • Three Dinners, including
    • Dinner Show at the Historic Surf Ballroom
  • All Taxes & Tips on these services
  • Luggage Handling

NET,  Per Person Prices

. . . $679 Double

. . . $619 Triple . . . $579 Quad . . . $879 Single

Special Event Terms
$500 Group Deposit on Booking
June 15 – $50 per person due
July 15 Rooming List Due
Final Payment due Aug 1

Full Refund until June 15
Cancellations  June 15-Aug  1 = $50 Per Person Penalty
No Refunds after Aug 1

Produced in association with our friends at East Coast Touring Co.

If you need motorcoach transportation, check out our travel affiliate Buster.com for the best prices.

Day 1 – Today, your group arrives Mason City, IA to participate in a Special Event, “Where the Music Lives On.”  You will spend three nights here celebrating the music of America and Life in the  Heartland. Hotels will be assigned on receipt of Rooming Lists (Holiday Inn Express, Hampton, or similar)  Tonight, dinner is included at a local restaurant.

Day 2 – This morning after breakfast, you meet a local guide for a Mason City Tour. Mason City is the hometown of Meredith Willson, composer of “The Music Man.” Plus, the area is legendary as it was the site of the final performance of the 1959 “Winter Dance Party Tour” featuring Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson.

After the Mason City Tour you visit the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum, it contains a permanent collection of American art, the famous Bil Baird puppets, and an impressive range of ceramics.  The highlight will be an exhibit of artworks from the 50’s and 60’s by ground breaking artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, and Andy Warhol.

Then, you are off to learn the legacy of Mason City’s very own Music Man,” at Meredith Willson’s boyhood home. Get a glimpse of his upbringing and the inspirations and influences that started him on his path to a distinguished career as a musician and composer.  Afterwards, you visit Music Man Square where Hollywood history comes to life and your guests explore the River City 1912 Streetscape – recreated from actual set designs of the Warner Bros. motion picture, “The Music Man.” This interactive museum tells the story of music throughout American history and showcases a collection of memorabilia from Willson’s illustrious career.

The afternoon is just as much fun as the morning, this is a special day in historic downtown Mason City as they celebrate The Great River City Festival, celebrating the spirit of an era in American History -m the 1930s.  The city is bustling with food, vendors and craft tents. One of the highlights is a re-enactment of the 1934 Dillinger Bank Robbery of the First National Bank.  You’ll be there as the gang rolls into town in a dark blue Buick, two men standing on the sideboards with machine guns at the ready looking for a bank to rob!

Tonight you enjoy a great evening of dinner and entertainment at the Music Man Square Reunion Hall. Your evening will start with a delicious Iowa designed dinner followed by the Stebens Childrens Theatre Musical Revue.  You’ll enjoy a wonderful plated meal of Mid American Cuisine, then enjoy a Musical Revue by the Stebens Theater kids.   A delightful and endearing performance featuring highly trained and talented young performers, ages from Elementary through High School.  As the night comes to end, enjoy some ice cream to go before returning to the hotel.

Day 3 – This morning you head to Clear Lake, IA and meet your local guide for a tour of this charming small town. You will learn about the town’s rich past and resort atmosphere that make it truly unique.  You’ll visit the Kinney Pioneer Museum, where you will take a step back in time and relive the memories of days gone by. You will experience life on the Iowa frontier through the vintage exhibits and living history which includes broom making, rug weaving demonstrations, as well as a pioneer village, one-room school house, old jail, log cabin and black-smith shop.

Then you visit The Surf Ballroom, here on Feb 3 was the final performance of the 1959 “Winter Dance Party Tour,”an event forever marked on the wall of rock and roll history.  This concert featured Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and it was their last show.  Immediately afterwards, they stepped  aboard the small plane that crashed in the cornfield at Clear Lake.   You will have a guided tour of the ballroom, the museum and the green room where by a fateful coin toss took place, Waylon Jennings who played lead guitar for Buddy Holly lost the toss and his seat on the plane to Richie Valens.

Lunch is included today is in a wonderful banquet hall the shores of Clear Lake, followed by a visit to the crash site where rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson were killed. Here a stainless steel guitar and a set of three stainless steel records mark the exact spot where the plane crashed.

Tonight, you return to the Surf Ballroom for dinner and our main event. First is a 50’s and 60’s dinner, feel free to dress in the era, then we relive history, recreating the “Winter Dance Party,” an event immortalized by songwriter Don Henley as “The Day the Music Died.” Get up and dance to the wondrous sounds from the famous Johnny Rogers, as he performs for your evening entertainment. Johnny will recreate before your eyes the music from that fateful night and other music from that era.

Day 4 – After breakfast you enjoy a morning cruise on Clear Lake, aboard the vintage paddlewheeler Lady of the Lake. Then depart for home.

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