The Innwood Ballrooom

2003 - Ballroom

Nestled among the trees in the Northeast Iowa community of Spillville is the Inwood Ballroom. This marks the 83rd year this ballroom has brought entertainment to three generations of music fans. It is also the year this historic entertainment hub enters the Iowa Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.

Beginning in 1920, local and regional bands began playing at the newly constructed pavilion in Spillville’s Riverside Park. From the 1930s through the 1950s, renovations and expansion efforts were undertaken and national acts started playing at the Inwood. Lawrence Welk, Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines, the Six Fat Dutchmen, Leo Greco, Guy Lombardo and others all performed to sellout crowds.

The first “Teen Dance” was held on May 27, 1960. Teen hops flourished, masterminded by Darrell Winkie and his famous “Wink-I Pepsi Parties.” Winkie and his portable deejay service supplied the music for those early rock and roll shows. Live rock shows began in 1965 with the performance by the legendary Byrds who had the number one hit that summer, “Mr. Tambourine Man.”

For the next 10 years a who’s who of rock and roll bands came from throughout the country to perform at the Inwood. National acts appearing included Bobby Goldsboro, The Stillroven, Dee Jay & the Runaways, the Pete Klint Quintet, The Buckinghams, the Fabulous Flippers, The I.BT.C., Enoch Smoky and ShowTime Parts 1 & 2.

Although many ballrooms have fallen by the wayside, the Inwood Ballroom is still operating today as the quintessential site for wedding dances, polka parties and special musical events. A special Hall of Fame salute for a survivor that keeps on doing it right.

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