When you hear the 'Surf Ballroom', many things probably come to mind: Legendary, classic, and more than likely, Buddy Holly. The historic ballroom in Clear Lake Iowa is the very last place Buddy, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper played on February 2nd, 1959. (The trio died in the wee hours of February 3rd in a plane crash near Clear Lake).

Fast forward to 2019, and the venue is up for a Academy of Country Music Award. Yep, Northern Iowa is on Nashville's radar.

The original Surf Ballroom opened on 17 April 1933. That one burned down on April 20th, 1947. Then July 1st, 1948 it reopened across the street from the original location.

Operated by a tiny staff and some 300 volunteers, the nonprofit Surf hosts nearly 60,000 guests annually, either for a stroll through the museum or an actual concert. The venue is one of five nominees for 'Venue of the Year: Small Capacity'. In order to qualify, all venues must hold no more than 4,000.

Fingers crossed! The Reba McEntire hosted awards show goes down in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 7th.

(Additional information: Des Moines Register)