Clear Lake, Iowa

Fans of the late Buddy Holly will gather again for the Winter Dance Party Thu.-Sat. at the Surf Ballroom. The 60th-anniversary celebration marks the death of Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens in a plane crash, and will feature performances by Chubby Checker, the Chiffons, Bobby Cochran, Robin Luke, Wendy and Carnie Wilson, Minnesota's Killer Vees and others. Dance lessons, an art exhibit, a record show, movies and a tour of the memorial crash site will also be offered (winterdance­­

Hudson, Wis.

Watch balloonists fly over the St. Croix River Valley during the 30th annual Hot Air Affair Fri.-next Sun. "Pirates Fly'n the Croix-ribbean" is this year's theme and festivities kick off at 10 a.m. Fri. with button prizes and a sale, followed by geocaching and bird-watching. A nighttime parade starts at 7 p.m. at the Wells Fargo parking lot and proceeds down 2nd Street. Fireworks over Lakefront Park and the river will top off the night. On Saturday and Sunday balloonists will compete in races beginning at 7:35 a.m. and at 3 and 6:30 p.m. Sat. All are weather-permitting. Other highlights include smoosh boarding, a chili cook-off, Jack Sparrow from Captain Jack Entertainment, ice fishing, kite sales and demonstrations, live music and more (1-715-381-2050; hudsonhotairaffai­

Grand Marais, Minn.

Come to Cook County for the third annual Hygge Festival Feb. 8-14 and you'll find plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy including skiing, snowshoeing, fat bike rides, a Voyageur Brewery tour, live music, special dinners, dog sled tours (reservations required) and more (

Colleen A. Coles