Electric Park Ballroom, Waterloo, IA
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photo by m kelleher (feb, 2003)

from the IRRMA web site (1999)

The famed Electric Park Ballroom got its start in the late 1800's, when R.E. Peterson developed a 14 acre site outside of Waterloo.  The original site included an amusement park with rides, movie house, sports garden, picnic area, fun house and a lunch counter.

The concept for the ballroom did not come about until the 1930's when a fire swept through Electric Park and destroyed much of what had been built.

In 1934, the "New" Electric Park Ballroom was constructed after the earlier fire.  The driving force behind the development of the famed ballroom was once again, R.E. Peterson.

Also constructed was a new site for the barrel of fun and the merry-go-round, with all the property now included in the city limits of Waterloo.

The likes of Jimmy Dorsey, Glen Miller, and Guy Lombardo were top draws at 25 cents a head.

In the late 50's, Electric Park took to rock and roll like so many other ballrooms in the region with bookings for Conway Twitty, The Everly Brothers, Dion, Johnny & The Hurricanes and Bill Black's Combo being common.

Today the ballroom is operated by The National Cattle Congress which has done a superb job with operation and upkeep on this beautiful facility.

We'd all like to welcome to The Hall of Fame, the famed Electric Park Ballroom of Waterloo, Iowa, still rockin' after all these years.

photo (circa 1950s)  submitted by Steve Brown

from the Electric Park web site:

Built: 1906 (fire destroyed some of structure)1936 (present structure)
Heated & Air Conditioned Facility, Kitchen facilities available
2 Concession stands and full service bars
Dimensions: Ballroom & Dance Floor: 5,103 sq. feet, Meeting Area/Upper Level: 1,800 sq. feet
Dance Floor: 81' x 63' (5,103 sq ft)
Stage: 17' x 24'
Capacity: Banquet Seating: 1,000 (400 at round tables & booths)
Fire Code: 1,200
Floor: Concrete-Wood dance floor
Ceiling Height: 11' 10"
Freight Door: 6'7" x 5'10"
Electricity (volts): 208v 3 phase
On Site: 50 -- round tables (seat 8 each)-50 - 8' tables (seats 10 each)-500 - chairs
Additional Rooms: Box Office-2 Dressing Rooms

photo by m kelleher (feb, 2003)

post card (postally used 1910)  Electric Park Amusement Park, Waterloo, Iowa.  Image shows the entrance and a large Ferris Wheel
(Electric Park Ballroom was originally on the grounds of
Electric Park Amusement Park which is now the National Cattle Congress)