DEWITT, Iowa (KWQC) — The original building dates back to 1920. It was an open air ballroom until a cover was put over it in the 1930’s. For many local folks, there are memories galore from Fairyland Ballroom near DeWitt.
Today, the cement ballroom floor sparkles. Up above on the ceiling is the original webbing. Lance and Wendy Jorgensen are the new owners.
They bought the building at a Sheriff’s sale for about ten thousand dollars. They are bringing the place back to life after flooding from the Wapsi River brought it to its knees.
Some of the biggest names in music performed at the Fairyland. Lawrence Welk, Guy Lombardo’s Band, and many others. This ballroom out in the country was regarded as one of the best in the Midwest.
Today the name is new. Wapsi Willy’s. It is a restaurant and the hope is that soon, the glory days will return to this area icon.
Researcher Sandy Miller is a wealth of knowledge about the Fairyland. She has many photos and has also written a book. Legend has it, she says, that at one time Al Capone frequented the area for a taste of Templeton Rye. There were bootleggers in the area, and also a red light district.
The Fairyland is a survivor after several battles with area flooding. Standing tall, once again. The place where dancing was a ball!