The Clarissa Ballroom moved from Bertha, Minnesota to its current location in Clarissa in 1948. It has seen many owners come and go throughout the years, but the ballroom is currently owned by Jim and Becky Pratt.
Whoopee John and Rocking Horse were two prominent bands that visited the Clarissa Ballroom decades ago. Whoopee John, a musician originally from New Ulm, Minnesota, played songs such as “Clarinet Polka” in ballrooms across the nation in the 1940s and 1950s.
The ballroom has seen several renovations throughout the years. A main hall was added in 1956, and a kitchen was added in 1986. A beautiful 30 x 40 foot outdoor porch was built in the summer of 2016 that is used for socializing in ballroom events and weddings.
The Clarissa Ballroom is often busy year-round with weddings to plan and host. However, they do host a Polka Fest every Memorial Day weekend and have done so for 29 years. The four-day event features loads of dancing, daily drawings for prizes and fun. Memorial Day in 2017 will bring the 30th Polka Fest to the Clarissa Ballroom.