Hundreds enjoy an evening of music at Robbins Island


WILLMAR -- The Fabulous Armadillos and their opening act, the Olivia-based Dam Jammers, headlined a night of music, food and fun at Robbins Island in Willmar on Tuesday in the first ever Rockin’ Robbins summer concert event.

Hosted by the Willmar Rotary and Willmar Lakes Rotary clubs and sponsored by several corporations to bring people to Robbins Island, the free event brought over 1,000 people, and a few dogs, to the lakeside park.

The Fabulous Armadillos have an eclectic catalogue of music, playing everything from Motown to country and heavy metal. The group, which got its start in St. Cloud, includes Greg “Gary D.” Armstrong, Paul “Stretch” Diethelm, Billy Scherer, Pamela McNeill, Mike Zeleny, Jay O’Donnell, Pat Thorn and Mike Krietzer.

In addition to the music, Rockin’ Robbins included several food vendors, a beer tent, artisans and play areas for the kids including a rock climbing wall. At Tuesday’s event everyone seemed to be having a good time, with the beer tent a popular stop.

A second Rockin’ Robbins concert is scheduled Aug. 16 with Justin Ploof and the Throwbacks headlining.

Made up of Justin Ploof, Jason Ploof and Dan Ploof, the band performs music from some of the best-known bands, artists and genres including the Beatles, Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones.

While admission to the Rockin’ Robbins events is free, any profits raised during the events will go toward Robbins Island park improvements, including the potential destination playground.

The Rockin Robbins concert events are based on similar events in St. Cloud, a summer concert series called Summertime by George, which has raised over $300,000 for park improvements at Eastman Park on Lake George.