Willmar's Rockin' Robbins rocks into fourth year

People put on their best dancing shoes for the first Rockin’ Robbins free concert series of the summer July 17, 2018 at Robbins Island Park in Willmar. Erica Dischino / Tribune

WILLMAR — Robbins Island is the place to be Tuesday night for those wanting to listen to some live tunes. The fourth annual Rockin' Robbins free outdoor concert series starts tonight with headliners Big Toe and the Jam .

The events are sponsored by the Willmar Rotary Club and are a fundraiser for Robbins Island.

The fun starts at 5 p.m. with opening act Green Lake Bluegrass Band . Concert-goers can also purchase and enjoy many different food options and shop and browse at the Foot Lake Market. There will also be activities for the kids and a beer and wine tent for the adults. A free park-and-ride shuttle service will pick up and drop off people from the Willmar Civic Center, First Covenant Church and the Willmar Middle School. The shuttle will operate every 15 minutes starting at 4:30 p.m. and running until 9:30 p.m.


Big Toe and the Jam will take over at 6:30 p.m. The band plays a variety of genres, from country to rock to pop. They performed at last year's Rockin' Robbins and are a popular band in the area.

Rockin' Robbins will continue through Aug. 6, with three addition concert events on July 23, July 30 and Aug. 6. All the shows will start at 5 p.m. with the opening act with the main act following at 6:30 p.m.

Arch Allies, with opening act Ava Hanson will take the stage for the July 23 show, with Michael Shynes and headliner Hitchville on tap for July 30. The last show, Aug. 6, will have Walter Wheelhouse kicking things off, with the Fabulous Armadillos and Collective Unconscious bringing this year's Rockin' Robbins series to an end with their "Takin' It To The Limit" Eagles tribute show.

Rockin' Robbins first took over Robbins Island in 2016 with two concerts. Those first two shows were able to raise $20,000, which was then donated to the Friends of Robbins Island, which used it for the Willmar Destination Playground.

In 2017, the series doubled to four shows, and was able to raise $38,000 for the park. Those funds helped construct a new entrance into Robbins Island, with a new sign and landscaping. Other concert revenue went to help bring the Celebrate the Light of the World Christmas light display to the Island.

All totaled, Rockin' Robbins has raised over $116,000 for Robbins Island. The Rotary Club is now working with the city of Willmar on how to use these funds in future park projects, which might include new park shelters and a bandshell.


Last year the Willmar Rotary Club received the Rotary Service Club Award for Rotary District 5950 for the club's work on Rockin' Robbins.

Kurt Rodman plays guitar with Matt Vee & The Killer Vees for the first Rockin’ Robbins free concert series of the summer July 17, 2018 evening at Robbins Island Park in Willmar. Erica Dischino / Tribune

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email or direct 320-214-4373.

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