Photo courtesy of Neil Schloner Photography

The band Chase and Ovation performing at a Rockwoods event.

by Jim Boyle


Rockwoods in Otsego has announced its Bonfire Wednesdays free concert lineup, which will begin May 26 and run through Sept. 15.

The Shane Martin Band will kick things off on May 26 when the hometown star joins his band mates on stage for the first time in a long time.

He was supposed to open last year’s lineup but that had to be canceled when the pandemic’s grip hit the state of Minnesota and restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus went into effect.

“It has a been a rough go for artists and business who have suffered so much,” said Katie Franaschouk, the general manager of Rockwoods. “That’s why we’re so excited to get back some normalcy with our outdoor Wednesday night concerts.”

Bonfire Wednesdays are free and a fan favorite for entertainment just outside the bar, restaurant and catering and event center. Some come for just the concerts that start at 7 p.m. and others make an entire evening of it in the spacious outdoor setting that leaves room for social distancing and a chance to spread out with lawn chairs and such.

The restaurant opens the outdoor space at 4 p.m. offering specials, outdoor grilling and time to leisurely enjoy the company of friends and family before taking in a show.

The restaurant’s chef is considering items such as pulled pork, brisket or pork chops on a stick. The adult event for folks 21 years of age and older attracts a wide variety of ages and always seems to attract a few who like to dance to the music, Franaschouk said.

“These couples are so adorable,” Franaschouk said.

Rockwoods is working with the city of Otsego on permitting for the event and staying attuned to the state’s restrictions with a hopeful eye on them getting more and more lenient as summer approaches.

“We’re so excited that we finally get to do this again,” Franaschouk said.

Bonfire Wednesdays at Rockwoods

Outdoor venue opens at 4 p.m.; Free concert at 7 p.m.

May 26: The Shane Martin Band

June 2: Hitchville

June 9: Pop Rocks

June 16: Dirtyword Band

June 23 : Bad Girlfriends

June 30: Zed Lepplin

July 7: The Crown Jewels

July 14: The Rolling Stoners

July 21: Good For Gary

July 28: Hitchville

Aug. 4: Junk FM

Aug. 11: Diamondback

Aug. 18: Pop Rocks

Aug. 25: Dirtyword Band

Sept. 1: Good For Gary

Sept. 8: Diamondback

Sept. 15 : Hitchville

Special concert event and fundraiser on Sunday, Aug. 22:


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