Rockie Lynne, national country music recording artist, returned home to Coon Rapids June 21.Lynne, who spent several years living in the city, presented the third concert in the Coon Rapids Arts Commission’s free annual outdoor nine-concert series.
The venue was Sand Creek Park instead of the usual location in the performance pavilion at the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, the home of the other eight concerts of the series.
The concert was moved because of an anticipated large crowd.
And indeed there was, people filling a good chunk of one of the softball fields in Sand Creek Park. The attendance was estimated between 1,500 and 2,000.
The concert was sponsored by Shortstop Bar & Grill, Coon Rapids, one of eight in the series to which the business has donated funds.
Mayor Tim Howe introduced Lynne. “I’ve heard Rockie say that he calls Coon Rapids home,” Howe said.
“We welcome him back home for this performance. This is a wonderful day.”
For Lynne, it was a pleasure to be back in Coon Rapids to perform, he said.
And he kicked off his concert with “Just Glad to Be Here.”
Howe also spoke of Lynne’s work with the Tribute to the Troops motorcycle organization, which he founded.
Motorcyclists from the organizations visit families of fallen heroes to help in any way they can, according to Howe.
“It is a very emotional experience,” Howe said.
And at the Sand Creek Park event, people could buy a $10 ticket for a drawing for a motorcycle, which will take place Sunday, Sept. 9 at the ninth annual Tribute to the Troops memorial concert at the Medina Entertainment Center.
The motorcycle to be given away in the drawing was on display at Sand Creek Park.
According to Lynne, proceeds are used for the Tribute to the Troops Fallen Heroes Children’s Education Fund, which provides financial assistance to surviving children of our “fallen heroes.”
A veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served in the 82nd Airborne, Lynne and his band spent 21 days on tour entertaining troops in Afghanistan, Southwest Asia and the Persian Gulf a few years ago.
The trip was the inspiration for his newest album, “Songs for the Soldiers,” which was on sale at Sand Creek Park with half the proceeds going to troop-related charities.
There was also pre-show presented by hypnotist Mysterious Kevin J (Kevin O’Kane of MSP Hypnosis, Roseville), in which he brought four volunteers up on stage to experience hypnosis first-hand.
Before doing so, O’Kane talked about hypnosis and dispelled some misconceptions.
According to O’Kane, volunteering for hypnosis requires “curiosity, imagination and cooperation.”
The Coon Rapids North Star Lions Club served food and beverages in the Sand Creek Park concession building, while Boy Scouts from Troop 524, Epiphany Church, had a popcorn and candy stand.
The remaining concerts in the series will be at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park.
• July 12 – Minnesota Sinfonia, family pops concert (Pentair Foundation is sponsoring this concert).
• July 19 – Bill Koncar, accordion variety.
• July 26 – Island Time Band, island party/dance.
• Aug. 2 – Betty Rydell and Randi Rae, country/gospel.
• Aug. 9 – The Hillbilly Mafia, top 40 country.
The Coon Rapids Arts Commission, which is a volunteer advisory commission to the city council, plans arts events in Coon Rapids throughout the year.
For more information call 763-767-6432.
Peter Bodley is at firstname.lastname@example.org