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80s favorites Great White will play Saturday at the fairgrounds

Great White will perform with Warrant singer Jani Lane at Saturday's Rocktoberfest event.

My, my, my.

Popular 80s hair band Great White is coming to Farmington this weekend, headlining Saturday's second annual Rocktoberfest, sponsored by the Farmington Rotary Club.

Known for songs like "Once Bitten, Twice Shy," "Rock Me," and "Save Your Love," Great White can take just about any 40-something back in time. And that's just what the Rotary folks are hoping will happen.

"We're pretty excited," said Rotary fund raising chair Tom Severson. "Great White is going to be the main entertainment. They're on their 25th anniversary tour, and they're our headliner."

Fans will actually get two bands in one. Warrant lead singer Jani Lane will take the place of Great White's Jack Russell, who has had health problems. In other recent shows the band has played both Warrant and Great White songs.

But the band is not the only one featured on Saturday's event. The party actually kicks off at 5 p.m., with the only returning performers from last year's event, Karl and the Country Dutchmen.

"What would Rocktoberfest be without a polka band here in Farmington?" Severson asked.

They will be on stage until 7 p.m. But then there will be a change of tempo. Next on the stage is Twin Cities band Border Patrol, who will serve as the warm-up for Great White.

Last year's Rocktoberfest was a success, though it was dampened - literally - by cool and rainy weather. Looking ahead at this weekend, Rotary president AJ Moosbrugger acknowledges there might be rain in the forecast again. But that's no problem, because this time, the event will be held inside one of the buildings at the Dakota County Fairgrounds.

"This year we have an indoor concert, so hopefully (the rain) won't scare too many people away," Moosbrugger said.

Information about the show and tickets are available at, or from any Farmington Rotary member.

Severson tags the event as a music festival, but adds that there will be plenty of good food and beverages available for fans, too. The Farmington Knights of Columbus, Blondies Tavern and the Longbranch are providing food for the evening.

"It's kind of a chance to get out and enjoy a little polka music and roll right in to some rock and roll, 80s fashion," Severson said.

Where it goes

About 80 percent of the money raised this weekend will stay in Farmington. According to Moosbrugger, Rocktoberfest proceeds are used for contributions to the Rambling River Center, as well as scholarships for high school seniors. Even more of the money is given out in the form of scholarships for families who need financial assistance to attend community education classes. The local Rotary club also does Christmas shopping for Armful of Love every year, and provides a holiday lunch for senior citizens.

"We're very excited. We had a very good time last year with the concert, and this year we're expecting a bigger event. We're hoping for a big turnout," Moosbrugger said.

If this year's event goes well, Severson thinks maybe Rotary will be able to bring more big-name bands to the community for the future.

"We have our tight t-shirts and leather pants ready to roll, and we're encouraging everybody to break theirs out as well," Severson said.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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