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Celebrate With The Wild Rose

By Staff | May 26, 2016

ENTERTAINMENT?VARIETY - Amy Rubel stands next to a wall of photos of entertainers who have performed at the Wild Rose in 10 years of operations. -- Dan Voigt photo

The Wild Rose Casino and Resort will officially celebrate 10 years of operations this Saturday, May 28, with the first outdoor concert of the season and activities.

“I think we can all agree ‘Small Town Friendly, Big City Fun’ says it all,” says Amy Rubel, General Manager of Wild Rose Emmetsburg. “With great pleasure I say Happy Anniversary Wild Rose! It has been my honor to be the General Manager these past 10 years. Let’s start planning that 20 year party now!”

Special events on Saturday will get underway at 6 p.m. on the casino floor with the “Roses and Cash” drawings, as 10 winners will received special anniversary rose bouquets and 100 entries in the “Smart Winnings” drawing later in the evening.

At 8 p.m., the first outdoor concert of the season with?headliner Phil Vassar and special guest Brad Morgan will take the stage. At the conclusion of the concert, a fireworks display will take place, followed by a champagne toast on the gaming floor.

The “Smart Winnings” drawing will take place at 11:00 p.m. as two lucky winners will win Smart Cars from the Wild Rose Casino and Resort Emmetsburg. Additional drawings will take place in June, July, August and September.

The evening will be capped off with a midnight drawing of the “Souvenir Six Giveaway”, an autographed guitar signed by Phil Vassar following his concert earlier in the evening.

In the 10 years that the Wild Rose Casino and Resort has been a part of the Emmetsburg community, area residents have been offered 173 concert opportunities at the facility, including 44 outdoor concerts as well as events in the ballroom. When one looks at that list of performers who have taken the stage in Emmetsburg, the quality of the entertainment is second to none.

“Our goal from the very beginning has been to offer a variety of entertainment to the community and the area,” noted Rubel. “We are always trying things, changing things, to bring people entertainment.”

When the word entertainment is mentioned, the first thought goes towards musical events the concerts outdoors, RoseFest, concerts in the Ballroom. But there are many other events that fall under the umbrella of entertainment at the Wild Rose Casino and Resort.

Once very recent opportunity was the visit of the 9/11 Memorial Exhibit to the community in late April.

“We brought that exhibit in for the community because it is part of our history,” Rubel said. “Another event we are very proud to be hosting will be the visit of the traveling Wall, the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in July. As part of that, we are sponsoring visits to the memorial by area veterans and will be hosting some dinners for our veterans as a way of thanking them for their service.”

These two special exhibits are just some of the other entertainment offerings from the Wild Rose. A yearly Craft Show is a very popular event, and in the past, the Wild Rose BBQ cookouts have been popular, along with Rodeo performances. But things run their course – events come and go and others remain, according to Rubel. “It’s an ever-changing progression we’ve taken with the goal of trying to get more of the community and local area involved.”

One event that got great community involvement was the recent “Adult Prom”, which was “a lot of fun,” according to Rubel. “We’ll be doing the Adult Prom again.”

The Wild Rose also offers entertainment in Dunigan’s Pub, ranging from Karaoke to such events as the Dueling Pianos. “Again, this is an area that we are always looking at and trying things,” Rubel noted. A recent addition in the casino is a DJ on the gaming floor one evening a week, and for special events on the gaming floor, a Master of Ceremonies is part of the action.

The Wild Rose is always offering some form of entertainment and some of those offerings have an identity of their own. The first such event is RoseFest, the annual outdoor concert in the summer. RoseFest began in 2009.

This year, RoseFest will feature Air Supply on July 15, and Tanya Tucker and Collin Raye on July 16.

Another ongoing concert series in the Fall is the Country Gold Series, which began in 2010.

The history of outdoor entertainment at the Wild Rose dates back to 2006 when country singer-songwriter Phil Vassar was a headliner in a two-day show along with Eddie Money, and special guest Shannon Brown. Vassar drew a huge crowd in 2006, and again in 2009, so it was a natural to bring him back for this Saturday.

“Phil Vassar is such a great entertainer,” Rubel said. “He’s performed here three times, in 2006, 2009 and for our fifth anniversary for the employees and Gaming Commission in 2011. He’s one of those songwriters that writes so many songs that are very recognizable, so he was just a natural fit for us to have back for the tenth anniversary.”

The next concert, on June 10, will feature Country Music Hall of Fame artist Connie Smith and on June 18, a special concert event is planned.

“Les Stroud is the ‘Survivor Man’ from television,” Rubel said. “He is a songwriter as well as a survivalist, and in his shows, he features these beautiful photos and videos he films on his adventures, and then performs music he’s written to go along with the videos. It’s really a fantastic show to experience.”

With so many artists performing at the Wild Rose over 10 years, who was Rubel’s favorite? “My favorite thing to do is to sing with the artists when they are here. Phil Vassar and Neal McCoy are two of my very favorites and the other is Tony Orlando,” Rubel admits.