Around Our Region published Jan. 13, 2021

The weekly Around Our Region calendar of events is published Wednesdays. Submissions may be emailed to with “Around our Region” in the subject line at least a week in advance.


Spicer Winterfest

SPICER — The Spicer Winterfest will begin building the ice castle on Jan. 16. The fireworks over the castle are scheduled for Jan. 23. Central Minnesota Pond Racing will return to Green Lake beginning at 11 a.m. Jan. 16 in front of Zorbaz. There will be 26 classes of lake model and vintage snowmobile racing.

Willmar Community Center

WILLMAR — The Willmar Community Center has several events set for January. All events are free unless noted. The phone number is 320 262-5288.

Woodshop: Open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays, 6 to 9 p.m. Monday evenings. Advance registration required by calling 320-262-5288. Cost is $5 for a daily pass, $25 for a three-month membership, and $60 yearly.

Farkle Fridays: Jan. 15, 22, 29, 1 to 4 p.m. A classic dice game to try and reach 10,000 points first. Each player will have their own cup and dice.

Community pen pals: Kit pickup from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 11-15. The program is aimed at creating connections between senior citizens and young adults in the community who will form relationships, a sense of compassion and something to look forward to. The goal is to have each writer write one letter per month for the year of 2021. We hope to combat depression, loneliness during the winter months and long year we have encountered. Contact the Community Center at 320-262-5288 if interested in joining.


Curbside Crafts: Pick up a take-home craft activity, call 320-262-5288. Pick up the craft between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. or 2 to 4:30 p.m. under the canopy at the Community Center. Crafts are $6 each. Jan. 25 is the pickup for a cookie cutter bird feeder craft; registration deadline is Jan. 22.

Virtual Super Smash Brother Friendlies: Jan. 16, 2 to 4 p.m., free, call 320-262-5288 to register.

Community puzzle exchange: Jan. 25, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., curbside; drop off, pick up, or swap out a puzzle in our exchange program.

Public WiFi

WILLMAR — Free wireless internet WiFi service is available in Pennock, Blomkest and north of Willmar to help anyone in need of internet service. The spots are courtesy of Kandiyohi County and MVTV Wireless. The login is mvtv and the password is 5705. The buildings are not open but the WiFi can be accessed from outside at the Pennock Community Center, Blomkest Community Center, Dovre Township Hall and the Lake Andrew Township Hall. Both township halls are located on Kandiyohi County Road 5 Northwest, north of Willmar.

Willmar Public Library WiFi can be accessed 24/7 from a parked car in the lot behind the library or in front of the building. No Library Card? Open a digital library card through Overdrive completely online by providing your cell phone number.

Willmar Public Library

WILLMAR — The Willmar Library is open to come inside from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Take 20 minutes to browse, check out, pick up holds, etc. No appointment is necessary but there is limited capacity; doors will be locked if max number is met. The website is . Call 320-235-3162. Anyone under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Study rooms, the children’s play area, and seating are unavailable. Face masks are required and social distancing: Please maintain six feet between yourself and others when possible.

Brainfuse: Free, live tutoring online. Check library website for link to the site.

Six-Word Story Contest: Through Jan. 25. A six-word story is what it sounds like: a story told in exactly six words, no more, no less. Submit your best writing on the theme "2021" by Jan. 25 to enter. More info and entry form at or pick up a paper form at the check-out desk. Categories for all ages and prizes for winners, sponsored by the Friends of the Willmar Public Library.


Interactive movie kit: The January kits will feature the movies “The Emperor's New Groove,” “The Greatest Showman” and “The Princess Bride” and include an interactive movie script along with props for up to 6 participants. The DVD is not included, please request the movie separately. Limit of one per week per household. Register on the library website, staff will contact you by phone or email when it is ready for pick up.

Adult Winter Reading: Through March 5, annual winter reading program for ages 18 and older for reading and/or listening to books. Pick up a reading log at the library, print at home or use the online form at the library website.

Adult make-and-take: Various crafts will be posted on our website as they are available usually around the first and 15th of the month. Use the form on the website to reserve your supplies to make your very own featured project. Once you have registered, library staff will call you or email you when it is ready to be picked up. Ages 18 and over. Jan. 15 craft is paint pouring.

Teen Take & Make Crafts: Jan. 4 opens for “glitter snowflakes,” Jan. 19 opens for “waterless snow globes.” Ages 12-18, limit one of each per person, supplies limited. Sign up on the library website.

Teen Gaming Club: Jan. 13, 20 and 27 on Zoom, Jan. 22 on Discord, 6 to 8 p.m. Play multiplayer games, party games, board and card games, and point and click mystery games. Sign up on the website.

Adult trivia: Jan. 21, 7 p.m., play live trivia solo or assemble a team, via a Facebook group, ages 18 and over.

Teen hangout: Jan. 15, 6 p.m. Get together with other teens on Discord and talk about TV, movies, books, games, etc. Sign up on the website to be able to participate in teen Discord programs.

Adult online book club: Jan. 20, noon, “The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna” by Juliet Grames book discussion using Zoom on your computer, tablet, phone, etc. Fill out the form on the website to receive further info on how to sign in to the Zoom meeting. Meets every third Wednesday.


Teen YA read aloud: Jan. 25, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Take the hard part out of book club and let someone else read for you on Zoom. Sign up on the library website. Book is “The Inheritance Games” by Jennifer Barnes.

Craft & Coloring Chat: Jan. 27, 2 p.m., virtual meeting through Zoom. Register the library website. Once you've registered, your coloring sheets will be set aside for you to pick up at the library. Meets the fourth Wednesday.

Teen movie trivia: Jan. 29, 6 p.m. Test your movie trivia knowledge on Discord. Sign up on the library website.

Additional programs: Programs will continue to be offered online. Check for further information. Grab & Go activities for children and Storytime To Go are available (while supplies last) during Library Express hours. Adult Take and Make crafts, Master Gardeners Table Topics, Library of Things Checkouts.

Sibley State Park

NEW LONDON — Sibley State Park is open. A vehicle permit is required to enter the park and are available online. Warming house is closed at the Trail Center. Not enough snow to set Nordic ski tracks. Sibley State Park is west of New London just off U.S. Highway 71. For more information, visit the state Department of Natural Resources website at .

Prairie Woods ELC

SPICER — The Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center trails may be used during daylight hours at no cost. The trails have not been groomed for skiing. All equipment rentals (cross country skis, snowshoes, fat-tire bikes and kicksleds) will be handled on a reservation basis, made at least 24 hours in advance. For weekend reservations, call by noon on Friday, 320-354-5894. A bathroom with composting toilets is open by the pavilion. Pets should be on a leash. More information on the website at .

Related Topics: EVENTS
Donna Middleton started working at the West Central Tribune in 1975 and has been the news assistant since 1992. She compiles the arts, health, farm and community page calendars, as well as rewrites and works on the special sections.
She can be contacted at or phone 320-214-4341.
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