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Around our region published Jan. 25

Spicer Winterfest SPICER -- Winterfest 2017 continues through Feb. 12 in Spicer with complete details available on the website, www.spicermn.com. This weekend festivities include the 13th annual Polar Plunge at 1 p.m. Saturday, the Green Lake pon...

Ron Adams / Tribune file photo Ed Huseby, an AARP Tax Aide, helps a taxpayer at the Willmar Community Center in this February 2013 file photo. Trained volunteers will provide free help with filing taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers each Thursday during the tax season starting Feb. 2.
Ron Adams / Tribune file photo Ed Huseby, an AARP Tax Aide, helps a taxpayer at the Willmar Community Center in this February 2013 file photo. Trained volunteers will provide free help with filing taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers each Thursday during the tax season starting Feb. 2.

Spicer Winterfest

SPICER - Winterfest 2017 continues through Feb. 12 in Spicer with complete details available on the website, www.spicermn.com .

This weekend festivities include the 13th annual Polar Plunge at 1 p.m. Saturday, the Green Lake pond hockey tournament Saturday and Sunday and the Sons of the American Legion omelet breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the American Legion in Spicer.

The final weekend, Feb. 11-12, will have the 11th annual softball tournament on Feb. 11 and the Ski and Sleigh Festival from 11 am. to 4 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center.

The medallion hunt started Monday with new clues each day through Saturday.

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Income tax assistance

WILLMAR - Trained AARP Tax-Aide volunteers will provide free help with filing tax forms for low- and middle-income taxpayers, with special attention for senior citizens, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursdays, starting Feb. 2, at the Willmar Community Center, 624 Highway 71 N.E.
To make an appointment, call the Willmar Community and Education office at 320-231-8490 on weekdays.
When you come to your appointment, bring your (and your dependents') Social Security card(s), photo proof of identity, last year's tax return, and all pertinent tax information such as W-2, forms 1099-R, SSA-1099, 1099-Int, etc. Also health coverage forms 1095-A, 1095-B or 1095-C that you may have received from your health insurance provider, or a Health Coverage Exemption issued by MNSure. If you are filing for renter's or property tax refunds, you will need to bring your certificate of rent paid and/or your most current (2016 or 2017) property tax statement and information of any additional nontaxable income such as SSI, veterans benefits, etc.

Ice fishing tournament

SPICER - The Tommy Swenson Memorial Ice Fishing Tournament will be from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 4, on Green Lake in Spicer. Register at the American Legion in Spicer between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. Tickets are $25, plus a non-perishable food item for the food shelf, and include a chicken dinner at 12:30 p.m.

Peanut Butter and Milk Festival

LITCHFIELD - The 46th annual Peanut Butter and Milk Festival will host visitors from Hartford, Ala., Feb. 6-9 in Litchfield. There are three events open to the public.

Join the visitors for snowmobiling on Lake Manuella, south of Darwin, from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, at the Roger and Janet Huhn Farm.

The chili and soup supper will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, at the Forest City Threshers Building, six miles northeast of Litchfield on Minnesota Highway 24. Freewill donations will be accepted.

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The potluck banquet and silent auction will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, at St. Philip's Catholic Church in Litchfield. Social time starts at 7 p.m. and dinner is at 7:30. Bring a dish to share and meet the visitors from Alabama.

Gardening

Scheduled classes and events over the winter months:

Growing Good Apples: Feb. 15, 12:15-1 p.m., AgCountry Auditorium, University of Minnesota's West Central Research and Outreach Center, 46352 State Hwy. 329 in Morris. This "Come Grow with Us" class is free, but donations are accepted. Feel free to pack your lunch. For more information call 320-589-1711.

Library programs

Willmar Public Library

WILLMAR - The Willmar Public Library has the following events scheduled for the coming weeks. OverDrive is the service used by the library to allow borrowing of eBooks and audiobooks. For more information, call the library at 320-235-3162. All are free, register in advance at the checkout desk or by phone if required. Some registrations available online at www.willmarpubliclibrary.org .

Book Your Winter Getaway: Jan. 3-March 3, annual winter reading program for ages 18 and older for reading and/or listening to books. Get a reading log and information about the prizes at the library.

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Study Center: 5 to 7 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays. Meet in the conference room for a quiet place to study and do homework. Call ahead to see if tutors are available. Laptops available for checkout for teens 16 and older; iPads available to use alongside tutors only.

Coloring for adults: Jan. 25, 2 p.m., Serene Scenes, stress reducing coloring for adults. Coloring has been shown to have a calming effect on the mind and promote wellness. Coloring pages, supplies and refreshments are provided.

Teen Art Atrium: Jan. 25, 5 to 8 p.m. Bring your art to share or create art with us. Art supplies provided.

Children's Story Hour: Preschoolers story hour for ages 2ยฝ to 6 at 10 a.m. Fridays through Feb. 24. It includes picture books, puppetry, flannelgraph stories, music, fingerplays and more. Children are encouraged to check out books before or after the story hour. No registration is necessary. The theme is "Penguins" on Jan. 27, "Winter Animals" on Feb. 3, "Hearts and Love" on Feb. 10, "Fairy Tales" on Feb. 17 and "Finding Dory" on Feb. 24.

Willmar Teen Filmmakers, work days: Jan. 28, noon to 4 p.m. Get started on making videos.

Teen Writing Club: Jan. 30, 5 to 8 p.m. Come share your poems, short stories, etc. with other teens and get help with school writing assignments.

Teen Advisory Board: Feb. 3, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Help plan library programs and events, select new materials for the teen collection, and make the library a fun and welcoming place for teens. Apply online or in the Teen Area. Ages 13 and up.

Teen movie: Feb. 6, 5:30 p.m. Two paranormal researchers join forces with a nuclear engineer and a subway attendant to fight off a slew of ghosts that have invaded New York City. Eventually, they come face-to-face with an evil entity who cannot control human being, rated PG-13, movie snacks provided.

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Teen hangout: Feb. 10, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Come to the library for a place to just hang out and do whatever. We've got board games, iPads, and a Wii.

Myrtle Mabee Library

BELGRADE - The Myrtle Mabee Library has the following events scheduled. The library phone number is 320-254-8842.

Snowmen fun: Jan. 30, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., children ages 3 to 10. Special storytime about snowmen with stories, a craft and snack; attendance is limited and registration required.

Mystery craft night: Feb. 10, 6:15 to 8 p.m., teens and adults, attendance is limited to 10 and advance registration is required. Find out what the craft is when you arrive.

Paynesville Public Library

PAYNESVILLE - The Paynesville Public Library has the following events scheduled. The library phone number is 320-243-7343.

Arm knitting: Feb. 2, 5:30 p.m., teens and adults, attendance limited to 12, registration required. Learn how to use your arms as knitting needles and make an eternity scarf using thick yarn. Jan Anfinson will cover techniques, supplies and options for this art form.

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Outdoors

Lac qui Parle State Park

WATSON - Lac qui Parle State Park programs are free and held at various locations in the park. A vehicle permit is required to enter the park and they are available at the park office. For more information or to register, call 320-734-4450.

Hike by candlelight: Feb. 11, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Hike with stars twinkling overhead and candles flickering on the snow. The one-mile trail starts near the entrance to the lower campground and is suitable for beginning hikers of all ages. Afterward, hikers can warm up by a crackling fire and roast marshmallows and enjoy a hot beverage.

Prairie Woods ELC

SPICER - The Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center welcomes skiers and snowshoers during daylight hours at no cost. The seven miles of ski trails have been groomed and tracks have been laid. The trailhead will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. No dogs on ski trails, and pets should be on a leash. Snowshoe and ski rental available, call 320-354-5894. For more information check the website at www.prairiewoodselc.org or call.

Sleigh and Ski Festival: Feb. 12, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A day of winter fun, live music, winter hobby and craft exhibits, sleigh parade, sleigh rides from 1 to 3 p.m. and a chili feed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Try cross country skiing, snowshoeing and rock climbing; rentals are $5 with $15 max for families.

Sibley State Park

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NEW LONDON - The Interpretive Center's hours vary. Sibley State park programs are on the weekends at the Interpretive Center and are led by the park naturalist or visiting expert. The programs are free but a vehicle permit is required to enter the park and they are available at the park office. For more information call 320-354-2002. For current information on naturalist programs visit the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us . Outdoor winter programs may be canceled in inclement or dangerous weather. In event of cancellation, programs will be marked as canceled online at least two hours prior to event.

Trails: The ski and snowmobile trails had been groomed and tracked but conditions deteriorated over the weekend. Call or check the website for current conditions. The Interpretive Trail Center room and bathrooms are open every day for a view of the park orientation map prior to hitting the trails.

Squirrel appreciation: Jan. 28, noon to 2 p.m. Celebrate our fuzzy friends through a neighborly day of competition. Do your best squirrel impersonation, challenge yourself to collect as many acorns as possible and let your squirrely self go wild. Meet in the Interpretive Center Theater. Bring a team with or join a team here. Compete to win the golden squirrel.

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