Around Our Region published Dec. 16, 2020

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.


Holiday lights and events

Driving around to look at holiday lights and drive-through events may be one of the brightest things about the upcoming holiday season for many families. And it is totally safe given this year's COVID-19 concerns.

Please find the holiday events list in the Showcase section in today's paper.

Willmar Community Center

WILLMAR — The Willmar Community Center has several curbside events set for December. All events are free unless noted. The Center will be closed at least through Dec. 18. The phone number is 320-262-5288.

Toy drive: Dec. 1-23, new unwrapped toys can be dropped off daily between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays and they will be donated to the Kandiyohi County Toys for Tots.

Curbside Crafts: Pick up a take-home craft activity, call 320-262-5288 to sign up. On the date specified, pick up the craft between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. under the canopy at the Community Center. Crafts are $3 each. Dec. 21 is candy sleigh, a display for your candy; Dec. 28 is a glitter candle holder.


Public WiFi

WILLMAR — Free wireless internet Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi 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 W-iFi 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 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, use a computer, etc. No appointment is necessary, 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. 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.

Teen nailed it challenge: Dec. 1-19, register for a kit with the necessary tools to create a specific decorative dessert. You must try to replicate this dessert to your best ability. Ages 10-18, register online, kits are limited.

I nteractive movie kit: The kits will feature one of four holiday movies "Elf," "A Christmas Story," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," or "Home Alone" 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, and staff will contact you by phone or email when it is ready for pick up.

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. Dec. 15 is farmhouse book bundles.


Teen board games: Dec. 16 and 30, 6 to 8 p.m. Join us online to play fun games on Zoom. Sign up on the website.

Adult trivia: Dec. 17, 7 p.m. Play live Trivia solo or assemble a team, via a Facebook group, ages 18 and over.

Teen hangout: Dec. 18, 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.

Teen holiday murder mystery party: Dec. 23, 6 p.m. Celebrate the season with a festive whodunit on Zoom. Ages 12-18, sign up on the website.

Teen YA Read Aloud: Dec. 28, 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 “One of Us Is Lying” by Karen M. McManus.

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.

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. The Ranger Station, Visitor Center, Trail Center, Nature Store Gift Shop and Lakeview Shelter buildings are all closed until further notice . Sibley State Park is located 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 welcomes mountain bikers and hikers to use the trails during daylight hours at no cost. They have fat tire bikes, kayaks and canoes for rent. A bathroom with composting toilets is open by the pavilion. Pets should be on a leash. Advance registration is required for all events by calling 320-354-5894 or check 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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