Around Our Region published Dec. 29, 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.

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Income tax assistance volunteers

WILLMAR — Volunteers are needed for the United Community Action Partnership’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

Free training on everything you need to know to become a trained, IRS-certified tax preparer and to help ensure that low-income taxpayers receive the full amount of tax credits and refunds to which they are entitled. If you already know the basics, the training will help develop your skills even more.

Each return that is prepared by a volunteer is also reviewed by an experienced reviewer before being electronically filed.

Volunteers are also needed to be site assistants to welcome customers to the tax clinic, talk to them about the process and screen their documents. They may also meet with customers interested in learning more about other benefits and assistance for which they might be eligible.

The demand for service continues to grow, and United Community Action Partnership is seeking to expand its teams in Glencoe, Hutchinson, Jackson, Marshall, Redwood Falls, Windom and Willmar.


Training for all new volunteers will be held in January. For more information or to volunteer, contact Michelle Jensen at or call 507-841-2614 .

Physical activities

Outdoor ice rinks: Open rinks with lights at Garfield, Hilltop and Lincoln parks.

Garfield warming house: 5 to 8 p.m. Monday and Thursday, 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Open skating: Willmar Civic Center, $3 for all ages; $2 skate rental; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dec. 29-30, open skate in Cardinal Arena.

Adaptive/open curling: 4 to 5 p.m. Thursdays, Willmar Civic Center, $3 for all ages.

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 . For reservations call or online at . The Community Center is closed Monday, Jan. 17, for Martin Luther King Day.

Willmar Area Senior Citizens Club: Dec. 29, 2 p.m., freewill donation, entertainment by Jay Struckrud.

Friday afternoon of dancing: Dec. 31, no dance.


Veterans Coffee Social: Jan. 3, 9:30 to 11 a.m. , open to all veterans, police, fire and emergency medical services members.

Community Kids: Wednesdays beginning Jan. 5, 4 p.m. Different activities from crafts to science to simple creative snacks for K-5 students. Register one week in advance to assure appropriate supplies, $5 each week.

Aging Wisely: Jan. 6, 1:30 p.m., Ellie Knutson will talk about keeping a positive mindset as you age, free.

Mocktails: Jan. 8, 2 p.m. Learn how to make a fun cocktail without the alcohol, includes a shaker, tumbler, jigger, and recipes. Advance registration required, $10.

Willmar Level 1 RPG, The Cold Bounty: Jan. 15, 2 p.m., free, advance registration requested, call 320-262-5288 . Role playing game based on Dungeons and Dragons, host Thomas will teach you how to build your character, basic moves and play an entire session in a matter of hours. This month's story is based on a party becoming stranded on a frigid mountain range that is home to a legendary lost vault and a mysterious wizard seeking new glory.

Jolly Twirlers Square Dance: Jan. 15, 7 p.m., $5. All are welcome to join in this square dancing evening.

Community board games: Jan. 22, 2 p.m., free, all ages. Learn a new featured game, bring some friends, and play any available games in our library.

Chunky yarn wreath: Jan. 25, 3 p.m., $12. A similar design to macramé, this yarn wreath will be a great décor piece in your home this winter.


Community bingo night: Jan. 25, 5 to 7 p.m., $3 per person; two cards per person.

How to be a GRAND, Grandparent: Jan. 28, 12:30 p.m., free. Looking to connect with your (great) grandkids? Come learn skills to connect and develop meaningful relationships with your grands.

Mario Kart Tournament: Jan. 28, 4:30 p.m., ages 12 and up. Put your racing speed to the test in our Mario Kart tournament, $2 entry fee.

Cooking with Riley — Dumplings: Jan. 29, 2 p.m., $20, advance registration required. Learn how to make this Asian favorite. Chef Riley will have two fillings available to try.

Let’s Draw Art Club: Mondays, 1 p.m., $5 for five classes. A weekly art class that will go over the basics of drawing, sketching and painting with basic art supplies provided.

Square dance lessons: Thursdays, 6:30 p.m., practice and learn the varieties of square dances. All ages and skills welcome.

Exercise classes: Gently Yoga, Bone Builders, SAIL (Staying Active and Independent for Life), contact Community Center for details and prices.

Yahoo for Yahtzee: Every Monday, 12:30 p.m.

Check Mates Chess Club: Mondays 6 p.m. Whether you are advanced or just learning the game, we would love to have you join our club.

Hand & Foot Cards: Every Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30 p.m., free, popular variation of canasta, easy to learn.

Farkle Fridays: Every Friday, 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 puzzle exchange: Daily, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., drop off, pick up, or swap out a puzzle in our exchange program.

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.

Willmar Public Library

WILLMAR — The Willmar Library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The website is . Call 320-235-3162 . Curbside pickup remains available during regular hours. Face masks strongly encouraged. Programs are in person in the library. The WiFi can be accessed 24/7 from a parked car in the lot behind the library or in front of the building using your library card or through Overdrive.

The Library will be closed on New Year’s Day.

Brainfuse HelpNow: Free online tutoring service, grades K-12, one-to-one live homework help from online tutors between 2 and 11 p.m. daily; English or Spanish; math, science, English/language arts, social studies and reading assistance; app available for mobile.

Interactive movie kit: The interactive movie kits include a script along with props for up to six participants. Limit of one per week per household. Register on the library website. New titles each month.

Book Box: Register for a book box on the library website, check out a copy of the book, open the items as you reach specific chapters in the book, all ages.

Teen lit loot: Sign up and you will receive a library book based on your interests and a bag of goodies to go with it. Ages 12-18 only, one per month and will need to re-register each month. January’s theme is sci-fi.

Teen Book Club: Dec. 29, 4 p.m., club discussion of this month’s book, in the multipurpose room, no registration necessary.

Teen Take & Make Crafts: Jan. 3 opens for yarn gnome, Jan. 24 for string tree. For ages 12-18, limit one per person as supplies are limited. Sign up on the library website.

Preschoolers storytime: Every Tuesday, 10 a.m., ages 3-6, no registration required.

Little People storytime: Every Wednesday, 10 a.m., ages 0-3, no registration required.

Lego Club: Jan. 5, 4 to 5 p.m., kindergarten through sixth grade, no registration is necessary. Test your creativity and skills with Don.

Early Readers Book Club: Jan. 6, 4 p.m., for children who have graduated from storytime age, best for grades K-2. Club will read a story, discuss and do activities.

Children’s matinee: Jan. 7, 4 p.m.

Teen hangout: Jan. 12, 5:30 p.m., ages 12-18, no registration required. Enjoy video games, arts and crafts, board and card games, snacks and beverages.

STEMtastic Thursday: Jan. 13, 4 p.m., spy science.

Teen Gaming Club: Jan. 14, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., ages 12-18, no registration required. Play games on the Xbox One or board and card games. Some games are rated 13+.

Teen movie: Jan. 19, 5:30 p.m., ages 12-18, no registration required.

Adult Book Club: Jan. 20, noon, “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” by Lori Gottlieb. Book discussion upstairs at the library. New members are always welcome, meets every third Thursday

Movie matinee: Jan. 21, 2 p.m., PG-13 rated, no cost or registration, refreshments provided.

Crafts and coloring: Jan. 26, 2 p.m. Bring any crafts or coloring you are working on or use the provided supplies for coloring and more.

Teen Book Club: Jan. 28, 4 p.m., club discussion of this month’s book, in the multipurpose room, no registration necessary.

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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The Clubs & Organizations calendar is published weekly on Thursdays. Email submissions to by 5 p.m. Monday.
Area funerals scheduled through Feb. 3, 2023
Submissions about charities, benefits and nonprofit fundraisers for the weekly Good Neighbors calendar published Wednesdays should be emailed to by noon Friday.
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.