Around Our Region published Dec. 8, 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.


Holiday season

The holiday season brings many special festivities and the Tribune is publishing a list of events each week in the Showcase section. Please send your events by email to or submit them on our online calendar at .

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 .

Willmar Community Center

WILLMAR — The Willmar Community Center is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. You can meet a friend for coffee or maybe some lemonade served from Britta’s Brew Station. The phone number is 320-262-5288 . To register for any programs, call or go online at .

Holiday Toy Drive: Through Dec. 18, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Drop off new, unwrapped gifts at the big box under the canopy. Toys For Tots will go to youth in Kandiyohi County.

Santa’s Seniors: Santa is spreading holiday cheer to his 55 & older (wiser) kids this season. The Willmar Community Center and Dethlefs Community Center in Spicer are spreading the holiday spirit in this Secret Santa-style gift card exchange. Bring in a $15 gift card from Dec. 1-Dec. 17, then stop back Dec. 20-Dec. 23 to pick out a gift card (with potential surprises included). Great way to spread holiday cheer to local seniors this season.

Willmar Area Senior Citizens Club: Dec. 8, 2 p.m., freewill donation, entertainment by Terry Nelson.

Curbside crafts: These kits are great activities to do with all ages and skill sets. Kits will be available to pick up on Thursdays in December: Dec. 9, snowman wood ornament; Dec. 16, festive cookie decorating; and Dec. 23, Santa candy sleigh. Be sure to reserve your craft kits by calling 320-262-5288 . Supplies will be limited. Cost is $3 per kit; $5 for cookie kit.

Friday afternoon of dancing: Dec. 10, 1 p.m., $2 non-dancers, $7 dancers; light lunch served; music by Michael James.


Mario Kart Tournament: Dec. 10, 4:30 p.m., ages 12 and up. Put your racing speed to the test in our Mario Kart tournament, $2 entry fee.

Holiday trivia: Dec. 11, 4 p.m. Gather for some holly, jolly fun as we put your holiday knowledge to the test. Free, prizes awarded.

Holiday cookie painting and decorating: Dec. 18, 2 p.m., $5, registration deadline Dec. 13. Paint with edible paint on three frosted cookies. Call to register.

Jolly Twirlers Square Dance: Dec. 18, 7 p.m., $5. All are welcome to join in this square dancing evening.

Veterans coffee social: Dec. 20, 9:30 to 11 a.m., open to all veterans, police, fire and emergency medical services members.

Community bingo: Dec. 28, 5 to 7 p.m., $3, two cards per person, all ages welcome.

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

Exercise classes: Gentle 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.

Card playing: 12:30 to 4 p.m., bridge on Monday, hand & foot on Tuesday and Thursday, whist on Wednesday and Friday.

Farkle Fridays: Friday, 1 to 4 p.m. A classic dice game to try and reach 10,000 points first.

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.

Brainfuse HelpNow: Free online tutoring service for grades K-12. One-to-one live homework help from online tutors between 2 and 11 p.m. daily, English or Spanish. Help with 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. Reserve 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. One per month and will need to re-register each month. December's theme is fantasy.

Gingerbread house contest: Until Dec. 15, enter your original creation of a gingerbread house made with a food item (i.e. gingerbread, graham crackers, Pop Tarts, etc.) and decorated with food items (candy canes, gum drops, etc.) Categories for all ages and complete rules available on the library website.

Coloring contest: Dec. 1-18, youth and adult categories. Pick up your coloring sheet at the library or print one off the website. Return by Dec. 18 to be entered in the contest.

Teen Take & Make Crafts: Dec. 6 opened for hot cocoa ornament, Dec. 13 opens for pinecone tree. For ages 12-18. Limit one per person as supplies 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.

Teen hangout: Dec. 8, 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: Dec. 9, 4 p.m., holiday salt circuits.

Teen Gaming Club: Dec. 10, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., ages 12-18, no registration required. Play games on the HTC Vive VR set and Xbox One or board and card games. Some games are rated 13+.

Teen movie: Dec. 15, 5:30 p.m., ages 12-18, no registration required.

Adult Book Club: Dec. 16, noon, “Mrs. Everything” by Jennifer Weiner. Book discussion upstairs at the library. New members are always welcome, meets every third Thursday.

Movie matinee: Dec. 17, 2 p.m., PG-13 rated, no cost or registration, refreshments provided.

Teen holiday party: Dec. 22, 5:30 p.m., white elephant gift games and other games, snacks and beverages. Register in advance on library website.

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

Physical activities

Open skating: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Willmar Civic Center, $3 for all ages; $2 skate rental.

Open curling: 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Willmar Civic Center, $3 for all ages.

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

Movies on ice: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18, Willmar Civic Center, open skating 6:30 p.m., movie 7 p.m., skates available on first-come, first-served basis.

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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