Around Our Region published Feb. 24, 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.


Income tax assistance

WILLMAR — Free help for low- and middle-income taxpayers to file tax returns will be available again this year by United Community Action Partnership.

Tax preparation will be done virtually this year as a safety precaution due to COVID-19. Tax documents may be submitted by program participants either online or in-person by appointment. The IRS-certified volunteers will prepare taxes based on these documents and collect the appropriate signatures either electronically or via mail to file the tax return.

They have started working on tax returns. The IRS announced its official filing season begins Feb. 12, so any returns prepared prior to this date will be submitted on or after this date.

To participate visit UCAP’s website, , or call 507-537-1416.

Willmar Community Center

WILLMAR — The Willmar Community Center is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, following Minnesota Department of Health guidelines, providing visitor screening forms upon arrival, and operating at 25% capacity. The phone number is 320-262-5288.


F amily recipes wanted: The Community Center, in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield and Willmar Main Street, is designing a mural celebrating perhaps the most unifying and diverse aspect of our individual cultures: family recipes. We all have them, we all cherish them, and this is a chance to share them with your neighbors through this piece of public art. Go to for more information and to share your recipe. Deadline is Feb. 15. Nine to 12 recipes will be chosen to be painted into the mural, offering a delicious glimpse into the many cultures present in Willmar's community.

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 Area Senior Citizens Club: Feb. 24 is Gig Noonan, March 3 is Cowboy Dave, March 10 is Jerry's Band, March 17 is Kris Nelson/Jensen and Steven Mahlum, March 24 is Jason Christianson and March 31 is Jay Ellingson.

Farkle Fridays: Feb. 26, 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.

Hand & Foot Cards: Feb. 25, 12:30 p.m., free. Popular variation of canasta, easy to learn, every Tuesday and Thursday.

Court Whist Tournament: Feb. 25, 12:30 p.m., advance registration required, $2 entry fee.

C ommunity puzzle exchange: Daily, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., drop off, pick up, or swap out a puzzle in our exchange program.

March Forth and Play Bingo: March 4, 2 p.m., $2 per person. It is “March Forth and Do Something” Day, and we are inviting you to come play bingo with us!


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.

A dult 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.

I nteractive 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. Staff will contact you by phone or email when it is ready for pickup.

B ook 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. For all ages.

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.


T een Gaming Club : Feb. 26 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 Online Book Club : March 17, noon, “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett. 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.

C raft & Coloring Chat: Feb. 24, 2 p.m., will meet virtually through Zoom.. Register in advance on 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.

T een craft-off: Feb. 24, 6 p.m. Pick up supplies at the library and make it while on Zoom in under 30 minutes. Register on 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 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. There are bare spots on almost all ski trails and the snow pack is too thin to groom. Fat-tire bike trails were last packed Jan. 25. No rental of skis or snowshoes. Fat-tire bikes and kicksleds are still available for rent, handled on a reservation basis, made at least 24 hours in advance. For weekend reservations, call by noon 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.
What To Read Next
Submissions about charities, benefits and nonprofit fundraisers for the weekly Good Neighbors calendar published Wednesdays should be emailed to by noon Friday.
Area funerals scheduled through Feb. 14, 2023
Divorces granted in January 2023 in Kandiyohi County District Court
Area funerals scheduled through Feb. 13, 2023