Around Our Region published Jan. 12, 2022

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.

Graphic art of a 2022 12-month calendar
Around Our Region, 2022
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Area celebrations

“Lake That Speaks” Luminary Hike: Jan. 15, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Lac qui Parle State Park. A moonlit evening hiking on a mile of packed snow, lit by candlelight, followed by s'mores and hot chocolate, and a fire in the fireplace at the historic warming shelter at Lac qui Parle State Park. From Watson, drive about a mile northwest on Minnesota Highway 7/U.S. 59, turn left on Chippewa County Road 13, drive 2.5 miles dropping into the valley, crossing over the Lac qui Parle dam where the road changes to Lac qui Parle County Road 33 and continue west, cross over the bridge over the Lac qui Parle River staying on County Road 33 for another half mile, turn right at the Lac qui Parle State Park’s lower entrance and follow signs to park. Vehicle permits are required, the event itself is free. You may purchase a self-registration daily pass at the kiosk near the old contact station. Call the park for more information: 320-734-4450 ext. 229.

Spicer Winterfest: Jan. 15 through Feb. 5; ice castle on the beach at Saulsbury Park, snowmobile racing, family events; and on Jan. 29 the 17th annual Polar Plunge, bonfire and fireworks.

Youth and Family

Turkey Town Bonspiel: Jan. 14-15, all day, Willmar Civic Center. The second annual bonspiel with four- player teams, two players with five years or less experience. Teams are guaranteed three games. Registration of $240 includes meals and snacks, call 320-403-3398 .

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

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

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: Jan 12, 2 p.m., freewill donation, entertainment by Gig Noonan.

Friday afternoon of dancing: Jan. 14, 1 p.m., $2 non-dancers, $7 dancers; light lunch served; music by Leroy & Joe

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.

Veterans coffee social: Jan. 24, 9:30 to 11 a.m. , open to all veterans, police, fire and emergency medical services members.

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.

Community Kids: Wednesdays, 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.

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 Jan. 17.

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 Take & Make Crafts: Jan. 3 opened for yarn gnome, Jan. 24 opens 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.

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.

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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