Around Our Region published June 17, 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.


4-H Performing Arts

MARSHALL — An online series, 4-H Performing Arts #AtHome, begins June 18 in weekly live Zoom sessions. These free sessions scheduled through Aug. 6 will teach teens about performing arts and aspects of theater, and encourage connections between members. Each Zoom session will last about an hour.

Registration is ongoing throughout the program. More information can be found on the University of Minnesota Extension website at .

Attendees will be emailed information and links after they sign up. Individuals should be between grade 6 and one year past high school age. There is no charge, but registration is required.

Kandiyohi County Recycling

WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County Recycling Center and all drop-off sheds are closed. West Central Sanitation will begin picking up recycling at homes in a few months.

For the next two months, they will accept drop-off from 8 a.m. to noon on June 20, July 11 and July 25 at the Kandiyohi County Recycling Center across from Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar.


The recycling does not need to be sorted and it will be put directly into recycling trucks.

Public WiFi

WILLMAR — Free wireless internet WiFi service is now available in Pennock, Blomkest and rural New London to help students and community members in need of internet service. The spots are courtesy of Kandiyohi County and MVTV Wireless. The login is mvtv and the password is 5705. For technical support, call the MVTV office at 320-564-4807.

The buildings are not open but the WiFi can be accessed from outside at the Pennock Community Center, Blomkest Community Center and the Lake Andrew Township Hall which is at the intersection of Kandiyohi County Road 5 Northwest and County Road 29, about 15 miles 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 — While the Willmar Library remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic it has opened the book return slot, offers curbside pickup and computer use by appointment. The library website is at . Call 320-235-3162.

Pets Read! photo contest: Through June 20, submit a photo of your pet(s) reading a book, magazine, ebook, etc. Prizes sponsored by the Willmar Friends of the Library will be awarded in each age category, and winners will be announced on July 1. Complete rules and entry form can be found at .

Computer time for essential business: Limited access for up to 45 minutes of computer time will be available from noon to 4 p.m. weekdays by appointment. You must be 17 or older to schedule an appointment, no walk-ins will be allowed. Anyone under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian and only one other person may come with you to your scheduled appointment.

Appointments are limited to the computer area only for a maximum of 45 minutes per day per person. Wear a mask to protect yourself and library staff. Staff must maintain social distancing at all times which will limit the level of computer help available. You should have the necessary knowledge to complete your tasks. Bring your own headphones and any other items needed to complete computer tasks.


Printing requires small bills ($1 or $5) or coins, bring the correct bills/change to cover your printing costs. Please limit computer usage to essential business.

Summer reading: The summer reading program for teens and adults runs through Aug. 31 and will be completely digital this year. Fill out reading logs online via the Google form. Reading logs and rules available on library website.

Teen social meeting sites: To be notified of upcoming programs check Facebook by searching "Willmar LibraryTeens," on Twitter search for "WillmarTeens" one word, and on Instagram search "willmarlibraryteens" all one word.

Teen Gaming Club: Every Wednesday and Friday, 6 to 8 p.m. Join us online to play fun games every week. Wednesdays we play board and card games on Zoom like One Night Ultimate Werewolf, King of Tokyo, Wits & Wagers, Welcome to…, Codenames, Scattegories, and Pictionary. On Fridays we play Jackbox games via livestream on YouTube. Join with a smart phone, tablet, or computer to play. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see when we go live. Search "Willmar Library Teens" at .

Adult trivia: Every Thursday, 7 p.m., play live trivia solo or assemble a team, ages 18 and over.

Teen DIY craft: Every Thursday you can find fun DIY craft tutorials on our Facebook and Twitter. Follow along at home with items you have around the house. For more crafts, you can follow our Pinterest board here :

Adult Online Book Club: June 17, noon, “The Starless Sea” by Erin Morgenstern book discussion using Zoom on your computer, tablet, phone, etc. Fill out the form at , choose "adult services" from the top dropdown menu. You will receive further info on how to sign in to the Zoom meeting. Meets every third Wednesday. July 15 book is “Inland” by Tea Obreht.

Teen Book Club: Monday, June 22, 6 p.m., Zoom meeting book club discussion every fourth Monday. Book choices and discussion dates will be posted to Facebook and Twitter. If you’d like to join Teen Book Club, be sure to leave a comment on one of the book club posts or email Samantha at


Adult make and take: Various crafts will be posted on our website as they are available. Use the form on the website to reserve your supplies to make your very own featured project. Everything you will need, including instructions, will be put in a bag for you to pick up using our no-contact curbside delivery. Once you have registered, library staff will call you or email you when it is ready to be picked up. Ages 18 and over.

Library of Things Checkouts: Books not your thing? Remember, you can use curbside pickup for any items available in our catalog including board games, yard games, fitness kits, DVDs, magazines, music CDs, audiovisual kits, and more. Special arrangements will need to be made for returns that do not fit in the drop box. Call 320-235-3162 for assistance with registration. Follow us on Facebook, sign up for our eNewsletter, and check our website for updates.

WiFi: You can access WiFi 24/7 from the security of a parked car in our lot behind the library or in front of our building. No Library Card? Open a digital library card through Overdrive completely online by providing your cell phone number.

Contactless curbside pickup of library items will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Place a hold for a physical library item using your library card online on our website or call 320-235-3162. The library will contact you when the item is available. Park in the designated area outside the library entrance and call to let staff know you arrived. Have your library card number ready. Remain in your vehicle as library staff places your bag outside. After they have returned inside, grab your bag and go.

Outside book return is open 24/7 for your returns. If the item will not fit in the book return, call the library to arrange for a special return. Do not leave items outside book return or entry doors. Items lost or damaged are the responsibility of the library borrower until the item is checked in.

Pioneerland Public Libraries

All Pioneerland Libraries remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the libraries offer curbside pickup of library items. Please check individual libraries for guidelines and hours at

Great River Public Libraries

All Great River libraries are closed but curbside pickup of library items is available at the Myrtle Mabee Library in Belgrade and the Paynesville Library. Great River is now offering the streaming service “Hoopla” by using your library card. Library card holders will be able to enjoy four downloads per month. The website explains the service “to borrow movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics and TV shows to enjoy on your computer, tablet, or phone — and even your TV. With no waiting, titles can be streamed immediately, or downloaded to phones or tablets for offline enjoyment later." Content can be accessed through the website or via the Hoopla app available in the Apple and/or Google Play store.

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. For more information, call 320-354-5894 or check the website at .


Kayak the Crow River: June 26, 10 a.m. to noon, $20, ages 12 and up for solo boat, call for options with younger children. Leaving from the Mill Pond swimming beach in New London, paddle upstream and back with PWELC guides. Equipment is provided; advance registration required.

I ndoor rock climbing: July 2, 4 to 5:30 p.m., $10 per session, for all ages. Challenge yourself both physically and mentally at your own pace — beginners can learn about the sport, exercise and have fun; experienced climbers can train and refine their skills. PWELC instructors will be there to help. Equipment is provided; advance registration required.

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 west of New London just off U.S. Highway 71. For more information, visit the state Department of Natural Resources website at ..

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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