Around Our Region published May 17, 2023

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.


Poppy Day

WILLMAR — The Willmar American Legion Auxiliary will be collecting donations for the bright red poppy on Thursday, May 18, ahead of National Poppy Day which this year is May 26. The poppies will be available in grocery stores, restaurants and at the post office. The donations are used to help veterans.

Syttende Mai at Norway Lake

NEW LONDON — The Norway Lake Lutheran Historical Association at First Lutheran Church of Norway Lake will celebrate Syttende Mai, formally known as Norwegian Constitution Day, at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 19, at the church west of New London on County Road 40. Catered meatball supper with all the accompaniments including rommegrot, krumkakke, lemon bars and more. Freewill offering. Entertainment by the Custom Made Band featuring Kris Nelson-Jenson and Steve Mahlum. RSVP via the association's Facebook page at . All are welcome.

Memorial Day

Raymond: The 117th community observance of Memorial Day will feature the traditional parade from cemetery to cemetery starting at 9 a.m. Monday, May 29. The parade will line up by 8:30 a.m. at the Raymond Christian Reformed Church. In the event of rain, the observance will be held in the Raymond Community Center. Marchers, veterans, mounted riders and other groups will march past the Cenex store, turn right on Minnesota Highway 23, where the parade will head east to the Fairview Cemetery for a program including the reading of the names of deceased veterans. The parade will regroup and proceed to St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery for another program. The Harvest Festival Committee will be grilling and serving hot dogs, along with beans, chips, potato salad and beverage at the fire hall/community center/park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Freewill donations support this year’s Harvest Festival.

Willmar Community Center

WILLMAR — The Willmar Community Center has several events set. All events are free unless noted. The phone number is 320-262-5288 . For reservations, call or go online at .

Willmar Area Senior Citizens Club: May 17, 2 p.m., $2, music by Peggy Soucek.


Magic show: May 18, 4 p.m. “A Touch of Magic” presented in partnership with the Willmar Public Library.

Friday afternoon of dancing: May 19, 1 to 4 p.m., music by Michael James; $7 dancers, $2 listeners.

Little Art Gallery session: May 19, 2 to 4 p.m., free. Create art to be on display in the community art galleries.

Diaper drive: May 20, 9 a.m. to noon. Drive-up event to help local families receive diaper needs.

Jolly Twirlers Square Dance: May 20, 7 to 9 p.m. All are welcome to join in this square dancing evening.

Community Book Club: May 22, 3:30 p.m. Join the Community Book Club for a discussion and a new book picked each month.

Community bingo: May 23, 5 to 7 p.m., $3 per person.

Community crafts: May 23, 2:30 p.m., $10, all ages, advance registration required. Create a custom sign to show your house number.


Willmar Area Senior Citizens Club: May 24, 2 p.m., $2, music by Terry Nelson.

Court whist tournament: May 25, 12:30 p.m., advance registration required, $2 entry fee.

Community Kitchen — Salsa with Homemade Chips: May 25, 4 p.m., $10. Register by May 23.

Friday afternoon of dancing: May 26, 1 to 4 p.m., music by Jerry’s Band; $7 dancers, $2 listeners.

Willmar Area Senior Citizens Club: May 31, 2 p.m., $2, music by Cowboy Dave.

Drum circle: Every Wednesday, 5 to 6 p.m. Come learn fun rhythms and enjoy making beats with other musicians. All ages, abilities are welcome to this free event.

Weekly events: Chess club, Yahtzee, Farkle, Hand & Foot cards, cribbage, puzzle exchange, exercise classes, Jolly Twirlers square dance lessons and open woodshop including some evenings and Saturdays, contact Community Center for details and prices.

Keep reading for more of this week's calendar items below the related content.

More community news:
From powwows to art crawls to church services, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
The Little Theatre, operated by the Crow River Players, provides space for artists of all sorts and backgrounds to showcase their talents — from music to art to theater.
Little Crow Ski Team begins fun-filled shows at Neer Park on June 2. Shows will take place nearly every Friday evening from June through August.


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 available during regular hours. Programs are in-person in the library. Advance registration required for some events. 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, 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.  

Wisdom and Wine: Tickets are on sale through May for the Willmar Friends of the Library fundraiser set for the evening of June 8 at the Willmar Conference Center.

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

Homeschool Hour: May 17, 2 p.m. Homeschoolers invited to learn about ancient Greece, complete a themed activity about these seafaring people and hang out. For kids 12 and under.

Teen movie: May 17, 5:30 p.m., ages 12-18, no registration required, popcorn and refreshments provided.

Adult Book Club: May 18, noon, book discussion upstairs at the library. New members are always welcome. May book is “This Time Tomorrow” by Emma Straub and June book is “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus.

Adult movie matinee: May 19, 2 p.m., no cost or registration, refreshments provided.


Writing a Successful Resume: May 23, 1 p.m. Learn what information to include, the key parts of a resume, how to choose the right format, and the benefits of having a resume in this presentation by CareerForce. Register by calling the library or going on the Adult Services page of the website.

Pajama-rama storytime: May 23, 6:30 p.m. Come in your pajamas, bring a blanket and listen to stories. Milk and cookies afterward before you head home to bed.

Crafter Dark: May 24, 6 p.m. Bring in whatever project you are working on (diamond painting, knitting, drawing, etc.) and socialize with other crafters. Snacks and drinks will be provided.

ECFE at the Library: May 26, 10 a.m., ages 0-6, free, no registration necessary. Sing songs, read books, and make crafts with Willmar’s Early Childhood Family Education teacher.

Teen Book Club: May 26, 4 p.m., club discussion of this month’s book, no registration necessary, snacks and beverages provided.

Memorial Day: Library closed May 29.

Blood drive: May 30, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register for a time slot in the Red Cross blood drive at .

Teen take-and-make: May 1 opened for unicorn pinata and May 15 opened for pressed flower Lantern. For ages 12-18, limit one per person as supplies are limited. Sign up on the library website.


Adult take-and-make: May 1 opened for unicorn pinata and May 15 opened for pressed flower Lantern. Limit one per person as supplies are limited. Sign up on the library website.

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. May’s theme is holographic.

Community Hot Topics

WILLMAR — The League of Women Voters of Willmar Area will be holding “Community Hot Topics” from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Wednesdays at the Willmar Public Library. The conversations about issues impacting the community are open to everyone. Feel free to bring lunch/snacks. Coffee and water will be provided. The first three are:

  • May 17: Child care in rural communities by Michelle Marotzke of the Mid-Minnesota Development Commission and Sarah Swedburg of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission.
  • June 21: Youth mental health in Kandiyohi County with Kim Hanson from Woodland Centers.
Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "West Central Tribune staff report." Often, the "West Central Tribune staff report" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

The West Central Tribune newsroom can be reached via email: or phone 320-235-1150.
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