Around Our Region published Sept. 30, 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 at least a week in advance.


Hawk Creek Animal Shelter

WILLMAR — The Hawk Creek Animal Shelter in Willmar is participating in the BISSELL Pet Foundation “Empty the Shelters” Oct. 1-4. The foundation sponsors adoption fees so adopters pay $25 or less. All animals will be microchipped and spayed/neutered to prevent further pet homelessness. BISSELL Pet Foundation will also honor foster-to-adopt cases that begin Oct. 1-4 and are finalized up to one week after the event.

Willmar Community Center

WILLMAR — The Willmar Community Center has several events set for October. All events are free unless noted. The phone number is 320-262-5288.

Willmar Area Senior Citizens Club: Sept. 30, 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon parking lot performance by Jason Christenson. Bring a chair and sunglasses. The group will practice social distancing, have sanitizer available, and you may also enjoy the concerts from your vehicle.

Veterans Coffee Social: Oct. 5 and Oct. 19, 9:30 to 11 a.m., open to all veterans, police, fire and emergency medical services members.

Evening Shop in the Woodshop: Oct. 5, Oct. 12, Oct. 19, and Oct. 26, 6 to 9 p.m., Community Center woodshop will be open for craftsmen to gather and work on their projects. Advance registration required by calling 320-262-5288 by the Friday before.


Fall Break Bingo: Oct. 15, 2 p.m., $1 for an afternoon of bingo fun, all ages welcome.

Super Smash Brother Friendlies: Oct. 15, 4 to 10 p.m., ages 12 and up. Nintendo's latest Super Smash Brothers friendlies and tournaments. If you have your own controller, please bring; if not, we will have some to share. There will be multiple types of games played but choose your favorite character to fight and battle against others. Options to play online are also available.

Willmar Public Library

WILLMAR — The Willmar Library hours are listed below. The website is . Call 320-235-3162. Don't have a library card? Get one during Library Express hours. You will need a photo ID with current address. Anyone under 17 must be accompanied by an adult. Study rooms, the children’s play area, and seating are unavailable. Face masks are required. If you do not have one, the library will provide you with one. 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

Library Express: 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, limited capacity, doors will be locked if max number is met.

Curbside pickup: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Computer use: A 45-minute limit during Library Express hours. Appointments recommended, but not required. Call to reserve one.

Printing service: Email the library your document (10-page maximum, black & white) to . See complete instructions on website.


Returns: Use the outside book drop for all returns. For oversized items, call the library to make arrangements.

I nternet: Seven hotspots for library cardholders can be checked out. Call the library to place a hold. The library WiFi can be accessed outside the library 24/7 using your library card.

Sidewalk chalk contest: Through Sept. 30, last day to vote on the Library’s Facebook page.

Teen board games: Sept. 30, 6 to 8 p.m. Join us online to play fun games on Zoom. Sign up on the website.

Pumpkin decorating contest: Oct. 1-25. Free pumpkins are available at the library until they run out. Submit a photo of your pumpkin by Oct. 25, then vote for your favorites on the Library Facebook page from Oct. 26-30. Enter individually or as a team, for all ages. Get complete rules at the library or on the library website.

Friends of the Library Book Sale: Oct. 1-17, modified annual book sale during library hours. A limited number of books will be put out for sale on the main floor of the library. Payment with exact change or check is appreciated.

Adult trivia: Oct. 8, 7 p.m. Play live Trivia solo or assemble a team, ages 18 and over.

One Book Willmar: Oct. 22, 7 p.m., Brain Freeman, author of “Thief River Falls,” will give an online talk and answer questions. The purpose of a Community Read is to offer an opportunity to read, think, talk, listen and grow together. Advance registration required, available on the library website.


Murder Mystery: Oct. 29, 6:30 p.m., ages 16 and up. The detectives need your help to solve the murder of Miles Randolph. Register in advance on the library website. You will need Zoom on your computer or tablet to play along. Once you have registered, you will receive your character packet and further information via email/mail.

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. 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. Limited supplies. Oct. 1 is a DIY spooky sign and Oct. 15 is book folding.

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.

Pioneerland Public Libraries

All Pioneerland Libraries have different hours and services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check individual libraries for guidelines and hours at .

Great River Public Libraries

Great River Regional Library — including the Myrtle Mabee Library in Belgrade, 320-254-8842, and the Paynesville Public Library, 320-243-7343 — are offering Grab & Go service. Browse for items, pick up your holds, ask staff questions but keep your visit as brief as possible. Face masks are required. Call the libraries or see the website at for more.

Public WiFi

WILLMAR — Free wireless internet WiFi service is 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.

Sibley State Park

NEW LONDON — Sibley State Park is open. A vehicle permit is required to enter the park and 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 .

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. Advance registration is required for all events by calling 320-354-5894 or check 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.
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The Clubs & Organizations calendar is published weekly on Thursdays. Email submissions to by 5 p.m. Monday.