The Willmar Fests is in full swing across the city through this weekend.
Queen of Festivals Leslie Alvarez, International Princess Staci Banks and Aqua Princess Carly Hultein are reigning over the 2019 festivities.
And there are a lot of festivities to enjoy or participate in.
A major event of Willmar Fests certainly is the Grande Day Parade Saturday in downtown Willmar. The parade will begin at the Sixth Street Southwest and Kandiyohi Avenue intersection and head north for five blocks. Then the route turns east for two blocks. Then turns south on Fourth Street and runs eight blocks through Robbins Avenue.
Chad and Angie Koosman will light up the Grande Day Parade as the 2019 grand marshals. For a decade, the Koosmans have lit up the Willmar Lakes Area with their massive Christmas light display at their rural Willmar home, while raising close to $1 million for the Salvation Army.
Chad Koosman grew up in Willmar, while Angie Koosman moved to town in 2010. Chad Koosman first started his light display, Celebrate the Light of the World, in 2007. His family's project grew over the next decade to more than 600,000 lights and five miles of electrical cord.
Willmar Fests took over the light display project in 2018 and the event made its first appearance at Robbins Island.
Now Willmar Fests and the community of Willmar is saying thank you to the Koosmans.
A major event of Willmar Fests is the 10 young women vying for the Willmar Fests royalty crowns.
The competitors include Madyson Brown, Amada Chan, Kala Compeau, Cassidy Hanson, Gabriella Jasso, Kayla Link, Maddie Stoeberl, Brielle Thorpe, Abby Valladarez and Jayden Zammert.
Here is an outline of Willmar Fests events:
Willmar Fests activities completed Wednesday included the Flag Raising, the Senior Ambassador coronation, the Queen's Splash, the West Central Connection Chorus performance and the Prairie WInds summer band concert.
Thursday's schedule includes Royal Storytime, Jaycees Block Party, Junior Royalty coronation, Willmar First Robotics program, Little Foot Half-K Run, Kiddie Parade, Firemen's Challenge and Jaycees Minute 2 Win It Games.
Friday's schedule includes the Chamber Connection, Tennis Tournament, 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, Appreciation Day Dance, Willmar Stingers Baseball and Movies in the Park.
Saturday's schedule includes Willmar Fire Department Pancake Feed, Foot Lake Four Run/Walk, Grande Day Parade, Ambassador Coronation, Beach Party at Robbins Island, Kids Carnival, Little Crow Ski Show, Beach Party Concert with Jonah and the Whales and Works Over Water Fireworks.
Sunday's schedule includes completion of the Tennis Tournament and rain backup date for the Little Crow Ski Show and Works Over Water Fireworks.
This annual community event has been held for more than 70 years celebrating the Willmar Lakes Area, community pride and the quality of life through family participation.
Willmar Fests would not happen without the many hours of planning and the many volunteers. So as you and your family partake in Willmar Fest events, take time to say thank you to the event organizers and their many volunteers.
It is late June and time for one of the summer highlights in our fair city. So let's celebrate the Willmar Lakes Area and enjoy Willmar Fests 2019.