Tribune Opinion: Enjoy your vacation right here in west central Minnesota

Summary: West central Minnesota is blessed with great people, welcoming communities, blooming prairies, shimmering lakes and exciting community events. And the fishing is good as well.

Willmar Fest Grande Day Parade
The Willmar Fest Grande Day Parade takes place in downtown Willmar, Minnesota, on Saturday, June 25, 2011.
West Central Tribune file photo
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As the gas price hovers near $5 per gallon across Minnesota, many families may be rethinking their summer vacation plans for 2022, looking to spend their vacation closer to home.

As luck has it, there are many events on the rebound this summer following two years on pause due to COVID-19 across the region. And west central Minnesota is ready with an abundance of fairs, festivals and community celebrations to enjoy.

Our events across the region may not be as big a deal as visiting Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming or Disneyland in California. But remember, Yellowstone is half closed due to recent flash flooding and much of California is in a multi-year drought and experiencing wildfires. That doesn't sound very pleasant.

Summer Fun highlights in west central Minnesota for the summer of 2022.

Here's a sampling of places to go or things to do across west central Minnesota this summer.

Willmar Fests opens its 75th anniversary run Wednesday through Saturday. The community celebration includes a block party, royalty and ambassador coronations, story hour, tennis tournament, Stingers baseball, pancake feed, two parades and a kids carnival.


Rockin Robbins returns for the sixth summer in Willmar. There are four nights of wonderful music on July 12, July 19, July 26 and Aug. 2. There are other music events across the region as well.

There are many county fairs scheduled across the region — from July to September. And don't forget the Minnesota State Fair from Aug. 25 to Sept. 5.

Want to see some history — Watch the Antique Car Run on Aug. 13 in the New London area or visit the many historic sites across the region.

Looking for the best show on the water — Visit the Little Crow Ski Team show in New London.

Need a city festival venue: Try Sacred Heart Summer Fest, Danube Fun Days, Olivia Corn Capital Days, Spicer's 4th of July, Western Fest in Granite Falls, Litchfield Watercade, Grove City Windmill Days, Lake Lillian Fun Days, New London Water Days, Threshing Days in Atwater, Applefest in Appleton and Stockade Rendezvous in Forest City.

Want more: There's Bonanza Valley Days in Brooten, Prairie Fest in Clara City, Summer Fest in Sacred Heart, Space Festival in Cosmos, Dragon Fest in Madison, Town and Country Day in Kerkhoven, Fun Days in Pennock, Augustfest in Belgrade, Czech Heritage Festival in Bechyn and Raymond Harvest Fest.

And we cannot forget baseball: The Willmar Stingers team has a Northwoods League schedule all summer, plus there are many amateur, Legion and VFW teams playing.

Need a road map to this summer in west central Minnesota: Check out the West Central Tribune's Summer Fun section in print, on our webpage: or
or in our epaper version .


West central Minnesota is blessed with great people, welcoming communities, blooming prairies, shimmering lakes and exciting community events. And the fishing is good as well.

There is nothing like enjoying a few day trips right near home and saving gas money at the same time. So enjoy your summer fun in 2022 right here in west central Minnesota.

This Tribune Opinion editorial is the opinion of the West Central Tribune editorial board, consisting of publisher Steve Ammermann and editor Kelly Boldan.

More Summer Fun:
Kandiyohi County Fair hosts dog agility judging morning of Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, at the fairgrounds in Willmar.
The Barn Theatre presents “Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express” for two-week showing Aug. 11-19. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students.
Lake Lillian Fun Days featured a parade down Lakeview Street on Saturday, Aug. 6.
The Upper Sioux Community held a traditional powwow Friday, Aug. 5, at the Wacipi grounds southeast of Granite Falls.
For the 16th year, quilters from across the state and even further afield are traveling across Minnesota for Quilt Minnesota Shop Hop 2022. Quilt stores, including five in the west central region, are welcoming visitors with special fabrics, patterns and deals.
Additional driving events to take place locally Aug. 10-12 in Willmar, New London, Paynesville and Spicer.
Rockin' Robbins put on a show for its fourth and final concert of the summer Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022.
The Willmar Community Center hosted an evening of root beer floats and painting to precede the third Rockin' Robbins event on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.
Despite a storm rolling through and a nearly hour-long rain delay, the third Rockin' Robbins concert of 2022 was a big night for dancing, music and fried food at Robbins Island Regional Park on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.
After a late afternoon shower, Rockin' Robbins' opening act is canceled but the feature act will play at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 26, 2022, at Robbins Island in Willmar.

The West Central Tribune Editorial Board consists of publisher Steve Ammermann and editor Kelly Boldan.

The board can be reached at or 320-235-1150.
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