New London’s Ladies’ Night Out This Thursday!

Mark your calendars, ladies! This Thursday night, downtown New London is hosting its fall Ladies’ Night Out event. Several local businesses from Middle Fork Café to The Happy Sol will feature deals, prizes, and treats. Gals can stock up on cute fall outfits, join friends for a yummy dinner or dessert, find seasonal accessories for their homes, and just have a fun night out!

The event begins at noon for those of you who plan to skip out on work early, and for the rest of us, the shopping will continue until 8:00 p.m.

Participating businesses are listed in the photo above.

Ladies, see you in downtown New London this Thursday!

Kandiyohi County Fair Opens Today!

It’s county fair time!

The Kandiyohi County Fair opens its gates today (Wednesday, August 5th) and runs through Saturday, August 8th.

Prepare yourself for cotton candy, carnival rides, and deep-fried overload! (Or maybe it’s just me that goes solely for the food?)

A full schedule of events can be found here, and be sure to take advantage of the free shuttles to save yourself all the hassle of parking and walking!

Check out www.KandiFair.com for detailed info. See you at the fair!

Willmar Fests Week!

Our annual Willmar Fest celebration is nearing to a close, but the fun isn’t over yet!

Tonight, while the Stingers played on the west side of town, The Goodness hosted a free concert in the heart of our downtown area. Folks young and old came to hear season six American Idol contestant Sean Michel perform out in the sunshine following a short-lived thunderstorm, and Michel was joined by Dan Israel and Martin Devaney.

A friend and I stopped by the Folkfest to grab some coffees and check out the event. I ended up staying almost the whole time, enjoying my very delicious blended matcha latte and chatting with other friends who were there. A pretty neat event for Downtown Willmar!

Tomorrow night marks the end of our festival week, going out with a (literal) bang as Works Over Water takes place at Robbins Island at 10:30 p.m. Before that, though, there’s the parade, the coronation, the ski show…a whole day of community events to choose from.

I, for one, won’t miss the impressive fireworks display! I love how Q102 makes it extra fun by syncing the show to music. Whether you’re at Robbins Island in person or pulled over to the side of the road with your radio tuned in, it’s a fun night for the whole family and a tradition I’ve looked forward to since I was a kid. See you there!

 

Ninja Warrior comes to Spicer!

Ever seen the show American Ninja Warrior on NBC?

Admittedly, I haven’t, but I’m told it’s a show full of strength and athleticism, featuring contestants that compete against each other as they maneuver challenging obstacle courses.

This weekend, the Spicer area gets a glimpse of the popular show right on Saulsbury Beach!

Today (Saturday, June 13th) and tomorrow (Sunday, June 14th) only, teams and individual competitors have the opportunity to try out slightly milder versions of their favorite American Ninja Warrior obstacle courses for themselves. From running steps to maneuvering an unstable bridge, participants will compete in our own local Ninja Warrior event.

Non-competitors can also be nearby to watch the competition all weekend. There will be food vendors, inflatables for kids, and a dunk tank on property for this family-friendly event, as well.

The best part? 100% of the proceeds go to Grace Place of Willmar.

Grace Place, founded in 2014, is a home for women who have been incarcerated, fought addiction, and struggled with poverty, among other hardships. The women receive encouragement, spiritual guidance, and training to help them develop healthy habits and learn important life to overcome whatever situations they may face.

You can learn more about Grace Place here and its Ninja Warrior event here. Be sure to check out this fun event this weekend and support a great cause!

Hwy 12 Dairy Queen: NOW OPEN!

I have officially been granted permission to announce what Willmar’s been waiting for since last fall!

Drumroll, please…

The newly-constructed Dairy Queen on Willmar’s Highway 12 is open for business as of TODAY!!

I’m super excited to share this news with my fellow ice-cream-loving Willmarites. (Soft-serve, if we’re being specific.) The brand new Highway 12 location has all the classic DQ favorites – cones, Blizzards, Dilly Bars, and MooLattes – plus a wide selection of savory meals, too. Whether you’re in the mood for a burger, buying chicken strips for your kids, or wanting to try one of the new buffalo chicken wraps, there are all kinds of entrees to choose from!

5 buck lunch from the Hwy 12 Dairy Queen in Willmar, MN

And, of course, there’s always the famed Dairy Queen ice cream cake. Enough said.

I had the privilege of attending a pre-opening event yesterday, and I was impressed by it all – the 5-buck lunch; the clean, modern design with retro accents; the warm friendliness of each staff member; and, naturally, the yummy soft-serve.

Just what the doctor ordered for a sunny Thursday! I’m sure of it.

The new Highway 12 Dairy Queen location in Willmar, Minnesota!

And I might have taken one of these incredible Cookie Dough Blizzard cake confections home:

DQ cookie dough ice cream cake from the Highway 12 Dairy Queen in Willmar, Minnesota

Possibly. I’ll never tell.

I, for one, am pumped about this new DQ location that’s accessible for both out-of-towners and those who live and work anywhere in between the 1st Street and Spicer locations.

You can find this new DQ next to the Best Western at 610 Litchfield Ave SE. Like the Highway 12 Dairy Queen on Facebook for more info and up-to-date posts!

Inside the new Willmar Dairy Queen on Hwy 12

Let’s be real: it’s gonna be tough to resist the temptation of a $5 lunch that includes ice cream now that summer’s (hopefully) here to stay! Lunch breaks just met a game-changer and so did my wallet. I’m a proud penny-pincher and this fits the bill…no pun intended. 😉

Hot eats + cool treats + a nice price = heaven right here in Willmar, Minnesota.

Don’t be surprised if you see me in the drive-thru tomorrow! Happy Friday!

DQ cookie dough ice cream cake from the Hwy 12 Dairy Queen in Willmar

Bring a Friend Day at the Kandiyohi County Area YMCA!

Good morning to all you fitness fanatics!

In case you haven’t heard, the YMCA in Willmar hosts “Bring a Friend Day” every third Thursday of the month. Today, Thursday, May 21st, is the day!

If you are a Kandiyohi County YMCA member, you can bring one guest with you today for free! Your guest must present a photo ID to be admitted.

And if you don’t have a membership but are interested in trying out the Y, find a friend who’s a member and stop by a fitness class or the pool today!

This event is a great opportunity to check out or get new friends interested in the local Y, and it happens every month! See you there!

Take your mom out this Mother’s Day!

 

 

Let’s face it: moms are pretty much rockstars. They cook, they clean, they care for, they cheer us on…

Moms are awesome. Just ask Kid President.

So how are you treating your mom today?

A suggestion? Take her out for a  meal. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or anything in between.  It doesn’t matter which one or where, as long as it’s something that considers her tastes and doesn’t require her to do the dishes.

Here are my top picks in the Willmar area:
Applebee’s: Whether your mom’s craving surf and turf or the best salad in town, Applebee’s has it all.
Bello Cucina: Open especially for Mother’s Day if your mom’s in the mood for a meal with European flair. Brunch is $17.00.
Caribou Coffee: For the moms who need an afternoon pick-me-up. Extra whip, please!
Cherry Berry: A froyo break is the perfect afternoon snack to share with your mama…plus it’s on the healthier side!
Dairy Queen: Treat your mom to a classic cone or Blizzard this afternoon. Cotton Candy is the flavor of the month!
Green Mill: The most popular brunch in town! There’s pasta, seafood, prime rib, and something for everybody.
Hillcrest: Classic diner food draws families in every year when they want to give Mom a break from the kitchen!
LuLu Beans: A Willmar original with the best blended mocha in town!
McMillan’s: The place to go for a buffet that includes unlimited pie from the pie case. 🙂
The Oaks: An elegant place to dine for brunch or dinner.
Perkins: Let your mom enjoy French toast, French silk pie, a Mammoth Muffin, or the Tremendous Twelve!

Still uninspired? Try that special place your mom loves but rarely treats herself to. Whether it’s ice cream or steak, Chinese or coffee, treat your mom today. She deserves it. ❤️

Happy Mother’s Day, moms! We love you!

CCS Auction at the Willmar Civic Center

Happy Saturday!

The sun is out, the forecast is beautiful, and if you’re looking for something to do this morning before the temps reach 70, head on out to the Willmar Civic Center!

Community Christian School of Willmar is hosting its annual auction fundraiser. There’s a live auction, a silent auction, a bake sale, and tons of activities for kids.

I also happen to have some of my yummy Birthday Oreo Cupcakes for sale at the auction today, so grab them before they go! They’re my baked-from-scratch vanilla cupcakes with Birthday Cake Oreos mixed in, swirled with homemade Oreo buttercream and topped with Oreo pieces and sprinkles.

image

I happen to be a proud alumnus of CCS, and I am very thankful that I had the privilege to go there as a kid. The education, teachers, and Bible-based principles are well worth the investment. I definitely think Community Christian School is an organization worth supporting!

Be sure to stop by the Civic Center today…and check out my cupcakes if you’re so inclined! 🙂

Where to Dine in the Willmar Area This Easter

I don’t think I can recall ever dining in a restaurant on Easter Sunday.

Usually Easters past have been spent at my grandma’s or in my mom’s kitchen, the smell of turkey permeating every nook and cranny.

Not this year!

Although I love a homemade Easter meal, this year the list of family in the area is small, so we decided to do dinner out instead.

I’ve had fun exploring all the options, and without further ado, here’s the comprehensive list of eateries hosting Easter meals tomorrow!*

Bello Cucina
Brunch from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
194 Progress Way
Spicer, MN 56288
(320) 796-0203
More info can be found on Facebook.
Reservations recommended.

Green Mill
Brunch from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Willmar Conference Center
$17.95 per person, including beverages
($15.95 for seniors and $7.95 for children 5-12)
Regular Green Mill hours resume in the restaurant at 5:00 p.m.
2100 E Highway 12
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 231-2301
Reservations recommended.

Hillcrest Restaurant
Open from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Features: Pit Ham and Yankee Pot Roast
16451 Highway 71 NE
New London, MN 56273
(320) 354-4545

Kandi Entertainment Center
500 19th Ave NE
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-3800
Reservations recommended.

McMillan’s Family Restaurant
Buffet from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
2620 1st St S
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-7213

The Oaks at Eagle Creek
Buffet brunch served from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
$14.95 per person
($12.95 for seniors 60+ and $6.95 for children 6-10)
1000 26th Ave NE
Willmar, MN 56201
(320)-235-4448

Perkins Restaurant & Bakery
Hours: 12:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
2645 South Highway 71
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-5957

 

*More local restaurants may offer Easter meals, but this list is limited only to the ones I could confirm.

Easter Services in Willmar, MN

 

Happy Easter!

I love this holiday and all it stands for – the Savior that gave his life for us, the resurrection that provided hope for all…and yes, the chocolate eggs and bunnies, too. Even if the candy pales in comparison to an eternity in heaven, I’ve got to admit that it’s pretty great. 🙂

All bunnies aside, let’s focus on the real reason we celebrate Easter: the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

The Willmar area does not lack in churches to attend, and most of them host special Easter services this time of year. Here’s a comprehensive list of Willmar churches to consider this Easter Sunday!

Bethel Lutheran Church
Services at 8:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
411 Becker Ave
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-5450

Calvary Lutheran Church
Sunrise Service at 6:15 a.m.
Easter Worship at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11:00 a.m.
302 Olena Ave SE
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-2508

Church of the Nazarene
Worship at 10:45 a.m.
515 12th St SW
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-1717

Church of St. Mary
Easter Masses at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Easter Mass in Spanish at 12:00 p.m.
713 12th St SW
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-0118
AFCOffice@OurLivingWater.org

Cornerstone Baptist Church
Easter Breakfast at 8:30 a.m.
Service at 10:30 a.m.
602 SW 5th St
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-8211

Eagle Lake Lutheran Church
Traditional Worship: 8:30 a.m.
Contemporary Worship: 10:30 a.m.
1650 60th Ave NE
Willmar, Minnesota 56201
(320) 231-3114
ellchurch@msn.com

Evangelical Free Church of Willmar
Easter Celebrations at 9:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.
1305 19th Ave SW
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-4317
office@efreewillmar.org

First Baptist Church
Services at 8:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.
1000 SE 6th St
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-2326

First Covenant Church
Easter Celebrations at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Easter Breakfast from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
801 Willmar Ave SW
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-3010
info@fccwillmar.org

First Presbyterian Church
Easter Egg Hunt at 9:30 a.m.
Worship with Holy Communion at 10:00 a.m.
312 SW 6th St
(320) 231-1263
Willmar, MN 56201
fpchurch@fpchurchwillmar.org

Grace Baptist Church
Worship at 10:45 a.m.
4703 18th St NE
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 231-0863
pastor@gracebaptistwillmar.com

Harvest Community Church
Easter Breakfast at 9:00 a.m.
Worship Service at 10:00 a.m.
905 Litchfield Ave SW
Willmar MN 56201
(320) 235-2106
office@harvestwillmar.com

Redeemer Lutheran Church
Services at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
1401 6th St SW
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-4685
info@redeemerwillmar.org

Vinje Lutheran Church
Services: 7:00 a.m., 8:30 a.m., and 10:45 a.m.
1101 Willmar Ave SW
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-1441
vinje@vinjechurch.com

Willmar Assembly of God
Services at 9:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.
3821 Abbott Drive
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-2529
info@willmarag.org

Willmar Bible Church
Breakfast from 8:15 to 9:30 a.m.
Service at 10:00 a.m.
364 County Road 9 SE
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-0102
pastor@willmarbible.org

Willmar Christian Reformed Church
Worship Service at 10:00 a.m.
1708 SW 8th St
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-3060
willmarcrc@gmail.com

Willmar United Methodist Church
Contemporary Worship at 8:15 a.m.
Traditional Worship at 10:45 a.m.
1818 9th St
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-5403
office@willmarumc.org

Word of Faith Family Church
Service at 10:00 a.m.
3010 7th Ave NW
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-7655
info@wordoffaithfamilychurch.org

May you all know the truth this Easter – that you are loved beyond comprehension by a Savior who died so that you might live eternally.