10 Events You Can’t Miss This Summer

By Bailey Hovland

One month of summer has come and gone, bringing us into July.

July is the epitome of summer festivities. It’s when we celebrate the Fourth of July, commemorated by parades and fireworks and everything decorated in red, white, and blue. Swimsuits are the weekend outfit of choice, worn at the beaches of area lakes. Bonfires and barbecues are the best way to end the day, spending the extra few hours of daylight with family, friends, and good food.

So even though June has already said goodbye, there’s so much summer left to enjoy! And to help you narrow down the Willmar Lakes Area calendar, with innumerable events to keep you and the whole family busy for the rest of the summer, I’ve created a list called “10 Events You Can’t Miss This Summer.” Starting with…drumroll please…

1. A Willmar Stingers Game!
Nothing says summer quite like a classic American ball game. Beer, brats, and baseball? Sounds like the perfect night to me. Check out the game schedule for the Willmar Stingers by Clicking Here and find an evening that works for you and your family to head on over to Bill Taunton Stadium to watch the Willmar Stingers play ball!

2. A Fajita/Margarita Cruise
From 7-9 p.m. you can cruise the waters of Green Lake as the sun sets, eating savory chicken fajitas and chips and salsa and washing them down with a sweet margarita on the “Dannyboy” of Green Lake Cruises. Sounds like a dream, right? Lucky

The KRA Speedway is a favorite for many race fans who attend the races every Thursday night.

for you, it’s not. The upcoming fajita/margarita public cruises are July 11, 18, 20, 25, and August 1, 8, 10, 15, 24, 29, 31, and the cruise ship loads at Zorbaz on Green Lake.

3. The KRA Speedway
If you’re an avid NASCAR follower or simply like the sound of roaring engines and bustling crowds, you need to visit the KRA Speedway this summer. Located on the south side of the Kandiyohi County Fairgrounds, the grandstands hold up to 1,200 people to watch local racers zoom around the dirt track. With the wild, mudslinging racing, you know you’re in for a memorable Thursday night at the KRA Speedway.

4. “Sperry House Turns 125” Event
The Sperry House, built in 1893 on Albert H. and Jennie Sperry’s farmstead, is a fixture of the Willmar area, showcasing the history of the A.H. Sperry and his family. A pioneer, soldier, settler, farmer, and businessman, A.H. Sperry’s life demonstrates what it was like to live in Kandiyohi County long before it became the area we know today. Celebrate the 125th year of the Sperry House on July 14 from 1-4 p.m. at the Kandiyohi County Historical Society. There will be living history tours, a bake sale, and a silent auction for you and your family and friends to enjoy.

Drew Corneil hits a serve at the New London Water Days Tournament.

5. The New London Water Days
From July 16-22, New London is celebrating their community at their 60th New London Water Days! With a classic car show, tennis tournament, Little Crow Ski Show, and a full fireworks show, this annual celebration is certain to have something for everyone. See the full schedule by Clicking Here.

6. Relay for Life
This year is the 25th annual Relay for Life of Kandiyohi County! Relay, based on hope and inspired by the brave people who have been diagnosed with cancer, is a wonderful community event to raise money for cancer research, patient care programs, and cancer education and prevention information. Bring everyone you know to this truly beautiful event and honor those who have struggled with cancer by making a luminary, participating in the silent auction, or dancing to music. The complete lineup of events is available by Clicking Here.

A luminary glows on the outside of the middle school track at Relay for Life.

7. A Telescope Viewing at Mt. Tom
Take in the nocturnal beauty of the Willmar Lakes Area at Sibley State Park on July 21. Amateur astronomer Pat Thibault will help you take a closer look at the gorgeous night sky away from the city lights using a telescope and apps to teach you about our solar system. Drop in at Mt. Tom from 9-10 p.m. to participate in this illuminating event.

8. West Central Bassmasters Fishing Tournament
For any fishing fanatic is the West Central Bassmasters 2018 Green Lake Summer Classic, a fishing tournament on July 22 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Last year Jim and Phil Lokken caught the prize with a big fish weighing in at 5.15 pounds and a total weight of 16.16. There will be pizza and drinks for all registered contestants following the weigh-in, so even if you don’t take 1st place you’ll still get a prize. For more information on the West Central Bassmasters event, click here.

Great photo by Gregory Harp from the Green Lake Triathlon.

9. The Green Lake Triathlon
If you’re an athlete, then you might want to check into the Green Lake Triathlon, happening on August 12. With the sandy beach, high-quality roads for biking and running, and complimentary food, music, and beer (plus gift bags), this triathlon is the full package. Even the kids can participate in the kids triathlon the day before the event.

10. The New London Music Festival
Last but not least is the New London Music Festival, an annual music fest celebrating its 20th year on August 18. They’re partnering with Goat Ridge Brewing Co. this year to provide handcrafted ale and lagers at the park. So pack up your sunblock, picnic blankets, and possibly a chair and buy your tickets now in the early bird sale available until July 14.

The possibilities for summer fun in the Willmar Lakes Area are endless, and this is just a list of 10 events that’ll get you started. Pick one, two, or all ten events and make some memories. And when you’ve gotten through my list? Head on over to https://www.willmarlakesarea.com/events/ to find more events centered around summer fun.

Fish our lakes

The possibilities are endless on our 30 recreational lakes…boating, swimming, fishing, water skiing, tubing, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boating, hydro biking, paddle boarding and so much more!

Fishing Report

Explore our Trails

Surrounded by beautiful lakes and scenery…who wouldn’t take a hike or a leisurely bike ride to enjoy the view? With miles of trials to choose from, you can always find new places to explore.

Trail Report