Willmar, MN 56201
Willmar is located 95 miles west of Minneapolis/St. Paul and is the county seat for Kandiyohi County. With a population of 21,015 (2020 Census), Willmar offers many of the amenities of a larger city, while still providing the benefits of a small town.
Willmar is a regional center for business, healthcare, technology and shopping. It is a diverse community surrounded by rich farm lands, scenic lakes and rolling hills. Willmar is also the fastest growing multicultural city outside the metro area.
Seven public schools, a Christian school, DREAM Technical Academy and a community/technical college offer educational opportunities for our youth. Ridgewater College hosts many continuing education programs from Minnesota universities that enable adults to further their education while they work. Several malls, quaint downtown shops, a growing number of big box stores and many kinds of dining opportunities make Willmar an interesting city to visit and in which to live.
The City has 37 parks, including the Dorothy Olson Aquatic Center and Robbins Island Regional Park, a 55-acre wooded island between Willmar and Foot Lakes. Robbins Island features the Willmar Destination Playground, an 18-hole disc golf course, hiking and biking trails, a soccer field, a swimming beach, a fishing pier, and public boat access. The City has an extensive trail network that connects to the Glacial Lakes State Trail via the trailhead at the Willmar Civic Center. Sports enthusiasts can also enjoy watching a Willmar Stingers baseball game (a member of the Northwoods League) during the summer months and a Willmar WarHawks hockey game (a Tier 3 team in the North American Hockey League) in the winter months.
Festivals and supporting the arts are part of Willmar’s social events. In the month of June, the Willmar Area Arts Council hosts their annual Studio Hop where visitors can tour the many art studios throughout Kandiyohi County. Also in June is the Willmar Fests celebration that combines three festivals, Aqua Fest, International Fest and Kaffee Fest, into one great opportunity for the whole family. Throughout the summer, free concerts are given by the Prairie Winds Concert Band, which performs at Rice Park, and Rockin’ Robbins, which is held at Robbins Island Regional Park. In August, many people from the surrounding area as well as the locals attend the Kandiyohi County Fair for the many exhibits, fun rides, delicious food, and exciting events at the Grandstand. Year-round, the Barn Theatre performs six productions to a packed house. In November, you’ll find everything you love about winter at the Holidaze Parade and events that go along with it. And then from Thanksgiving until the new year, you can drive-thru the beautiful Christmas light display, called Celebrate the Light of the World, at Robbins Island. These are only a few of the many festivals and events that take place in this growing city. Come and see for yourself why Willmar is a great place to live, work, and play!