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A beautiful setting, a beautiful life
The family-friendly community of Willmar is nestled in scenic Kandiyohi County: where the lakes begin. Add scenic woods, rolling plains, and quaint towns form a snapshot of a beautiful rural area that's full of charm and grace.
Live in the center of Willmar - an all-America City - or choose to live minutes away on one of the region's many fabulous lakes. Perhaps the country life on a hobby farm best suits your lifestyle, or a home perched at the edge of a bright green lawn on the golf course.
Willmar was ranked as the "19th Most Livable Small City in the Nation" by Life in America's Small Cites. Living expenses are reasonable in West Central Minnesota and you can often find more house for the money than in urban areas.
Willmar has a diverse population of 20,000 residents. We're only 65 miles from St. Cloud (190,000 residents) and 95 miles from Minneapolis/St.Paul, so urban culture is simply a short trip away. Here, you can have the best of both worlds - rural and urban.
Fun and fitness choices for all four seasons
With 35 clear, recreational lakes within 30 miles of Willmar, you can conveniently play on the water - boating, fishing, skiing, swimming, canoeing, or kayaking. Around here, fishing is a year-round activity!
There are abundant opportunities to explore and enjoy nature, whether you're a hiker, biker, hunter, bird watcher, or photographer.
If you're a runner, check out the Glacial Lakes Championship Running Series. There are many different types of races offered year round, including the Green lake Triathlon in Spicer and the Foot Lake Four Walk / Run hosted by Rice Memorial Hospital.
For biking or blading, the paved Glacial lakes Trail runs from Willmar to the county border. Plans are in the works to extend the trail another 16 miles. If golf is your sport, there are five golf courses in the county with 9, 18, or even 27 holes, so you can find just the right place to putt.
Ease into winter on some of the 200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails and cross-country ski trails. Learn to snowshoe at Sibley State Park or Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center.
The Willmar Civic Center has multiple sheets of ice for hockey, skating and an active curling league. Several indoor fitness centers provide tracks and the latest in exercise equipment.
A busy, growing economy
Willmar is the hub of a strong regional business community with a diverse economic base. Its economic base encompasses a 14-county area serving more than 220,000 persons.
In addition to a robust healthcare and health services community, the region is a leader in agri-business, agriculture, technology, construction, food processing, manufacturing, banking and finance, engineering, recreation, and retail.
With a new municipal airport, and the MinnWest Technology campus, business is thriving.
Our region is proud of the strong K-12 public schools and private schools we support. Ridgewater College is a progressive community and technical college with more than 100 programs serving students on Willmar and Hutchinson campuses. The college works creatively with the medical and business communities to keep pace with changing business environments. The college also links programs with four-year institutions such as St. Cloud State and Southwest State Universities. Ridgewater has been a leader in integrating simulation in their health education programs, and now offers a state-of-the-art mobile simulation training facility.
Rich with culture, a thriving arts community
The Willmar area has a thriving arts community. Wander through galleries featuring the work of man6y local artisans, including award-winning wood carvers, sculptors, painters and potters, as well as textile and collage artists.
The Willmar Area Arts Council hosts two highly anticipated annual events: Studio Hop each June and Celebrate Art, Celebrate Coffee each September.
Enjoy a concert, music festival, or play at one of the many venues offered year round. The Barn Theatre and Willmar Concert Series are leaders in the rich arts community.
The New London Music Festival is known for its fresh, funky concerts. First Tuesdays is a summer music series favorite, as is Wednesdays in the Park. Enjoy A Little Garden Music at Rice the third Friday of each month.
Concert goers come from all across the United States to attend the annual Sonshine Music Festival in Willmar every July.
Some of the many other anticipated events include our Cinco de Mayo celebration, Willmar Fests, Winterfest, Prairie Pothole Days, and Bounty of the County.
New London is home to the national championship Little Crow Ski Team with weekly shows throughout the summer. If you haven't seen their 4-level pyramids, ski jumpers, and barefoot acrobats, you haven't really seen water skiing.
The Willmar Stingers joined the Willmar community and the Northwoods Baseball League (summer college league) bringing great baseball and fun to our area. A local "Stinger" has signed with a major league team.
For local produce and products, check out Becker Market and the Willmar Farmer's Market, as well as local orchards, wineries, and ranches.
Numerous and diverse worship communities, service groups, and organizations in the region enrich our lives. As do the many relaxing conversations with friends and neighbors in local restaurants and coffee shops.