With a small town population of approximately 60, a person may think that the City of Whalan would not have a lot of activity going on for the local residents and the those visiting the area each year, but in actuality, the opposite is true.
Although there is not a vast amount of Whalan residents, a high percentage of those who live in Whalan are very active in the community and many people who do not live in Whalan are eager to support the town.
The mayor of Whalan, Marlys Tuftin, and the city council work hard to stay on top of anything that needs to be done and are always looking toward the future with any decisions they make.
One of the most visible updates to Whalan in the past year was the installation of energy efficient LED bulbs in the street lights. “One of two grant applications to assist with funding has been approved thus far,” states Tuftin, which will ease the financial aspect of the much needed upgrade.
The City of Whalan takes great pride in making the town welcoming and colorful, including a landscaping project on the grounds of Whalan’s Town Hall, featuring a garden area honoring military service members and veterans, which was completed in May of 2017, according to Tuftin.
“Multiple renovations and repairs to the city parks and buildings were accomplished with help from city workers and many volunteers,” says Tuftin, as the city works on a checklist they have created for projects and improvements to the city and it’s buildings.
Street repairs have been made throughout the city, with plans to complete more repairs as necessary in 2018. “In addition to city funds, the Small Cities Road Assistance Program helped support these repairs,” notes Tuftin. City Clerk Lolly Melander has been instrumental in applying for grants and other funds available to the city.
While the City of Whalan received significant storm damage early in 2017 which included many fallen trees and branches and also a fallen electric pole, cleanup was quick thanks to the help of many volunteers and repairs by the MiEnergy crew, Tuftin says.
“Whalan is home to thriving businesses and service organizations including three lodging facilities, an auto body and repair shop, a pie shop/restaurant, a gift shop and mini golf along the Root River Trail, Whalan Lutheran Church, Whalan Museum, Erickson-Rose American Legion Post 637 and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 637. In addition, a privately owned restored garage is an attraction for many visitors,” states Tuftin.
When you add the factors of the Root River Bike Trail and the Root River itself, it does not matter whether you are a long-time resident, frequent guest or a first-time visitor, you will experience a fun filled day in Whalan.
Whalan holds many events during the year which bring a lot of excitement to town as well as drawing many visitors to Whalan, no matter the season.
The Candlelight Ski and Soup Supper is held each February, which is sponsored by the Root River Trail Towns committee. Participants can spend the evening skiing or walking on the Root River State Bike Trail and enjoy a hearty soup and sandwich meal. For more information visit rootrivertrail.org.
The world famous Whalan Stand Still parade is held each May. The parade, which does not move, is viewed by the spectators as they walk by. The event which began in 1995 has drawn attention from all over the world and been featured in many publications and television programs. There are several other activities during the Stand Still Parade including a craft fair, demonstrations, live music, a variety of foods, petting zoo and more. For more information visit standstillparade.org.
A Memorial Day Program is held each year as the City of Whalan recognizes and shows respect for those who have served and are currently serving in the United States military.
The Whalan Lutheran Church Men’s Fastpitch Softball Tournament is held in Whalan each July. In 2017 the tournament was inducted into the Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame. The tournament is a relaxing time spent with friends and family.
The popular Taste of the Trail event is held in September of each year, with Whalan as a participating town. Various food samples are offered along the Root River Trail with many other activities and entertainment taking place. Further information can be found at rootrivertrail.org.
These events and much more take place in Whalan each year as the City of Whalan invites local residents and visitors to Fillmore County to take the short drive to Whalan and experience what the locals call “Lost in Whalan!”