July 02, 2015

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Balloons and Much More!

You just can't beat July for summer fun in Racine County. You'll find celebrations, outdoor concerts, championship fishing, hot air balloons and an old-fashioned county fair. Here is a sampling.

It's the Midwest's largest Independence Day parade! The Racine Fourth Fest Parade on Saturday, July 4 will showcase more than 120 entries, including floats, bands, horses, antique cars, clowns and entertainers. Get your seat early along the Main Street route. The pre-parade starts at 8:30 a.m. and the main parade steps off at 9 a.m. This year's "Welcome Home" theme celebrates military personnel returning home as well as friends and family returning to Racine. The day doesn't end with the parade — the annual fireworks show starts at 9:20 p.m. along the lakefront. Visit http://www.racine4thfest.org

Smooth summer jazz at the Racine Zoo's lakefront setting. The Animal Crackers Concert Series features Grammy winner Gregg Karukas on Wednesday, July 8 and jazz sax great Gerald Albright on Wednesday, July 22. Gates open at 5:30 pm. at the Racine Zoo, 2131 N. Main St.; the music starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance; $25 at the gate. Season ticket packages (there are two more concerts in August) start at $50. http://www.racinezoo.org


It's faster than football, rougher than rugby and an incredible amount of fun!  The United States Australian Football League (USAFL) regional tournament arrives Saturday, July 11 at the Soccer Complex of Racine, 9505 Dunkelow Road, Franksville. Australian Rules Football is a physically demanding game played on an oval-shaped field (approximately 200 yards long). The matches are planned for 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Free spectator admission. Presented by Real Racine. Visit http://www.usafl.com


Sport fishing enthusiasts will converge on Lake Michigan for Salmon-A-Rama 2015, Saturday July 11 through Sunday, July 19. The ReefPoint Marina parking lot, 2 Christopher Columbus Causeway, Racine is the fishing tournament headquarters. Contestants will be vying for a $20,000 guaranteed cash grand prize plus smaller cash prizes awarded in divisions and for fish species. Salmon-A-Rama is presented by Salmon Unlimited of Wisconsin. http://www.salmonarama.net


It's up and away once again for the Waterford Balloonfest, Friday through Sunday, July 17-19 at the Evergreen Elementary school grounds in the Village of Waterford. About 20 colorful hot air balloons are expected to be launched Friday evening, Saturday morning and evening and Sunday morning (weather permitting). There are also helicopter rides, tethered balloon rides, food, games and an arts and crafts fair. Details at www.waterford-wi.org


The Ironman 70.3 Racine triathlon on Sunday, July 19 brings 2,500 athletes from around the world to compete in swimming, bicycling and running. These elites athletes will begin a 1.2-mile swim in Lake Michigan at 7 a.m. followed by a 56-mile bicycle race followed by a 13.1-mile run along the shoreline. Racine's North Beach is the event transition site and finish line. Presented by Real Racine. The public is invited to cheer on the athletes along the route. Maps will be available on the website: http://www.ironmanracine.com


Return to the music-filled 1950s and '60s with the Marvelous Wonderettes, presented weekends Friday, July 17 through Sunday, July 26 at the Racine Theatre Guild, 2519 Northwestern Ave. This jukebox musical follows four female friends who sing the hits amid 10-plus years of life. Tickets and showtimes at www.racinetheatre.org


"This one's for ewe!" The Racine County Fair runs Wednesday, July 29  through Sunday, Aug. 2 at the fairgrounds, 19805 Durand Ave., Union Grove. Family fun includes livestock judging, variety acts, carnival, tractor and truck pull and demolition derby. Recording artist Chase Rice is the Saturday night grandstand headliner. Fair hours are 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. each day. Daily admission is $9 adults; $7 senior citizens; $6 kids ages 8 to 13; free for kids age 7 and younger. www.racinecountyfair.com


See exciting BMX and skateboard stunts and competition at Bikes, Boards 'n Beach Series, Friday, July 31 and Saturday, Aug. 1 at the North Beach parking lot, 100 Kewaunee St., Racine. Huge mobile ramps will be set up for the region's top skateboarders and BMX riders who will compete for cash prizes. Free for spectators. Presented by Real Racine. Visit www.aganation.com


Go back in time! Replicas of explorer Christopher Columbus' sailing ships the Nina and the Pinta will be open for self-guided tours Friday, July 24 through Sunday, Aug. 2 at the Rooney Recreation Area, Reichert Court on Racine's lakefront. Admission is $8 adults; $7 seniors; 6 kids ages 5 through 16. Kids ages 4 and younger admitted free. Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Learn more about the ships at www.ninapinta.org

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