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Modine Observatory

If music is your thing, this is your Racine County weekend. The Racine Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 27th Summer Pops season, there’s a full afternoon of outdoor tunes and a tribute to pop music icon. Add in some star gazing and family picnic fun and you have a terrific weekend ahead from Real Racine.

Honoring veterans. The Racine Symphony Orchestra (RSO) Summer Pops season starts Friday with a pre-Independence Day program of patriotic tunes called “Honoring Our Past.” You’ll hear rousing music composed by Sousa, Williams and others. The music will be accompanied by a video presentation of photos of area veterans that RSO has collected during the past several months. Local vocalist and actor Bob Benson will perform with the RSO Pops. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. at Festival Hall, 5 Fifth St. The concert starts at 7 p.m. General admission seats are still available at $23 in advance and $25 at the door. Guests under 21 and military active duty or reserve (with ID) are admitted free. You’ll have two more opportunities to see RSO this summer. “Music for a Summer Evening” fund-raiser is July 19 and the “Great Orchestral Film Music Festival” is Aug. 22. Call 262-636-9285 or visit

Big party, big fun. A big summer party for a great cause is back this Saturday. Dan Jam, a celebration in memory of Daniel Robert Conner, is 2 to 10 p.m. at the Johnson Park Pavilion, 6200 Northwestern Ave. Music and poetry performances are all afternoon and evening. A pig roast and corn roast will be served at 4 p.m. Kids activities, lawn games and raffles are on tap. Admission is $8 with two non-perishable food items ($10 without). The event benefits the Racine County Food Bank.

Remembering Rosie. “The Girl Singer: A Tribute to Rosemary Clooney” will be presented Saturday and Sunday at the Racine Theatre Guild, 2519 Northwestern Ave. This is a retrospective of this incredible pop and jazz singer’s career performed by award-winner Ellen Winters. She is a backed by a terrific group of musicians and vocalists. All seats are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and $10 for students (21 and younger). Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. For tickets, call 262-633-4218 or visit

See the summer stars. The summer skies are ready! The June open house at the Modine-Benstead Observatory, 112 63rd Drive, Yorkville, is 8:30 to 11 p.m. Friday. You’re invited to come out and view the stars and planets. It’s free but your donations are welcome. Please call ahead to check weather conditions. 262-878-2774. Visit

Art fair time. One of the area’s biggest art fairs is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside campus, 900 Wood Road. The Parkside Summer Arts and Crafts Festival features the work of about 200 artists. It benefits the university’s music scholarship fund. Free.

Picnic time. Got a hankering for kebobs, sarma (grape leaves) or penelee (cheese puffs)? The folks at St. Hagop Armenian Church will fix you right up on Sunday The annual Armenian Picnic serves up home-made delicacies, music, dance and a cash raffle. Stop by Johnson Park, 6200 Northwestern Ave., from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...