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The night sky just seems bigger and brighter in the summer. Racine County’s Modine-Benstead Observatory is just the place for summertime stargazing. This Racine County weekend also brings a fiesta, live theater, an outdoor basketball tournament and a dog show. Come along with Real Racine.

Summer stargazing. The Modine-Benstead Observatory is a must for anyone interested learning more about astronomy. It has two reflecting telescopes — 16-inch and 14-inch — for stargazing in the night skies. The Racine Astronomical Society’s next open house is 8 to 11 p.m. Friday at the observatory, 112 63rd Drive in Yorkville. The timing is good because the Perseid meteor shower (that’s falling stars for most of us) is just getting under way. The star gazing is free; donations are accepted. Please call 262-878-2774 to check on weather conditions. Visit

Fiesta at the Fairgrounds. Three days of partying takes place this weekend for the Racine Fiesta at the Racine County Fairgrounds, 19805 Durand Ave., near Union Grove. This annual celebration of Hispanic culture includes folk dancing, food, kids activities, a car show on Saturday, grito (yelling) contest and jalapeno pepper eating contest on Sunday and live music from Tejano Express, Roger Velasquez and the Latin Legends, Grupo Illusion and many others all weekend. Hours are 4-midnight Friday, 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults. Kids ages 12 and younger get in free. It’s all presented by the Hispanic Business and Professionals Association of Racine. Visit

Curtain up for The Haylofters. Burlington’s Young Haylofters present a fun, parody of a popular juvenile book series starting Thursday. “Sally Cotter and the Censored Stone” follows the adventures of Sally who falls asleep reading about a certain wizard and dreams that she is a student at Frogbull Academy of Sorcery where she meets a headmaster, a gamekeeper, a professor and, of course, villains. Performances are at the Malt House Theatre, 109 N. Main St., Thursdays through Sundays until August 17. Call 262-763-9873 or visit for tickets and show times.

An artful evening. The Racine Art Museum (RAM) invites you to the RAM Royal Affair fundraiser in the “enchanted garden” of the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, 2519 Northwestern Ave., from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday. The evening includes food, beverage and interaction with fairytale characters brought to life by costumes designed by artist Timothy Westbrook. There is an opportunity to make crowns and magic wands and be seated at a royal table and live music by the Racine String Quartet and the band Woody. There are also wishing well prizes and raffles. Tickets are $75 per person. Call 262-638-8300 or visit

Shootin’ hoops. Gus Macker, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament presented by Racine Youth Sports, is back for its fifth year on Saturday and Sunday. This year’s tournament is expected to include 151 teams from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota. There are teams for age groups for 8 to 55+ years old. The fun includes a “dream court” for youngsters and a slam dunk contest for high fliers. It all takes place outside overlooking Lake Michigan behind Gateway Technical College, 800 Pershing Drive. Visit

All breeds of dogs. The Greater Racine Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show is Sunday and Monday at Pershing Park, 700 Pershing Drive. You’re invited to see the judging of a variety of dogs and visit vendors offering pet-related items. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday. Show admission on Sunday is $2 for adults, $1 for children or $5 for families. Free admission on Monday. Details at

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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:...