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Christmas Carnival of Lights

This weekend, you’ll be able to run before enjoying that Thanksgiving dinner. There are also holiday light displays and a musical celebration – all in Racine County.

Take a run. A little exercise is in order – at two locations – before that Thanksgiving Day (Thursday) meal. The Thanksgiving Day 5k Run/Walk starts at 8 a.m. at North Beach, 100 Kewaunee St. On-site registration starts at 7 a.m. The run benefits the Harvest Outreach Food Bank – your non-perishable food donations are welcome. Registration is $15 per person or $45 for families of four or more. The Town Bank Turkey Trot 5k Run/Walk is at 8:30 a.m. at Echo Park, 589 Milwaukee Ave., Burlington. Registration and packet pick up starts at 7 a.m. The Thrivent Financial post-race celebration and awards ceremony starts at 9:30 a.m. Registration is $35 per person. Non-perishable food donations will be accepted for Love Inc.

A community event. Everyone is welcome at the 5th Annual Dan and Ray’s Rendering Thanks Community Dinner from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at Festival Hall, 5 Fifth St. A free meal of turkey or ham with all the trimmings will be served. There is local entertainment all day. Last year, 2,300 people were served. Advance reservations are requested at or at 262-554-5440. Donations ($5 per person) are table sponsorships ($50 per table) are welcome.

Running for gifts. The third annual Stuff the Sleigh 5k starts at 10 a.m. Saturday at Monument Square in Downtown Racine. Runners are asked to bring at least two nonperishable food items for the Racine County Food Bank to be entered in a special prize drawing. Registration is $35 for adults (includes a long-sleeved shirt) and $10 for youth ages 6 through 15 (no shirt). Register at

Up in lights. It’s time to get out and see some holiday light displays! The Christmas Carnival of Lights opens Saturday at Jellystone Park Camp-Resort, 8425 Hwy 38 in Caledonia. You’ll see literally millions of lights (in synch with music) from the comfort of your vehicle. Admission is $15 per car and $22 for limos, buses and large passenger vans. The light display is open daily at 5 p.m. (except Christmas Day) through Dec. 31. Don’t miss this year’s edition of the Kiwanis Holiday Lights at the Racine Zoo, 2131 N. Main St. You’re invited to drive by every evening through Dec. 31. The lights are supported by the sale of an annual ornament (this year’s design is North Beach) for $10. The ornaments are available at the Real Racine Visitor Center and other area locations.

Celebrate with music. Join the Choral Arts Society of Southeastern Wisconsin for “Good Tidings of Great Joy.” This concert of classic Christmas season music is presented at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Siena Center chapel, 5635 Erie St., Caledonia. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $5 for students. The concert will also be presented Monday, Dec. 8 at St Thomas Aquinas Church in Waterford. For tickets, call 262-634-3250 or visit

Your donations welcome. “The Big Bundle Up” winter clothing drive is under way through Jan. 2. Real Racine is collecting warm clothing items like coats, caps, gloves and scarves that will be donated to local charities like The Salvation Army. Bring your items to the Real Racine Visitor Center, the Downtown Racine Corp., Victory Lane Car Wash, the Chelsea Guzzo dental office, the Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Union Grove Area Chamber of Commerce and the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce. The Visitor Center, 14015 Washington Ave. (Hwy 20) is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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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:...