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Welcome to the New Year! This weekend features a holiday-themed opera, a concert, a pageant and local art. Real Racine has some great suggestions for 2017.

A holiday story. The entire family will enjoy the Choral Arts Society’s presentation of “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at First Presbyterian Church, 716 College Ave., Racine. “Amahl” is an opera that tells the story of a poor shepherd boy and his mother who are visited by the Magi, or Three Kings, on their way to Bethlehem. Tickets may be ordered at or 262-634-3250.

Cool evening, hot jazz. Jean’s Jazz Series launches a new season with two great acts. The show starts at 7 p.m. Saturday on the Racine Theatre Guild stage, 2519 Northwestern Ave. The Tony Castaneda Latin Jazz Band, led by a 1974 Walden III High School grad, brings original compositions and a classic Latin sound from the 1950s and ‘60s. Also appearing are vocalist Janet O’Mahony and pianist Mark Thierfelder whose repertoire includes jazz, blues and R&B classics. Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors and $5 for students. Visit or call 262-633-4218.

Crowning a new Miss. Find out who will wear the 2017 Miss Racine crown at the annual Miss Racine Pageant at 7 p.m. Saturday at Preservation Hall, 740 Lake Ave. The event is presented by the Miss Racine Scholarship program, which is the local affiliate of the Miss America organization. Miss Racine 2016, Haley Schonter, will pass her crown along to the 2017 winner and Miss Southern Lakes will also be crowned. Tickets are $15 at the door. Learn more at

See some art. Now in its 50th year, Watercolor Wisconsin has become one of the most popular annual exhibitions at the Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, 2519 Northwestern Ave. This year’s show features 98 works by 78 Wisconsin artists. You can see Watercolor Wisconsin 2016 now through April 22. The Wustum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Free admission. Visit

A pattern collection. A solo show by area artist Tim Abel, “lookforpattern”, can be seen through Jan. 21 at the Racine Arts Council’s ArtSpace Gallery, 316 Sixth St. This collection of works attempts to find temporary order in constant motion. The result is a richly colored, patterned, layered environment. The gallery is open 12 to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Free admission. Visit

Thanks to all! The Big Bundle Up winter clothing campaign has been a huge success. Real Racine and Travel Wisconsin thank everyone who donated coats, caps, gloves, mittens and scarves in November and December. The warm clothing items will be donated to local charities over the coming weeks.

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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:...