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A fun day of exploration — Open House Racine County — lies ahead this weekend. You’ll also find some local traditions, art, a new musical production and a downtown party. Join us in Real Racine.

The big day is here. Open House Racine County (OHRC), a one-day, free exploration of the county’s most interesting places, is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. With this year’s theme, “Take a Family Field Trip,” OHRC 2017 gives visitors access to more than 60 local treasures. Popular sites returning from last year include Earthcare Suri Alpacas in rural Burlington, the Racine Masonic Center (Henry S. Durand Mansion) and the world-renowned Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings at SC Johnson’s Racine campus. Among this year’s many new sites are Burlington’s Spinning Top Museum and Oak Clearing Farm (recently featured on the cable TV show “American Pickers”) near Union Grove. Visit to select your own itinerary from unusual businesses, architectural gems and civic buildings. Look for the blue-and-white OHRC banner outside each location. You’re invited to share your OHRC 2017 photos on social media – use hashtag #OHRC17

Flipping those flapjacks. Kiwanis Pancake Day will literally feed thousands at Festival Hall, 5 Fifth St. from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. This all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage meal has been a local tradition since 1953. There is continuous local entertainment on stage. The Kiwanis Club of Greater Racine’s champion pancake flippers are a show themselves! Admission is $8 at the door. Kids ages 4 and younger eat free.

Shopping for art. The art fair season kicks off with the Lakefront Artist Fair at the Paul P. Harris Rotary Park adjacent to Festival Hall. The fair, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, is expecting more than 100 artists displaying and selling works in painting, pottery, jewelry, metal clothing and more. Free admission. The art fair is a fundraiser for the Racine Montessori School.

Opening night. Musical theater is in the air this month. First up is The Haylofters production of “Legally Blonde – the Musical” which opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Malt House Theatre, 109 N. Main St., Burlington. This is a delightful story of a not-so-dumb blonde who tackles stereotypes and snobbery to pursue her dreams. Opening night tickets are $13. All other shows are $15. “Blonde” will be presented weekends through May 21. For tickets and show times, visit

Time for a party. First Friday is this Friday from 4 to 9 p.m. in Downtown Racine. The shops and galleries will be open and nightspots will have food and drink specials. Weather permitting, the Monument Square beer garden will be open with music by the Sipos & Young Band. At Crosswalk Park in the 300 block of Main, Nick Ramsey & The Family will perform original hip-hop and funk. Zachariah Red performs outside Indian Motorcycle and The Nash on Sixth Street. Take a carriage ride from Monument Square in the new, 12-passenger limousine pulled by two Belgian draft horses. The Racine Art Museum, 441 Main St., has free admission all day and you’re also invited to check out the Racine Arts Council’s new ArtSpace Gallery at 409 Sixth St. 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:...