Thanksgiving week is here at last! There’s plenty to do throughout Racine County from eating to running to viewing the lights. Enjoy this holiday time with Real Racine.

The big light show’s back. A popular seasonal attraction returns on Saturday to the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort, 8425 Hwy. 38, Caledonia. The Wisconsin Christmas Carnival of Lights presents more than 1.5 million sparkling lights and spectacular displays from a gigantic U.S. flag to a life-size gingerbread house. You’ll also see Evy, the seven-foot talking Christmas tree inside Santa’s Workshop. The entire, mile-long show can be seen from the comfort of your car or aboard Santa’s giant 43-passenger sleigh. The Carnival of Lights is open from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday until Dec. 31. Closed Christmas Day (Dec. 25). Admission ranges from $20 per car (up to eight people) to $35 for large buses and motor homes. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Special discount nights are planned for military, seniors, teachers and public safety personnel. Learn more at or call 262-835-2565.

Gathering with the community. The 8th Annual Dan and Ray’s Rendering Thanks Community Thanksgiving Day Feast is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at Festival Hall, 5 Fifth St. Everyone is welcome is enjoy a free meal of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and all the trimmings. There will also be continuous entertainment, including the Cheryl McCrary Band, dance teams and kids’ face painting. Organizers, with the help of 300 volunteers, expect to feed as many as 3,000 people. Cash donations, as well as non-perishable food donations for the Racine County Food Bank, will be accepted at the door. More info at

Turkey Day running. Before that Thanksgiving dinner, you’ll have an opportunity for some exercise at two Thursday morning 5k runs. The 2017 Racine Turkey Trot is a timed 5k from North Beach, 100 Kewaunee St. It benefits Harvest Outreach and the Federation of Christian Athletes. A kids run starts at 8:30 a.m. followed by the adult race at 9 a.m. Registration (including finisher medal, race bib and t-shirt) is $17.50 for adults and $10 for youth. Register at The Burlington Turkey Trot gets underway at 8:30 a.m. from Burlington High School, 400 McCanna Parkway. It’s followed by a post-run celebration from 9:30 to 10 a.m. Registration is $30 per person. Register in person at Thrivent Financial, 400 N. Pine St., or online at

Shopping close to home. The Saturday after Thanksgiving Day is designated as Small Business Saturday throughout the U.S. Racine County is no exception with stores open in the Racine, Burlington, Union Grove and Waterford areas. Shoppers are encouraged to visit locally owned small businesses in their area. Visit

Another fun 5k. Have a little holiday weekend fun with the Leftover 5k. This run/walk starts at 10 a.m. Saturday outside Case High School, 7345 Washington Ave., Mount Pleasant. All participants will receive a goodie bag that includes a t-shirt and finisher medal “left over” from a 5k event of 2017. Registration is $17.50 for the first 100 runners and increases to $22.50 for the next 100 runners. Register at

Into the woods. YMCA Camp MacLean, 31401 Durand Ave., Burlington, invites you to the Craft-in-the-Woods Craft Fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. More than 40 crafters will be set up throughout the camp’s cabins. You’ll want to stop by Mrs. Claus Coffeehouse for treats, a raffle and bake sale. Admission is $4 for adults and $1 for youth ages 6 through 11. The craft fair benefits the Y’s summer camp scholarship program.

Clothing drive now underway. Real Racine and the Wisconsin Department of Tourism are teamed up for The Big Bundle Up winter clothing drive. Donations of new or gently used coats, sweaters, gloves, hats, mittens and other warm clothing items are welcome. The items will be donated to local charities. Please drop off your clothing items through Jan. 2, 2018 at the Real Racine Visitor Center, 14015 Washington Ave. (Hwy. 20); Downtown Racine Corp., 425 Main St.; Victory Lane Car Wash, 5310 Washington Ave., Mount Pleasant; Connect Cell, 3717 Douglas Ave., Racine; Greater Union Grove Area Chamber of Commerce, 925 15th Ave., Union Grove; Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce, 102 E. Main St., Waterford, and Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce, 113 E. Chestnut St., Burlington.

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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:...