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Chocolate takes the spotlight this Memorial Day weekend – especially in Burlington (aka Chocolate City USA)! Real Racine also has the scoop on a big arts/craft show, a fun 5k and Memorial Day observances.

Everything chocolate. This summer’s season of fun begins at Burlington ChocolateFest, an annual celebration of all things chocolate. The ChocolateFest grounds, 680 Maryland Ave., open at 5 p.m. Thursday for the carnival midway free preview and the high school battle of the bands. The full festival runs 4 p.m. to 12 midnight Friday, 10 a.m. to 12 midnight Saturday and Sunday and 12 to 7 p.m. Monday. You’ll find non-stop entertainment and the Chocolate Experience Tent featuring a chocolate sculpting competition, chocolate eating contests, kids games, a chocolate marketplace and more. Single day gate admission Friday through Monday is $8 for adults and $3 children ages 5 through 12. Children ages 4 and younger admitted free. Parking on the grounds is $5. For the full ChocolateFest entertainment lineup, visit www.chocolatefest.com

A tasty run. You’re invited to lace up your running shoes on Sunday morning for the Chocoholic 5k in Burlington. The run/walk is along the Seven Waters Trail starting at 9:30 a.m. from Riverside Park, 517 Congress St. Each participant receives a Chocoholic 5K T-Shirt , a goody bag filled with special items and CHOCOLATE. Registration also includes admission to ChocolateFest. General registration (includes shirt, medal, goody bag, chocolate, etc.) is $30; youth, age 6 through 15 (no shirt) is $10; children, age 5 and younger (no shirt) are free. Visit http://www.runwalk.events/E1.asp?eID=27476

Two big days. The annual Burlington Jaycees Arts and Crafts Fair is a one-stop shopping opportunity. You’ll find dozens of local vendors with unique gift items. Hours are 10 a.m. to
5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Echo Park, 585 Milwaukee Ave. Free admission.

Action on the water. The Browns Lake Aquaducks water-ski shows kick off the 2017 season at 6 p.m. Saturday. These free shows include costumes, music and tricks. All performances may be viewed from Fischer Park at 30326 Durand Ave. just east of Burlington. The troupe will be performing every Thursday evening (except July 20) through August. Schedule and details at: www.aquaducks.org

New at RAM. You’ll need to think inside the box for the Racine Art Museum’s newest exhibition “The Box Project.” The works, using a variety of materials, are required to fit into a 14×14-inch or a 14×23-inch box space. The exhibit runs through August 27 at RAM, 441 Main St. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Visit www.ramart.org

Remembrances. Monday is Memorial Day – please take some time this weekend. to remember our veterans and active military personnel. The Memorial Day observance at Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 21731 Spring St., Union Grove, is 11 a.m. Sunday. Racine’s Memorial Day Parade, organized by the Racine Area Veterans Council, starts at 10 a.m. Monday and runs from Washington Avenue and West Boulevard to Graceland Cemetery. The Veteran’s Memorial Day Parade in Burlington starts at 8:30 a.m. Monday from Kane and Edward streets and ends at Echo Park. The annual Memorial Day service at West Lawn Memorial Park, 9000 Washington Ave. (Hwy. 20), Mount Pleasant, begins at 10 a.m. Monday Visitors are urged to arrive early for parking.

Be safe traveling. AAA reports that an estimated 39.3 million people in the United States will be traveling from Thursday through Monday. This is 1 million more than in 2016 and the most in more than a decade. Of these travelers, 88 percent are expected to travel by car. Please buckle up and drive safely this weekend!

Keep up with what’s happening – download the Real Racine mobile app on your Apple or Android device. Just type in realracine. For daily updates, “like” us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/realracine) or follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/realracine) and Instagram.

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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:...