Labor Day Weekend may be the traditional end of summer, but it’s certainly not the end of family fun in Racine County. An all-day music event, special zoo activities, a Downtown party and a lighthouse view are all on the way. Real Racine has you covered.
Country music and more. A big Labor Day Party with a purpose is planned for Monday (Sept. 7) at Festival Park, 5 Fifth St. The Labor of Love Music Festival is presented by Case Construction Equipment as a salute to military veterans. Gates open at 12 noon. Case plans displays of new and vintage equipment. There will also be local food and merchandise vendors, a silent auction to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and a 50/50 raffle by the Veterans Outreach Center of Wisconsin. Kip Moore, MCA Nashville recording artist, performs at 6 p.m. He’ll be preceded by Run Carolina at 2 p.m., a veterans honor ceremony at 3 p.m. and Bella Cain at 4:30 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults; kids ages 10 and younger get in free. Advance tickets at www.ticketmaster.com (fee applies). You can save money by purchasing advance tickets at the Racine Civic Centre box office, 5 Fifth St., or at the gate. Details at: www.casece.com/laboroflove
At the zoo. The Racine Zoo has a pair of special events this weekend. Zoo-Riffic Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. promotes a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. Guests, including Wild Root Market, Racine Urban Garden Network, Eco-Justice Center and Wildtree will be on hand with information. The Racine Zoo staff will also share information about sustainable palm oil, Seafood Watch (sustainable seafood choices), zoo animal diets and animal enrichment. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Jason Kotecki, author of “Penguins Can’t Fly & 39 Other Rules That Don’t Exist” promises a break from the usual boring book tour. He’s bringing a photo booth where visitors can dress up with silly hats and props, penguin-shaped cookies for decorating and mustache drawing (with washable markers). Jason’s blog is http://escapeadulthood.com/blog/2015-notarule-tour Regular zoo admission applies both days. Visit www.racinezoo.org
Celebrating bacon. International Bacon Day on Saturday will be celebrated starting at 9 a.m. with the first-ever Bacon 5Kegs run/walk at the Racine Yacht Club, 1 Barker St. The event’s after-party promises a bacon bar stocked with bacon and bacon-flavored foods, five kegs of beer and a full bar. Registration and details at: www.bacon5kegs.com
Friday fun. Kick off your holiday weekend at First Friday in Downtown Racine from 4 to 9 p.m. Shops and nightspots are open with specials all evening. The Racine Art Museum, 441 Main St., has free admission all day plus free superhero cut-and-color masks. You can also take a carriage ride, have a beverage and catch live classic rock from The Sentinels all at Monument Square. Other outdoor music includes Lake Effect at Crosswalk Park on Main Street, Fur Pants at Paul Harris Plaza on the west end of Sixth Street and Identity Crisis at Indian Motorcycle on Sixth Street. Visit www.firstfridaysracine.com
Climb a lighthouse. You can climb to the top of a local landmark from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. The historic Wind Point Lighthouse, 4725 Lighthouse Drive, is open for tours just two more times this year — this Sunday and on Oct. 4. The 108-foot tall lighthouse has spectacular views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding countryside. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for children ages 6 through 12. For safety reasons, children ages 5 and younger are not allowed to make the climb. Remember to wear your sturdy shoes. Advance reservations are a must at www.windpointlighthouse.com While you’re on the lighthouse grounds, visit the Fog Horn museum and gift shop operated by Friends of the Wind Point Lighthouse.