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Get ready for a very full Racine County weekend! Local music showcases, a beer tasting, an adult prom night and pancakes with real maple syrup are all on the way. Come along with Real Racine.

Two nights of music. The year’s single biggest music event in Racine County is coming up Saturday. The 25th edition of Thoughts for Food (TFF) features more than 50 acts performing at 14 venues – all to benefit the Racine County Food Bank. TFF kicks off at 2 p.m. with a founders’ recognition ceremony at George’s Tavern, 1201 N. Main St. Then, make your way to catch a variety of music (rock, rap, country, jazz, blues, etc.) all night long! Admission is $10 in advance and $15 (plus two nonperishable food items) at the door. You’re also invited to support the area’s up-and-coming musicians at the TFF All Ages Show from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday at the Eagles Club, 319 Hamilton St. Admission is $5 plus two nonperishable food items. For the full TFF lineup, visit

Quaff a brew. Belle City Brewfest is a beer lover’s dream from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Festival Hall, 5 Fifth St. Samples of beer and ciders from more than 40 regional brewers plus a home brew competition. There is also music from area favorite Bella Cain. Admission is $25 in advance; $35 at the door. Must be 21 or older. Tickets and details at

Think spring. It’s time again for the Waterford Spring Expo. This year’s event is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Waterford High School, 100 Field Drive. See dozens of local vendors with everything from home improvement to financial services to health/wellness. There is also a kids zone and presentations. Admission is $3 for adults (age 18 and older). Save $1 with a nonperishable food item (to Love Inc.) or a pair of old prescription eyeglasses (to the Lions Club). Presented by the Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce. More information at

Dinner and animals. A five-course gourmet dinner, animal encounters, presentations and a silent auction are planned at Winos for Rhinos at the Racine Zoo, 2131 N. Main St., from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday. This special event helps support the zoo’s wild animal preservation mission. Tickets are $50 for one; $90 for two. Must be 21 or older. Reservations at or 262-636-9312.

A bit of New Orleans. The Racine Arts Council presents a New Orleans-inspired evening fundraiser. Includes jazz music, hors d’oeuvres, silent auction, cash bar and a performance of “A Street Car Named Desire.” Starts 5:30 p.m. at the Picken Center on the University of Wisconsin-Parkside campus, 900 Wood Road, Somers. $75 per person. Reservations at:

Pick your prom. Prom Through the Decades is your chance to dress up in the prom attire of your favorite decade. This special night, a fundraiser for the Junior League of Racine, is 7 to 11 p.m. Friday at Infusino’s Banquet Hall, 3201 Rapids Drive. Admission ($65 per person) includes hors d’oeurvres, beer, wine, soda, dancing and entertainment. Details at

The syrup is real. The 80 maple trees have been busy at River Bend Nature Center, 3600 N. Green Bay Road, Caledonia. That maple sap is being boiled down into delicious syrup that will be served with pancakes at the Sugarin’ Off Pancake Breakfast from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. The menu also includes sausage, coffee, milk and juice at $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 5 to 10 years old. Children ages 4 and younger eat free. While you’re there, you can learn how maple syrup is made. The breakfasts continue March 12, 19 and 26.

Soup for you! Enjoy a bowl (or more) of delicious soup while helping a cause at Empty Bowls 2017 next Monday, March 6 at Festival Hall,5 Fifth St. Soup and bread made by local restaurants is served in hand-made and decorated ceramic bowls. Lunch is served 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; dinner is 4 to 7 p.m. Soup in a ceramic bowl is $15, soup to go is $10 and kids soup (plastic bowl) is $5. Proceeds benefit the Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization (HALO) and the Racine County Food Bank.

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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:...