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A busy, family fun weekend is ahead in Racine County. Parades, a lighted train, live music and a new stage production are among the activities. Of course, Santa will be all over the place. Come along with Real Racine! Parades, parades! “Polar Express” is the theme for Downtown Burlington’s annual Christmas Parade. It gets under way at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Kane Street. Following the parade is the Community Christmas Tree lighting in Wehmhoff Square and Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the chalet until 8 p.m. It’s all presented by the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce (www.burlingtonchamber.org). The 17th Annual Waterford Winter Wonderland Parade starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Associated Bank, 217 North Milwaukee St. and finishes at the Waterford Public Library with the Community Christmas Tree lighting and Christmas carols from the Fox River Middle School chorus. The celebration is presented by Absolutely Waterford (www.absolutelywaterford.org) See the train. One of the area’s most popular events – the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train – is Friday at the Sturtevant Amtrak Depot, 9900 E. Exploration Court. Get there early! The beautifully lighted train is scheduled to pull in at 5:35 p.m. and depart at 6:05 p.m. While the train is here, a free concert will be put on by recording artists Kira Isabella and Doc Walker. Nonperishable food and cash donations will be accepted for the Racine County Food Bank. Your last First Friday. The final First Friday of 2015 is 4 to 9 p.m. Friday in Downtown Racine. The area’s shops and galleries will be open for specials on unique holiday gifts. Downtown restaurants and night spots will have food and beverage specials all evening. The Racine Art Museum (RAM), 441 Main St., will have free admission all day so you can see its holiday Art of Adornments display and tree. Enjoy the evening – First Fridays resumes in April. Details at www.firstfridaysracine.com In the Grove. Christmas Comes to Union Grove on Thursday with the annual arrival of Santa. Be at Village Square Park at 5:30 p.m. to see Santa and his elf friend arrive on a fire truck and light the village’s Christmas Tree. Santa is back for pictures from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the 12th Annual Union Grove Holiday Craft Fair at Union Grove Elementary School, 1745 Milldown Drive. A spoonful of sugar. Racine Theatre Guild’s presentation of the musical “Mary Poppins opens Friday on the Theatre Guild stage, 2519 Northwestern Ave. This beloved family show includes wonderful songs and dancing as Mary teaches the Banks family to value each other again. Curtain time is 7 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. “Mary Poppins” runs weekends through Dec. 20. Ticket info. at 262-633-4218 or www.racinetheatre.org A Christmas tradition. “Holiday Serenade” with many of your favorite holiday songs, is presented Friday evening by the Racine Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops at Festival Hall, 5 Fifth St. This year’s special guests are local actor/vocalist Bob Benson and the choirs from The Prairie School, Case High School and Park High School. A limited number of general admission seats are left. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The concert starts at 7 p.m. For tickets call 262-636-9285 or visit www.racinesymphony.org For daily updates, “like” us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/realracine), follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/realracine) or watch us on Instagram.

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In addition to our education features, we’ll be kicking off a series of stories highlighting how parents, students, and educators are adapting to the impact of COVID-19 on education. If this is important to you, please consider donating to our education reporting fund. https://business.facebook.com/donate/1846323118855149/3262802717172659/

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:...