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RACINE – In honor of its 125th anniversary, the Racine Public Library is celebrating with a festival. Winterfest will be on Saturday, Feb. 26., from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. All are invited to stop by and celebrate the library’s quasquicentennial – that’s 125th – year with events, food, stories and more.

Winterfest is an outdoor event, complete with an open-air, heated tent and a fire to gather around for storytime. 

Please note that masks are required while inside the tent.

Inside the Tent and More

  • A special presentation by Professor Claus Anderson is scheduled for 11 a.m. Anderson, from the University of Wisconsin, will be giving a Badger Talk centered on the Danish quality known as “hygge.” This “traditional sense of coziness, conviviality, wellness and contentment” is part of the Scandinavian culture, history and literature that Anderson has been immersing himself in, and teaching, for the last 15 years.
  • Librarians will be telling stories for both adults and children as well as giving samples of make-at-home crafts.
  • A book sale, hosted by the Friends of the Racine Public Library, will take place. Along with that, local crafters will be offering handmade and original items including bookmarks, knit hats and gloves.
  • The library is hosting Captain Mike’s food truck, where festival-goers can sample sweet potato and poblano chili. Hot chocolate, S’mores and popcorn will be available, along with other Captain Mike’s menu offerings and Ay Chihuahua Coffee.
  • Racine’s Chili Ice Walk is happening in conjunction with Winterfest as well. Make a day of celebrating Downtown Racine by walking through the downtown and sampling chili at several participating locations (including Captain Mike’s at the library) while enjoying artisans sculpting ice right before your eyes. An ice sculpture from the event will be placed in front of the library for viewing.

“We’re excited to present Winterfest as a gathering space to celebrate this community milestone with safety, coziness and Racine’s cuisine at its heart,” says Angela Zimmermann, Executive Director of the Racine Public Library. “Our 125th anniversary is a momentous year to commemorate, and it’s thanks to the continued support of our community members and dedicated staff that we have so much to celebrate and so many upcoming ways to bring literacy and lifelong learning with Racine.” 

The Racine Public Library was established on Sept. 7, 1897, with a “modest collection of books.” RPL has grown substantially since then from hosting the very first storytime for young children to sharing the latest technology – like a 3D printer – with residents.

The 125th Anniversary Celebration Continues

On March 25, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., RPL is hosting a retro gaming night.

Next, on March 26, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., come test your knowledge of all things trivial with a trivia competition.

Also on the agenda, the library is looking forward to a renovation, as well as a new Techmobile and more. Keep your eyes and ears open for more exciting news and events throughout the year as the library celebrates 125 years of service to Racine County residents.

Further Information on Library Resources and Programming

Visit the Racine Public Library’s website at RacineLibrary.info. Throughout these celebrations, the library is excited to commemorate its foundation, its history and its value as one of Racine’s core institutions.

The Racine Public Library’s mission is to lift up the lives of the people of the Racine community by embracing community diversity, promoting inclusion, creating opportunity and by supporting the development of community literacy through a love of literature, learning and civic engagement. Located on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, the library first opened its doors in 1897 and has served the community from its 75th Street location since 1958.

Racine Public Library Literature

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