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DOWNTOWN RACINE – The Annual State of the Downtown and Achievement Award Presentation for the Downtown Racine Corporation saw a crowd of over 125 people on Wednesday, Jan. 26. The Red Onion hosted the event which brought in a standing-room-only crowd.

The event recaps the accomplishments of the previous year and announces some of what’s in store for Racine in the new year. Topics for strides made in 2021 included business development, marketing, downtown events, and clean and safe initiatives.

2021 Highlights

  • 33 new businesses opened in 2021, a record-breaking feat
    • Previous years’ numbers were:
      • 2020 – 10
      • 2019 – 24
      • 2018 – 23
  • 65 events were hosted in 2021 by the DRC
    • Notable new events:
      • Chili Ice Walk
      • Seltzer Stroll
      • Candy Hop
  • DRC’s Holiday Gift Guide afforded the corporation 2nd Place for “Best Co-Op Marketing” in the WI Main Street Awards
  • DRC’s 2021 marketing by the numbers:
    • 59 print ads
    • 15 TV appearances
    • over 20,000 followers on social media

For the new year, several notable items were introduced.

  • Acquiring a portable stage for live music on Monument Square
  • Hotel Verdant will begin construction
  • Wisconsin and Lake Avenues will be converted to 2-way traffic
  • The 21st Public Art Project will feature Rocking Chairs

To be able to share this type of information to the large audience that we had was truly exciting, especially given the tremendous diversity of the stakeholders in attendance. We look forward to sharing additional updates as significant progress is made during 2022 and beyond. Downtown is the true heart of our community.

Kelly Kruse, DRC Executive Director

Downtown Achievement Awards

The Downtown Achievement Awards recognize those who have helped Downtown Racine to excel throughout the year. There were more than 50 nominations were received for 2021. Winners were announced at the State of the Downtown.

And the winners are…

Corporate Citizenship Award: “An individual who has been a catalyst in improving downtown; has provided service to the downtown community and has worked tirelessly to promote downtown.”
Winner: Dimple Navratil

Best New Small Business Award: “A new retail shop, gallery or restaurant that has captured the attention of the marketplace and helped enhance downtown.”
Winner: Littleport Brewing Company

Downtown Champion Award: “A business or organization that is the ultimate citizen, supporting downtown through employment, facilities and sponsorship.”
Winner: Joey and Anna LeGath

CPR Award: “The redevelopment of a downtown building or property that has helped enhance the overall downtown neighborhood and revitalize the area.”
Winner: KDS Construction

Honorable Mention:
Winner: Twin Dragon Games

The Annual State of the Downtown and Achievement Award Presentation is available for viewing on the DRC’s Facebook page.

About Downtown Racine Corporation

Downtown Racine Corporation is a non-profit whose mission is to foster economic, social, and cultural diversity by stimulating business development, programming events, and marketing downtown to the community, developers, and tourists.


The Racine County Eye is proud to celebrate successes within its community. Congratulations to all those mentioned!