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There is a lot to do in Racine County this pre-Valentine’s weekend. Lace up your ice skates, go for a run, dine with the animals and support our student musicians. Real Racine has great suggestions

Ice skating on the square. The Monument Square skating rink is the place to be for “Celebrities on Ice” from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday. Everyone’s invited for free ice skating with Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling and deputies. Free skate rentals will be available. There will also be hot chocolate and an opportunity to meet one of the county’s K-9s and handler. For more Downtown Racine events, visit

A Valentine’s run. Meet at 9 a.m. Saturday at 20 and Oakes Restaurant, 7111 Washington Ave., Mount Pleasant, for the 5th Annual Be Mine 5k. It’s a chance to meet new people and take in a fun run/walk. Registration is $25. Part of the event proceeds will go toward the purchase of automated external defibrillators (AED) for future events. Reservations and details at or 877-570-4434.

With the animals. The Racine Zoo, 2131 N. Main St., presents its own take on love and romance with Animal Amore from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday. It includes champagne, appetizers, open bar and a catered meal. During dessert, there is a presentation on wild animal love and how it’s similar (or not) to our own love lives. Tickets are $50 per person or $90 per couple (age 21+). Zoo members receive a $5 discount. Seating is limited; reservations are a must. Reserve at: or email:

A romantic hike. You’re invited to “Return to Romance” from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Richards Bong State Recreation Area, 26313 Burlington Road (south of Kansasville). It includes a candlelit winter hike, hot drinks by the fire and homemade desserts in the decorated Visitor Center with acoustic music by Wylde Thyme. It’s all presented by the Friends of Bong Recreation Area. Admission is $15 per couple; $8 singles (age 21+). Vehicle fee to enter the park is $8. Advance registration is required. Call 262-878-5601.

Some home ideas. The Annual Building and Remodeling Show is a great place for home improvement ideas, tips, demonstrations and giveaways. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Fountain Banquet Hall, 8505 Durand Ave., Sturtevant. Admission is $5 for adults. The show is presented by the Racine-Kenosha Builders Association.

Try painting. Have a little fun and try your hand at painting from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the Paint Brunch Fundraiser presented by the Root River Rollers. Held at Uncorkt, 240 Main St., the event includes a light brunch and a cash bar. Admission is $35 for adults; $25 for youth ages 10 through 14. Register at

A musical afternoon. The Racine Symphony Orchestra annual Young Artist’s Competition is from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Siebert Chapel on the Carthage College campus, 2001 Alford Park Drive, Kenosha. Music students from throughout the area will compete for scholarships and the soloist spot at the RSO Masterworks Concert on April 22. You’re invited to support these young people. Free admission. Learn more at

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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:...