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This weekend brings one of Southeastern Wisconsin’s biggest annual sports events — the Ironman 70.3 Racine triathlon. You can also sail away with hot air balloons, take in live theater, rock out or follow a drumbeat. There is a lot to do in Real Racine.

Cheering ’em on. You’re invited to cheer on more than 2,300 athletes from around the world in this weekend’s Ironman 70.3 Racine triathlon. This year’s participants, competing for $60,000 in prize money, include 70 pros from the United States and 13 countries. The athletes will check in from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Festival Hall, 5 Fifth St. New this year is a Pro Panel at 2:45 p.m. where men and women professional triathletes will answer questions about training and other aspects of triathlon competition. New for the kids (ages 3 through 15) is the Ironkids Fun Run at 8 a.m. Saturday at North Beach Park. The $15 registration includes a race bib, finisher shirt or trucker hat, medal and goodie bag. Register in person from 2 to 2 p.m. Friday at Festival Hall or starting at 7 a.m. Saturday at North Beach. Then, the main event starts at 7 a.m. Sunday as the triathletes compete in a a1.2-mile swim in Lake Michigan, a 56 bicycle ride through Racine County and a 13.1-mile run along the shoreline. Drivers are reminded that some roads will be temporarily closed (watch for law enforcement officers at key intersections.) Of course, everyone is invited to support the triathletes at North Beach or anywhere along the race course. Visit www.ironmanracine.com

Beautiful balloons. Look to the skies for the 5th Annual Waterford Balloonfest from Friday afternoon through Sunday morning at Evergreen Elementary School, 817 W. Main St. Free admission to the grounds; fee for parking. Organizers are expecting about 20 hot air balloons from throughout the country. The fun gets started at 4 p.m. Friday with an arts and crafts fair, helicopter rides (admission), tethered balloon rides (admission) bounce houses, food and live music. The balloons are set to launch starting at 6:30 p.m. (weather permitting) and return for the spectacular evening glow at 8:15 p.m. On Saturday, the morning balloon launch is planned for 6 a.m. There is also a pancake breakfast followed by kids activities, a balloonist meet-and-greet, live music and another evening balloon launch and glow. The balloons will depart for the last time about 6:30 a.m. Sunday. The festival is coordinated by the Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce. For details, visit www.waterford-wi.org

From the ’50s and ’60s. The Racine Theatre Guild kicks off its 78th season on Friday with the jukebox musical “The Marvelous Wonderettes.” The female quartet performs 31 classic hits of the 1950s and ’60s amid a storyline that includes marriage, divorce, jealousy and reconciliation. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. “The Marvelous Wonderettes” continues next Friday through Sunday, July 24-26. For tickets, call 262-633-4218 or visit www.racinetheatre.org.

A Downtown party. The third Friday of the month is a summer party in Downtown Racine. Music on the Monument presents a free concert by Full Flavor from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Monument Square. Then, it’s Third Friday from 4 to 9 p.m. Full Flavor is back at Monument Square, Eddie Muniz performs at Crosswalk Park on Main Street and the Mitchell Proctor Project is at Paul Harris Plaza on Sixth Street from 6 to 9 p.m. You’ll also find open houses at 50+ Downtown galleries and shops plus food/beverage specials. Visit www.firstfridaysracine.com

Summer rock. Two nights and a day of rock is coming your way at the Smooth Riders Indoor/Outdoor Music (SRIM) Fest at the Route 20 Outhouse, 14001 Washington Ave. (Hwy 20), Yorkville. The festival features more than 50 bands on five stages plus local craft vendors, food/beer tents and kids entertainment. Rusted Root is the Friday headliner and The Prince Experience is the headliner on Saturday. Daily admission is $10 in advance; $15 at the door. The festival opens at 5 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday. Tickets and details at www.route20outhouse.com

Drums and bugles here. You’ll find drum lines and marching hosted by the Lighthouse Brigade 7 p.m. Friday at Case High School Hammes Field, 7345 Washington Ave., Mount Pleasant. This competition, sanctioned by the Mid-American Competing Band Directors Association (MACBDA), brings six drum and bugle corps for an evening of performances. Advance admission is $9 adults; 8 seniors and students. Kids ages 5 and younger admitted free. Prices increase by $1 at the gate. Advance tickets are available at Schmitt Music and Educators Credit Union local branches. Visit www.lighthousebrigade.org

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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:...

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