Summer Time in Wisconsin: Our Favorite Summer Activities in Western Racine County

Racine County Fair

The summer months in Wisconsin seem to fly. We only have three short months to enjoy the warm sunshine-and need to make the most of the sunny days while we can. The 10 fun summer activities on this list are just some of our favorite things to do in Western Racine County while the heat is on. [For more information on the following events, please click on underlined links.]

1. Fourth of July Parades, Picnics, and Fireworks

The days leading up to and following July 4th are packed with fireworks, parades, and picnics. Our favorites include Raymond Fourth Fest, Union Grove and Waterford Parades, and the fireworks in Burlington and Tichigan.

Raymond Fourth Fest

July 3rd -Annual Barn Dance: Food, Drinks, Music, and Fun for the whole family!

July 4th -Parade, Elvis, Auctions, Fireworks, and more! This year’s parade theme was “A Small Town Celebration”. Groups decorate parade floats to compete for 10 prizes! The parade starts at 1:00 pm and is preceded by the Children’s Parade.  Even more fun is planned for after the parade, including Elvis, kid’s games, auctions, and of course the Raymond Fireworks!

Union Grove & Waterford Parades

The Union Grove parade begins at 9:15 am and features over 75 floats! The parade starts at the Racine County Fairgrounds and ends at the Union Grove High School. To see photos from the parade, please click here. The Waterford Parade is hosted by the Waterford Lion’s Club. The parade begins at 11 am. Both parades feature a kiddie parade before the main parade where kids can decorate their bikes, wagons, and tricycles. Make sure to keep your eye out for Ironwood Chophouse & Saloon in the Union Grove Fourth of July and join us after the parade for our Annual Holiday Happy  Hour.

Burlington, Brown’s Lake, and Tichigan Lake Fireworks

The City of Burlington fireworks take place on July 4th at Echo Park. The Burlington Fire Department also hosts their annual fundraiser and dance at Echo Park on July 4th. Both the Brown’s Lake and Tichigan Lake Fireworks take place the Saturday following July 4th and are best watched from a boat on the lake. Brown’s Lake fireworks are part of “Venetian Night” which includes a boat parade and the Aquaduck Waterski Show. Prior to the Tichigan Lake Fireworks, the Muskego Waterbugs Show Ski Team performs.

2. Waterford Balloon Fest

Waterford Balloon Fest is a family friendly event held on the grounds of Evergreen Elementary School the third weekend of July. This year, Balloon Fest is set to launch July 18-20, 2014! There is so many fun activities going on at this event including hot air balloon rides, helicopter rides, kids games, craft fair, great food, an amateur photo contest, and of course tons of colorful hot air balloons!

3. Summer Nights

Summer nights provide the best weather to enjoy a cocktail on the patio! Whether it is at home on your patio or joining us on our patio at Ironwood, not much is more relaxing that enjoying a cool drink while sitting in the warm sun. For the beer drinkers, I recommend Leinekugel’s Summer Shandy or Sam Adams Summer Ale, which Ironwood features on our season tap. For those of you who enjoy cocktails, my favorite refresher is Three Olives Raspberry Vodka Sweet [sierra mist] with a lime wedge. If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, not much beats a flavored lemonade, however Sprecher Root Beer comes close!

4. Racine County Fair

Farm animals, rides, fair food, concerts, truck & tractor pulls, livestock auctions, baking competitions, and more-the Racine County Fair provides “A Barn Good Time” for everyone! Taking place just a mile from Ironwood, we like to visit the fair multiple times-both to support the Racine County Agriculture Society. Some of our favorite events include the concerts held in the grandstands and the Demo derby held on Sunday. We also enjoy volunteering with the Greater Union Grove Area Chamber of Commerce at their corn stand-which is the only place you can get corn at the fair! John often attends the Livestock Auction and purchases an animal to support local 4H participants.

5. Farmers’ Markets

Not much can rival fresh, locally grown produce purchased direct from the farmer.

Burlington Farmers’ Market
Wehmhoff Square, next to the library
Thursday, 3 p.m.-7 p.m.

Union Grove Farmers’ Market
Village Square Park on Main Street
Tuesday, 2 p.m.-7 p.m.

Waterford River Market

Village Hall Park
Wednesday, 2 p.m.-7 p.m.

6. Barbeques and Picnics

Summer simply would not be Summer without any barbeques and picnics. There are plenty of Community and Church picnics to attend in Western Racine County including the “Picnic in Paris” at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. If you’re hosting a BBQ, we highly suggest purchasing meat and cheese from Harry Hansen Meat Service in Franksville, WI.  Hansen’s provides Ironwood the best service and product around and we are certain they will do the same for you.

7. Community Concert Series

Both Waterford and Burlington host family friendly Summer concert series featuring local musicians.

Waterford River Rhythms

Seven concerts take place on select Thursdays from June-August. River Rhythms is held at Village Hall Park from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm.

Burlington B-Town Sounds

B-Town Sound is also held on Thursday from June until September. This event provides a great way to get neighbors together to enjoy beautiful Echo Park in downtown Burlington. Concerts begin at 6:30 pm.

8. Super Saturday + Kiwanis Street Dance

Super Saturday is a day dedicated to family, community, and fun. Super Saturday takes place on the first Saturday in September on Main Street in Union Grove. During the day, local businesses organize children’s activities including face painting, a talent competition, laser tag, and more. Employees of Ironwood can be found during the day helping children decorate cookies. During the evening, the Kiwanis hosts their Annual Street Dance featuring DJ Tiki Tim and local band Weird Science.

9. Classic Car Shows

Summer time gets classic car owners engines revin’-with the warm weather allowing them to shine up and show off their cars.

Union Grove Lions Club Chicken Barbecue & Car, Van, and Motorcycle Show

Hosted at the Racine County Fairgrounds, this annual community event features the famous Lions barbecued chicken, cow pie bingo, bake sale, and countless classic vehicles. The Tichigan Lions also host a car show in August.

Classic Car Cruise Inn at Ironwood

Started in 2012, the Classic Car Cruise Inn is held in July at Ironwood Chophouse & Saloon. Since its origin, the Classic Car Cruise Inn has grown to include more than 60 show cars and features a live performance from Elvis! You can visit us on Facebook  to see photos from previous years.

Union Grove “Back to the Past” Car Show

Held on Main Street in early August, the Union Grove Car Show started in 2009. This year’s show will be held on Saturday August 9th, 2014 starting at 9 am. Registration is free and the first 200 cars receive dash plaques.

10. Community Runs and Walks

Last, but not least, the warm weather of Summer brings the opportunity to participate in many different community runs and walks. Here is a short list:

Full Moon 4 Miler Run/Walk

Super Hero Fun Run/Walk

Balloon Fest “Morning Launch” Run/Walk

It’s Glow Time 5K

We hope you can enjoy some of our favorite Summer activities of Western Racine County as much as we do. See you soon at Ironwood for GOOD FOOD, GOOD FUN, & GOOD DRINKS!


Amanda & Cassie