Winter is giving up and spring is on the way for Racine County in March. Take in some favorite annual events — or try something new! You're always welcome here.

Great music, great cause

Live, local music from more than 50 acts on 14 stages covering nearly every musical genre! It's the 25th Annual Thoughts for Food held Saturday, March 4. Just $15 plus two nonperishable food items admits you to all the locations. Starts at 2 p.m. with a founders' recognition ceremony at George's Tavern, 1201 N. Main St., Racine, and continues all afternoon and evening throughout the Downtown and River North areas. For the music lineup, visit www.thoughtsforfood.org

 

Catch a play

At the Racine Theatre Guild's presentation of "That Darn Plot", the audience sees a play taking shape right before its eyes as playwright Mark W. Transom is tasked with writing a play in one night. This heartfelt comedy runs weekends through Sunday, March 12 at the Theatre Guild stage, 2519 Northwestern Ave. Tickets and show times at 262-633-4218 or www.racinetheatre.org

 

Sign of spring

A sure sign of spring is the tapping of the 80 sugar maple trees at the River Bend Nature Center, 3600 N. Green Bay Road, Caledonia. The genuine maple syrup produced from the sap is served on pancakes at the Sugarin' Off Pancake Breakfasts - Sundays, March 5, 12,  19 and 26. The meal, including sausage, coffee, milk and juice, is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 5 through 10. Served from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. After breakfast, everyone is invited to the sugar bush to learn how the syrup is made. Details at www.RiverBendRacine.org

 

When jazz was great

Fans of the 1920s Jazz Age will flock to the annual Tribute to Bix Fest. This year's edition is Thursday, March 9  through Sunday, March 12 at the Racine Architect Hotel and Conference Center, 7111 Washington Ave, Mount Pleasant. This celebration of jazz legend Bix Beiderbecke has presentations, jam sessions, concerts, record swaps and surprise guests. Schedule, ticket and pricing information at www.bixfest.com

 

A tasty competition

Burlington lives up to its nickname as the Chocolate City when it hosts the annual Chocolate Extravaganza  from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 11 at Burlington High School, 400 McCanna Parkway. Cooks and bakers are invited to bring their best cakes, pies, bars/cookies, candy and cupcakes — made with chocolate, of course! Entry fee is $5 adults, $2 children. Visit www.burlingtonchamber.org to download an entry form. Details at 262-763-6044. Presented by Town Bank and the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce.

 

Irish for a day!

Everybody is Irish in Downtown Racine for the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. The parade steps off at 12 noon on Saturday, March 18 from State and Main streets. The parade route runs down Main to Sixth Street and wraps up near City Hall. Bring the family to see bands, bagpipers, dancers, leprechauns and lots and lots of wearin' of the green! Presented by the Downtown Racine Corp.  www.racinedowntown.com


Opera and dessert

Melodious tunes and exhilarating choruses, with Italian flair, are promised at "What's Opera Doc?" presented by the Choral Arts Society of Southeastern Wisconsin. The presentation starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 18 at Roma Lodge, 7130 Spring St., Mount Pleasant. The evening's experience includes a delicious taste of Italy in an assortment of treats and sweets. Ticket info. at 262-634-3250 or www.choralartsonline.org

 

For the kids

The always popular Racine Children's Theatre presents "Goodnight Lulu" Friday through Sunday, March 17-19. The performances are on the Theatre Guild stage, 2519 Northwestern Ave. All seats just $6. Tickets and show times at: 262-633-4218 or www.racinetheatre.org

 

Big music, big fun

A big evening of jazz arrives Saturday, March 25 when the Nine Worlds Ensemble and the Ivy Ford Band perform for Jean's Jazz Series at the Racine Theatre Guild, 2519 Northwestern Ave. Nine Worlds known for bringing a new approach to chamber music. Vocalist Ivy Ford is one of the leading young bloods of Chicago blues. The big show starts at 7 p.m. For tickets call 262-633-4218 or visit www.racinetheatre.org