As we head into August, events continue to heat up in this area, even operating under COVID-19 restrictions:
Now we’re rolling!
The city of Kenosha’s streetcars will be running downtown again, starting Saturday.
New procedures have been put in place for operating the streetcars in a COVID-19 world, including new Plexiglas “sneeze guard” barriers placed at the front of each vehicle. Also, to make social distancing easier, no more than 15 people will be allowed on board at a time. Masks are encouraged but not required.
The streetcars — which run on a two-mile loop that provides views of Lake Michigan, HarborPark, downtown and the Metra train station — have been idle since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The city has seven streetcars, which started operating in June of 2000.
Each car is painted in the colors and lettering of a North American city that operated the cars in the 1940s and 1950s — Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Toronto, Chicago, Johnstown, Pa., Philadelphia and San Francisco.
Six of the cars were operated by the Toronto Transportation Commission from 1951 to 1995. The seventh car operated in Philadelphia from 1948 to 1993.
This year marks the 72nd year of operation for streetcar 2185, which was built in 1948 for the Philadelphia Transport Company by the St. Louis Car Company. Rebuilt in the mid-1980s, the red, white and blue streetcar saw service for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority until 1992.
Kenosha’s streetcars “are fabulous cars that appear as they did when they were built for the different cities,” said Brad Preston, the longtime (and recently retired) streetcar technician. “We added a P.A. system and a wheelchair lift to each streetcar.”
Streetcar details: Streetcars run 11:05 a.m. to 6:35 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10:35 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The fare is $1 for people age 13 and older, 50 cents for kids ages 5-12 and free for children age 4 and younger. An all-day pass is $3.50 per person. Note: Have the exact fare ready; no change is given. For more information, call 262-653-4287 or log on at www.kenosha.org/departments/transportation
Kenosha Streetcar Day: The annual celebration, set for Sept. 26 this year, has been canceled due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. This year’s event was going to double as a 20th anniversary celebration for the local streetcars, which we hope will now happen in 2021. For more information about the group, go to www.kenoshastreetcarsociety.org
The Kenosha Comedy Club — located inside the Wyndham Hotel at Kenosha’s harbor — has been hosting live shows this summer.
The shows have been moved to the large Wyndham ballroom, with more space for social distancing. Shows generally feature an opening act followed by nationally touring comedians such as the popular Mr. Showtime, who performed recently for two shows.
This weekend’s performer is Nathan “Tricky” Allen. His shows are at 8 Friday and Saturday nights.
Noah J. Lira, part of the team at Happenings magazine that puts on the shows, said Allen is “one of our most popular acts from the past. He combines sleight-of-hand magic, stand-up comedy, stupid stunts, immature pranks and hilarious — and unpredictable — audience interaction into one of the very few magic shows in all of America that is both exclusively for adults and genuinely funny.” Tickets are $12 and are available at Hap2it.com.
Kenosha Library programs
The library system’s popular storytimes are streamed live on Facebook, with library staffers leading viewers “through some fun, interactive learning through books, songs, poems, and more.” Today’s storytime is at 10:30 a.m.; the video stays up for 24 hours after the live performance each week. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/mykpl.info/
You can get a jump on a big reading project, or at least the 2021 NEA Big Read, which is coming back to Kenosha next year. The beloved community program will be celebrating its 10th year in Kenosha with the bestseller “Lab Girl” by Hope Jahren. “Lab Girl” is the multi-award-winning 2016 memoir by American geochemist, geobiologist and professor Hope Jahren. Keep an eye out for programming and partnership announcements on the library website and on social media.
The Simmons Library and Uptown Library are open to the public Mondays to Saturdays from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Curbside pickup continues at the Northside and Southwest Libraries from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays. Check out the website (www.mykpl.info) or the Kenosha Public Library’s Facebook page for free virtual programs for all ages.
Children’s art programs
The Anderson Arts Center reopened in June — with some new restrictions — and is offering a few “stand-alone” art programs for children in August:
“Potting Plants,” for ages 5 to 9, is 9 to 11 a.m. Aug. 1 in Kemper Center’s Faulkner Building. $35 per student includes all supplies.
“Art Strings,” for ages 13 to 17, is 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 8 in the Faulkner Building. Teens will create a piece of artwork out of a guitar using mixed media. $40 per student includes all supplies.
“Paint like Bob Ross,” for ages 10-17, is 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 22 in the Faulkner Building. Participants will learn how to paint a nature scene using techniques made famous by painter Bob Ross. $45 per student includes all supplies. Call 262-653-0481 to register or go online for more information at www.andersonartscenter.com.
The Anderson Arts Center, 6603 Third Ave., is open 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. The public is invited to view the current exhibits — “Artistic Expression from a Diverse Collection” by the League of Milwaukee Artists and “Renewal” by members of the Area Artists Group — on display through Aug. 29. Only 10 people will be allowed inside at one time, and everyone must wear a face mask. Admission is free.
Kenosha now has two outdoor markets on Saturdays.
The Kenosha HarborMarket, located on Second Avenue, between 54th and 56th streets, just west of the museums, is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, with safety protocols in place to encourage social distancing. Remember: Pets are not permitted in the main corridor. For more details, check the market’s Facebook page or go to the website, www.KenoshaHarborMarket.com.
New this year is the Kenosha Public Market, also open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (early bird shopping starts at 8:30 a.m. for senior citizens and shoppers with disabilities). The market is set up between Sixth and Eighth avenues and 52nd and 54th streets (south and west of the Kenosha Municipal Building). For more details, go to www.kenoshapublicmarkets.com.
The Westosha Senior Community Center has a farmers market weekdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Veggies are picked daily and, on Saturdays, visitors can tour the center’s healing garden. The center is located at 19200 93rd St.
The Twin Lakes Farmers Market is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays outside Adcock’s Farm & Co. gift shop at 215 S. Lake Ave.
Wilmot Flea Market, which charges an admission of $2 for adults and $1 for seniors and children ages 6-14, is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.
The Lake Geneva farmers market, at Horticulture Hall, 330 Broad St., is open every Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Summer at ‘The Rita’
While in-person events are on hold, UW-Parkside’s music and theater faculty members are hosting live streaming theater and music events. Also, two virtual art exhibitions are available online. On “Melodious Mondays,” the music department hosts a series of live stream interviews. The final live stream interview is 7 p.m. Aug. 10: Alvaro Garcia, interviewed by James Kinchen. For more information, visit uwp.edu/rita.
Pringle Nature Center activities
The Pringle Nature Center, located at 9800 160th Ave. in Bristol Woods County Park, is closed, but the trails in the park remain open for exploring. Pringle is also offering themed nature activities while the site is closed. Visit the nature center website at www.pringlenc.org/free for family-friendly nature activities.
The Hurricane Harbor Waterpark is now open in Gurnee, Ill. The Great America theme park attached to Hurricane Harbor is still closed, meaning you can’t ride a roller coaster yet, but you can take a plunge down a waterslide. For more details, go to www.sixflags.com. Note: You must reserve a spot in advance before going to Hurricane Harbor.