Summer means spending time outside.
And that time is more fun when you add live music.
Here are places to find outdoor music all season long in the Racine area:
Racine Zoo music series
Music at the zoo this summer includes the 34th annual Animal Crackers concerts, along with the debut of Animal Crackers Junior and Music at the Zoo concerts.
“After a year of no music, we are back," said Beth Heidorn, Racine Zoo executive director. "We are so excited for all three of our concert series this year. We have some amazing artists that will be making music at the zoo and we want you to join us. These events will be done safely and they will get everyone together for friendship, good food and drinks and more importantly the music. These concerts benefit the zoo and our animals and are one more great thing to do in Racine.”
The 2021 season features luminaries in the fields of progressive rock, pop, reggae, children’s music, contemporary jazz and smooth jazz.
Animal Crackers: Gates open at 5:30 p.m., shows begin at 7 p.m.:
- Wednesday, July 21 — Cindy Bradley
- Wednesday, Aug. 4 — Chicago Tribute Anthology
- Wednesday, Aug. 18 — Adam Hawley
- Wednesday, Sept. 1 — The Flat Cats
Animal Crackers Junior: Gates open at 6 p.m., shows begin at 7 p.m.:
- Friday, July 23 — Ralph's World
- Friday, Aug. 20 — Imagination Movers
Music at the Zoo: Gates open at 5:30 p.m., shows begin at 7 p.m.:
- Friday, Sept. 3 — Johnny Russler and the Beach Bum Band
- Saturday, Sept. 4 — Dancing Queen (ABBA tribute)
- Sunday, Sept. 5 — Petty Union (Tom Petty tribute)
Tickets: Tickets purchased for concerts in 2020 will be honored in 2021 for Animal Crackers and Animal Crackers Junior. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The zoo is located at Music at the Racine Zoo, 2131 N. Main St.
Due to capacity restrictions, there is limited stock so buying tickets early is encouraged. For more information about the artists, shows or to buy tickets, visit racinezoo.org.
Racine Concert Band
The Racine Concert Band celebrates its 99th season by offering a summer season of seven free concerts at the Racine Zoo, 2131 N. Main St.
Sunday evening concerts at the Kiwanis amphitheater are scheduled to begin on July 4 and conclude on Aug. 15. July concerts start at 7:30 p.m.; August concerts start at 7 p.m.
Under the leadership of Mark Eichner, music director and conductor, the band presents diverse concerts that include traditional marches, folk music, theater music and concert selections from opera, ballet and classical music genres. Soloists include regionally acclaimed professional vocalists and instrumentalists chosen from the band membership.
On July 11, the inaugural "Racine Legends" concert will feature Case High School alumnus Tim Burke, principal trumpet of Disney's national touring company production of "Frozen."
Broadcasting veteran Don Rosen is master of ceremonies.
The audience is encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets, as there is no fixed seating at the concert venue. The zoo opens for free admission 30 minutes prior to the concert at the Walton Avenue and Augusta Street gates. Bicycles and pets are not allowed. For updated information, go to racineconcertband.com.
Saturday Sounds on the Square: Music is 4:30 to 7 p.m. Saturdays at Monument Square, Main and Sixth streets. Admission is free.
- June 19 — The Stephen Hull Experience (blues/rock)
- June 26 — Yves Francois Rocambu Jazz (jazz)
- July 10 — Earthmother (jam rock)
- July 17 — Bullfrog (rock)
- July 24 — Rocky Rose (contemporary/original)
- July 31 — Mean Jake (classic rock/country blues)
- Aug. 7 — Squad 51 (classic rock)
- Aug. 14 — Mesnard Location (classic rock)
- Aug. 21 — Full Flavor (classic rock/Latin rock)
- Aug. 28 — Fender Benders (classic/guitar rock)
Music on the Monument: Music is 4:30 to 7 p.m. Fridays at Monument Square, Main and Sixth streets. Admission is free.
- June 25 — Identity Crisis (rock)
- July 2 — The Fourcast (acoustic rock)
- July 9 — Touch of Gray (classic rock)
- July 16 — Matthew Haeffel (contemporary/original)
- July 23 — Chicken Grease (funk/R&B)
- July 30 — High Stakes Band (R&B/soul)
- Aug. 6 — Ghosts in the Gravel (acoustic rock)
- Aug. 13 — Nick Ramsey & The Family (poetic hip-hop)
- Aug. 20 — The Jimmy LeRose Band (classic rock)
- Aug. 27 — The Eddie Muniz Project (jazz)
For updated information, go to racinedowntown.com.
Thursday Night Thunder: Music from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday nights outside The Nash, 522 Sixth St. 6-9 p.m. Free admission. Motorcycles of all makes and models are welcome. Music lineup: June 3: Liam Nugent; June 10: Fall Hazard; June 17: Matt Meyer & The Smooth Riders; June 24: Grooveline; July 1: Touch of Gray; July 8: Audio Wise; July 15: Shelly Mack & The Reunion; July 22: Mean Jake; July 29: Fall Hazard; Aug. 5: Liam Nugent; Aug. 12: Duo Sonic; Aug. 19: Fall Hazard; Aug. 26. Grooveline. Food and beverages available.
Also in Racine
- The Oasis: Live music (or a DJ) can be found all summer at North Beach, 100 Kewaunee St. (off Michigan Boulevard), Racine. Daily hours through Labor Day: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Food, beverages, frozen drinks, beer and snacks available.
- First Fridays: Takes place the first Friday of each month, from June through December. Live music will be playing at two locations from June through October. Monument Square will feature two bands beginning at 4:30 p.m. Music at Crosswalk Park, in the 300 block of Main Street, is 6 to 9 p.m. Shops, restaurants and bars will be open at least until 9 p.m. New in 2021 is a First Fridays prize giveaway. Details are available at firstfridaysracine.com.
- The Racine Symphony Orchestra: 2021 Summer Sounds Series. Performances are 7:30 p.m. June 25 and Aug. 27. Venue and programming details will be announced at a later date. Guest conductor Robert Tomaro leads the orchestra for this summer series. For updated information, go to racinesymphony.org or call 262-636-9285.
- Hot Summer Nights: Racine Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services will host the Hot Summer Nights concert series this summer on the grounds of Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center, 1134 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. Dates and performers are: July 1 — Groove Line, 6-8 p.m.; July 15 — Chicken Grease, 6-8 p.m.; Aug. 3 — Chicken Grease, 5-7 p.m. Concerts are free and open to the public. Families are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs for seating.
Origins of Hip-Hop: Smoke’d on the Water, 3 Fifth St., Racine, 4-10 p.m. Aug. 21. This free festival is open to all ages and aims to bring lovers of hip-hop culture together by exploring the four major elements of hip-hop culture: Breakdancing, graffiti, DJ'ing and MC'ing. More than a dozen professional practitioners will gather to showcase these elements, discuss their history and provide a platform for people to participate. Go to familypowermusic.com.
- Party on the Pavement: The free outdoor festival, noon to 7 p.m. on Sept. 18 on Main and Sixth streets, features live music on three stages, along with art, food, carnival rides and games and other family-friendly activities.
St. Lucy Music Fest is July 9-11, in a new location at the St. Sebastian Congregation grounds, 3126 95th St. in Sturtevant. The festival is open 5-11 p.m. Friday, 2-11 p.m. Saturday and noon-9 p.m. Sunday. Features live music, food and beverages, Bingo, Altar Society craft sale and raffle, virtual silent auction and meat sweepstakes. Friday music lineup: Bella Cain, 7-10:30 p.m. Saturday music lineup: Doo-Wop Daddies, 2-5:30 p.m.; 76 Juliet, 7-10:30 p.m. Sunday music lineup: Southbound, 12:30-4 p.m.; The Britins, 5-8:15 p.m. Grand prize raffle drawing at 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
The Burlington Kiwanis Civic Band plays free summer concerts on Friday nights at Echo Lake Park, 589 Milwaukee Ave.
Concerts are 7 p.m. Fridays, June 25-July 30. The band will also perform in the Waterford 4th of July Parade.
The repertoire is varied and includes marches, pop, rock, show tunes, classical, jazz and swing music. Its members range in age from high school students through retirees.
Park benches are provided for seating or people may bring their own lawn chair or blanket. People are invited to come early and bring a picnic basket.
Waterford River Rhythms: From 6:30 to 9 p.m. every other Thursday, June 3 through Aug. 26, Waterford River Rhythms concerts take place along the banks of the Fox River.
Eight free concerts are set for the 15th season. Concerts are in Village Hall Park, 123 N. River St. People are invited to bring their lawn chairs, blankets and picnic fare.
The current lineup:
- June 3: Doo-Wop Daddies
- June 17: Damon Fowler (blues)
- June 24: Head East (national act)
- July 1: Sneezy (rhythm and blues, funk)
- July 15: Bobby Friss (classic rock)
- July 29: Trippin’ Billies (Dave Matthews tribute)
- Aug. 12: Gravity — The John Mayer Experience
- Aug. 26: Hillbilly Casino (rockabilly)
The Cotton Exchange is the food vendor for all shows; Racine Brewing Co. will be selling craft beer. On-street parking is available around the concert site. There is also a municipal parking lot next to the old fire/police building (short walk across the bridge).
Started in 2007 by Waterford resident and businessman Al Sikora, the River Rhythms concert series has become a summer staple, drawing music fans from Milwaukee and Illinois, as well as throughout Racine County. For updated information, go to waterfordriverrhythms.org.
Celebrate Waterford Festival: The July 10 festival on Main Street will feature live music, starting at 11 a.m. with local musicians playing all original music. The first annual Waterford Music Festival performers include Ethan Keller, RJ Halstead, The Spirit Shakers, Spare Animals and Kenny and the Night Owls. explorewaterford.com/events