Kenosha Annual Events
Author: Kenny Hamm
Kenosha was founded and built on the back of successive waves of immigrants from all over the world who came to the shores of Lake Michigan to start a new life. They brought with them their culture and traditions, and these traditions became part of the fabric of life. The citizens have continued these traditions and found new ways to express themselves. Whatever the season, people come together to celebrate.
The city holds special events on many of America’s favorite holidays. Every Thanksgiving, the town’s would-be athletes gather for the annual mayor’s Turkey Run. This 10k fun run is held every Thanksgiving morning starting at the lakefront at the Kenosha Museum. This tradition dates back to 1906 and has seen runners brave everything from sunny 70-degree weather to raging snowstorms. The next evening the town gathers downtown at Fountain Plaza for the annual Christmas tree lighting to kick off the holiday season. In addition to the tree lighting, the downtown businesses compete to see who has the best window decorations. There are free streetcars ride and entertainment while you get a start on your holiday shopping. The city remember its veterans and celebrates its birthday with its annual Veterans Parade and Fourth of July festival culminating with fireworks at Harbor Park.
The town also has a number of their own special celebrations. Early in June every year, the city holds the Outta Sight Kite Flight. Kids can take make kites and there are kite-flying workshops to help beginners. There are demonstrations of giant show kites that span over 100 feet as well as stunt kites. There is a grand ascension of over 300 kits at noon. On the first weekend of August, is the Pike River Rendezvous when over 350 reenactors sit up camp on Simmons Island and present visitors with a picture of life in the early 1800s. Later in August is the Wings and Wheels Weekend at the airport. Come to celebrate the classic cars and antique aircraft, or just come for the food and entertainment.
Finally, during the summer nights in town you will find the streets filled with music. The Pops Concert Band has been putting on free summer concerts on the lakefront for over 90 years. Concerts are held every Wednesday evening at Pennoyer Park. Also during the summer are the free lunchtime Peanut Butter and Jam Concerts at Veteran’s Memorial Park featuring local artists. During March through December, downtown businesses roll out the red carpet the second Saturday of every month with music and special bargains. So come join and help celebrate Kenosha.