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Racine, WI (Population: 82,000)

Racine, located on Lake Michigan between the cities of Milwaukee and Chicago, is a beautiful community dotted with small lakes. Racine is a popular summer retreat for many people. With a population of approximately 82,000 residents, Racine is also known for its diverse cultural heritage. Between the Civil War and World War I, waves of Germans, Mexicans, Czechs, and Danes began to settle in the area. Racine claims to be the largest North American settlement of Danes outside of Greenland. Racine is particularly known for its Danish pastries, especially “kringle.” Several bakeries in the area have been featured on The Food Network.

In the early days of its incorporation, Racine was known as a factory town. The first industry in Racine County included the manufacture of fanning mills, machines that separated wheat grain from chaff. Racine also had its share of captains of industry, including J. I. Case (heavy equipment), S.C. Johnson (cleaning and chemical products), and Secor. The city is also known as the home of malted milk and the garbage disposal. Other businesses that call the city home are Johnson Wax and the Dremel Corporation. Frank Lloyd Wright, the world-famous architect, designed the Johnson Wax headquarters building along with the Wingspread Conference Center and two homes in the city.

Other notable landmarks include the Wind Point Lighthouse, Racine Zoological Gardens and Historic Horlick Field. For history and art fans there is the Racine Art Museum and the Wustum Museum. Popular local events can be enjoyed throughout the summer months and include the Great Midwest Dragon Boat Festival, the Spirit of Racine Triathlon, and Harborfest. Racine residents support a great number of performing arts groups and venues like the Carthage College - Siebert Chapel, Over Our Heads Players, Honey Creek Community Theatre, Sixth Street Theatre, Racine Theatre Guild, Prairie Performing Arts Center, Malt House Theater, and the Cabbage City Theatre.