On holiday in Kenosha … A Pride holiday

Lisa Neff, Staff writer

For those keen to celebrate LGBT Pride in Kenosha on July 18, WiG offers a guide to the city by the border, with help from the experts at the Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

WiG: Kenosha is a hometown kind of place. People who grew up in Kenosha who return for Pride from Milwaukee or Chicago might be surprised to learn …? Kenosha is not the same industrial town from the past. There are fewer factories and many more cultural and recreational opportunities. In the past 15 years, numerous attractions have opened — museums, art galleries, and many more — and several fun annual events — food festivals, many free concert series, triathlons, a marathon, the list goes on — have been created.

In addition to the Pride parade taking place in Kenosha, Pridegoers might celebrate the weekend in the city by …? Visiting the always-entertaining Bristol Renaissance Faire. It’s Salute to Uniforms & Scouts Weekend on July 18–19. And the fair continues throughout the summer.

If you only get to Kenosha for one weekend, you must see or do what? Visit the Civil War Museum, shop at Tenuta’s Delicatessen (an Italian market), ride the electric streetcar along the Lake Michigan shore, climb the Southport Lighthouse and enjoy the Jelly Belly visitor center.

If you know Kenosha pretty well, what should you check out again? Depending on when you were last here, check out the lakefront, downtown Kenosha and the Kenosha Public Museum, which moved into a new and much larger location in 2001. The old location is now the Dinosaur Discovery Museum. Downtown Kenosha is starting to transform with many specialty shops, restaurants, art galleries, two craft breweries and more.

Where factories once were is the neighborhood called HarborPark, with museums, a sculpture walk, electric streetcars and festival places near the Lake Michigan shore.

For Pridegoers looking for activity before the parade, three must-visit places are …

• Civil War Museum, 5400 First Ave.

• Kenosha HarborMarket, outside the Civil War Museum.

• Lake Michigan shore, many spots to choose from including First Avenue and 54th Street.

For Pridegoers looking for some nighttime entertainment, three must-visit places are…

• Club Icon, 6305 120th Ave.

• Sazzy B, 5623 Sixth Ave.

• Mike’s Chicken & Donut Bar, 707 56th St.

• A craft brewery, either Rustic Road Brewing Company at 510 56th St. or PUBLIC Craft Brewing Co. at 716 58th St.

Pridegoers looking for luxury might consider a stay at: Radisson Hotel & Conference Center Kenosha.

Pridegoers looking for a view, might stay at: Best Western Harborside Inn.

No stay in Kenosha, no matter how brief, is complete without … Eating the renowned Garbage Plate at Franks Diner, 508 58th St., a Kenosha landmark and the oldest continuously operating lunch car diner in the United States. (You’ll also find WiG distributed there.)

The third annual LGBT Pride celebration in Kenosha begins at Library Park with socializing and sign-making at 11 a.m. on July 18. A march will step off at noon, going west on 60th Street, north on Sheridan Road, east on 45th Street, south on Seventh Avenue then veering onto Sixth Avenue to end at HarborPark Parcel A. Plans include DJ music, a drag show, a band and refreshments.