As I sat amongst the old and young elegantly dancing to a live version of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” on New Year’s Eve, the lyrics struck a chord in my heart: “Regrets, I have a few, yet again, too few to mention.” The song, which was beautifully played by the Tom Anthony Band at Roma Lodge, accurately encompassed how I lived in 2017.

As I reflected, I concluded my year was a grand one: running alongside Lake Michigan practically every sunny day, eating a Kewpee’s burger at Racine’s legendary Fourth of July parade, munching on a tasty tomato and feta omelet at the hip Blue Bear, biking the Pike River Pathway to Kenosha and back ... Racine was good to me and will continue to be good to me. I made Racine my own, searching for the local “buried treasures” to enjoy and relish.

As a proud Racinian, I lived 2017 “my way,” pinpointing the who, what, where, why and hows to make it the best possible year. And, consequently, I want to say thank you, Racine, for providing countless avenues of exploration, amusement and delight. I can only speculate 2018 to be just as prodigious.

Seeing as there’s 195,085 residents of Racine County, each of us, I can imagine, individually made the year our own — doing it “our way.” With our different interests and joys, there are innumerable paths to cut through the forest that is Racine.

Therefore, I asked some of our co-residents, who also lived using Frank Sinatra’s advice, to share what made their year spectacular. The year 2017 was a grand year for all!

“My favorite memory of 2017 was going to Racine Rotary Post Prom! It was my second prom, but each year it got better and better!” — Emma Widmar

“I loved watching the 2017 Racine County Open for golf. The rain delay allowed everyone to follow the last two groups through the final five holes, so it nearly felt like a tour event with all the crowds!” — Joshua Sopczak

“My favorite part about 2017 was having The Rush Juice Bar open Downtown. We finally have a juice bar!” — Maggie Ward

“My favorite memory was going to the Racine County Breakfast on the Farm with my family. We plan to make it an annual tradition!” — Lori Potter Booth

“I have so many happy memories on stage at the Racine Theatre Guild from 2017! From the Packy Show to “Boeing Boeing” to the new Signature Spotlight Series, I performed alongside phenomenal casts.” — Megan Segar

“My favorite memory was listening to and meeting the legendary Booker T at the Racine Zoo’s Animal Crackers Concert Series last summer!” — David Maack

“I enjoyed seeing the community come together and help Faith, Hope & Love to give gifts to Racine foster children. There was such a big response that they had way more than enough gifts and were able to ship the extras to other communities in need” — Becca Gumm

Cheers to creating an even better 2018!

Paige Weslaski, born and raised in Racine, is a Pepperdine University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in leadership. Paige, 25, has lived in New York, Los Angeles, Europe and Central America, and is now working as an account executive of a marketing company in Downtown Racine.

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