RACINE — On the first Saturday of May, Racine Montessori School (RMS) hosts the annual Lakefront Artist Fair at Paul P. Harris Festival Park, 5 Fifth St. As RMS staff and students celebrate its 56th year as a strong educational alternative in Racine, they enjoy the community and alumni support at this yearly tradition.
The 38th annual fair is scheduled to be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 4, with all of the proceeds used to make the private school more affordable to interested families.
This event serves as the largest fundraiser of the year for RMS and much of the credit for its successful profit, upwards of $25,000 each year, goes to local community and Wisconsin businesses who donate items for the basket auction and raffle, as well as food for the concession booth. RMS families and staff members help run the fair in a variety of capacities ranging from donations and organizational duties to arriving at the festival site at 5 a.m. to help the artists set up their booths.
The fair is held in conjunction with annual Pancake Day at Festival Hall. This 65-year tradition, previously sponsored by Kiwanis of Greater Racine and now by Roma Lodge, along with the Lakefront Artist Fair, always attracts a huge crowd.
Of course, the main attraction is the artists. More than 100 artists and upscale crafters annually bring their amazing talents. The school profits from renting booth space to the artists, whose wares include a variety of fine art created in paint mediums, pottery, jewelry, fabric, metal, photography and more. They also support the RMS cause at the artist silent auction where fair goers can bid on a donated item by the attending artists.
“I am so proud to be a part of the Lakefront Artist Fair,” said Marguax Mich, an alumnus of Racine Montessori School and Lakefront Artist Fair participant. “RMS inspired my love for reading which led me, years later, to create my business, Book Art Bookmarks. RMS encouraged independence, confidence and creativity when I was 8, selling bead bookmarks at the same Lakefront Artist Fair. Now, as an adult, I have continued to remember those teachings. Attending RMS was one of the best parts of my life. I am still in touch with many of the teachers and friends I met during my time as a student. I will forever be grateful for the love and kindness of RMS. I look forward to my young children attending RMS and getting to experience the magic it creates.”
Other highlights at the fair include entertainment by RMS musical artist fathers, Mark Paffrath and Brent Mitchell; a wandering performance by juggler Jared Janssen; bake sale; silent auction, and the famous RMS basket auction. There will also be a children’s area that includes a bouncy house and crafts.
Attendees are invited to visit the RMS booth at the south entrance to learn more about the school. They can take a chance and purchase raffle tickets. Prizes include $500 cash, an Apple iPad, TREK adult mountain bike, American Girl Doll of the year, and doTerra Oils Family Essential Kit with diffuser and one-year wholesale membership. Tickets are $2 each or a pack of six for $10 and can be purchased at the RMS booth.
Racine Montessori School has enjoyed an excellent reputation in Racine since 1963. Its focus is to nourish the whole child, not just in academics, but also the conscience, independent spirit and gentleness of each child. The school welcomes children of all races, nationalities and creeds.
RMS invites people to bring the whole family, see who can eat the most pancakes, then wander the site and seek out those beautiful treasures to find a place in their home or to become a special gift.