COVID rules partially lifted, Racine businesses welcome Wine Walk

Racine lifted certain COVID-19 restrictions in its "Safer Racine" order on Thursday, April 29 -- making Saturday the first weekend day that business could operate at 100% capacity.

The Downtown Racine Wine Walk, a way to draw people to downtown stores, on Saturday took advantage of the changes. For some, the event felt more like life pre-pandemic.

Yolanda Coleman wants Plush Clothing to be a welcoming place for all sizes.

"I opened up this store because I felt that there was a need. We cater to the plus-size female, the curvy female, the full-figured woman," Coleman said.

The store's two-year anniversary fell on May 1. The past two years have been a test in perseverance.

"So for the first year that I was even open, I was battling breast cancer. Then comes 2020 and what is the pandemic comes," said Coleman.

Events like the Wine Walk help keep Coleman in business. People stopped all over tine for wine, and at Plush for water and fuel.

"It’s been a blessing to actually move forward and come to some sort of normalcy," said Coleman.

The Safer Racine capacity limit was opened back up to 100% -- if social distancing can be practiced. It was a welcome change for Wine Walk organizers.

"Some of these storefronts have a lot smaller square footage than when you’re thinking about some of your bigger box stores, so that was really limiting," said Kelly Kruse, Downtown Racine Corporation executive director.

Plush Clothing

Despite the challenges, Coleman has learned when "sip happens," a dream will keep the doors open.

"Just continue to keep going, never give up, and there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel," Coleman said.

To help avoid crowds, the Wine Walk was spread out over two days in four different sessions. The next two sessions are next Saturday.

Racine's mask mandate remains in effect through June 30.

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