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Take your children to parade

Tomorrow is the day of the annual Easter Parade in downtown Parkersburg. So this is your chance to get your children out of the house, away from the television and their cell phones for the afternoon. The parade starts at 2 p.m. at 13th and Market Street and goes all the way down Market Street ending at the Court House.

This year due to the COVID-19 virus we are going to have what you call a “Reverse Drive-By Parade”. Units will line up on both sides of Market Street and proceed down to the court house. People will drive slowly down Market and will be able to view all the exhibits and entries in this years Easter parade. At the end of the parade will be a special float featuring the Easter Bunny and his helpers who will be passing out little bags of candy provided by the parade participants plus the Elks Lodge 198 of Parkersburg have donated over 4,000 filled plastic Easter eggs.

A special feature this year is that we will be giving away two new girls bicycles and two new boys bicycles — two of the bicycles are donated by the Elks Lodge 198 and two bicycles donated by Bodyworkz by D & S. Be sure to stop at the parade registration booth at the corner of 19th & Market Streets to pick up your lucky winning ticket for one of the four children bikes. Your child will put their name and phone number on the ticket and drop the ticket off at the special basket in front of the bunny’s float at the end of the parade. To avoid people having to wait and comply with the keeping a distance we have decided that the four lucky winners of the bicycles will be announced in the Parkersburg News and Sentinel and also on Facebook at a later time.

The community has been very supportive of this different style parade and there are a big variety of participants and I am thrilled to say that many of the downtown businesses are taking part and helping out to make this parade successful and a great experience for the viewers.

It is indeed a preparation for the Easter season and along with the parade we can also celebrate the “first day of Spring.” We are hoping for good weather on Saturday and a large turn out.

It is once again time for the children to be outside playing, riding their bikes and playing their favorite game or sport. Children have had a very difficult year with schools being closed and no activities plus wearing a mask and keeping distance etc.It sounds as if with the vaccines things are slowly returning hopefully to normal and families will be able to have Easter dinner together and grandparents able to spend quality time with their grandchildren once again. We always need to emphasize to our children that is very important to stay close with their family and relatives. All this can only be done if we as parents and grandparents teach our children the importance of love and closeness and family values.

I want to wish all of you — young and old a very happy and healthy Easter.

While you are out at night drive by Parkersburg High School and check out the Easter lighting that is once again up “wishing you a happy spring.”

Till next month…

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Spaghetti Cupcakes

8 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained

4 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups pasta sauce

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Grease 12-cup muffin pan; set aside. In large bowl, combine spaghetti, eggs, Parmesan cheese and pepper. Evenly press into muffin cups to form a “crust.” Evenly top each cup with Pasta sauce, then mozzarella cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until bubbling. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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Ponies in the Meadow

1 package cake mix, any flavor, plus ingredients to prepare

1 cup flaked coconut

green food coloring

1 container white frosting

pretzel sticks

2 small plastic ponies

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions in two 8-inch square baking pans. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on wire racks. Place coconut in small bowl. Add 4 drops green food coloring; stir until well blended. Adjust color with additional drops of food coloring, if necessary. Tint frosting to desired shade of green with food coloring. Place 1 cake layer on serving plate; spread evenly with 1/2 cup frosting. Top with second cake layer; frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Sprinkle coconut over top of cake. Stand pretzel sticks around edges of cake to create fence; arrange ponies as desired. Tip: Additional decorations can be added to the cake, if desired. Arrange candy rocks or brown jelly beans to create a path. Use the star tip on red or yellow decorating icing to create flowers in the meadow.

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Barbecued Beef

Sandwiches

3 pounds boneless beef chuck shoulder roast

2 cups ketchup

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup dark molasses

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

sesame seed buns

Slow Cooker Directions: Cut roast in half; place in slow cooker. Combine ketchup, onion, vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, mustard, black pepper, garlic powder and pepper flakes, if desired, in large bowl. Pour sauce mixture over roast. Cover, cook on LOW 8-10 hours or 4-5 hours on HIGH. Remove meat from sauce; cool slightly. Trim and discard excess fat. Shred meat using two forks. Let sauce stand 5 minutes to allow fat to rise; skim off fat. Return shredded meat to slow cooker. Stir meat to evenly coat with sauce. Adjust seasonings. Cover, cook 15-30 minutes or until hot. Spoon filling into sandwich buns and top with additional sauce, if desired.

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Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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