Here is what you missed in Athens over the Thanksgiving break

Many Ohio University students leave Athens for Thanksgiving Break, but news does not stop to eat turkey and mashed potatoes.

Here’s news you may have missed while you were away:

The Post: Fetty Wap, whose debut album, “Fetty Wap,” hit number one on Billboard’s Hot 200 chart in September, was announced as the headliner for 14Fest in April.

The Athens NEWS: An Ohio University student accidentally discharged her pepper spray in Alden Library on Friday. This led to the evacuation of the building’s second floor.

Athens Messenger: A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Tuesday for the finally-renovated Richland Avenue. Local and state officials as well as construction crews gathered to celebrate the completed project.

The Post: The Ohio University football team beat Northern Illinois 26-21 Tuesday. The Bobcats have sophomore A.J. Oullette to thank for the victory.

The Athens NEWS: Next year’s numerous government races are starting to heat up. Rep. Debbie Phillips, D-Albany, is term-limited by state law so her position in Ohio’s 94th House District is up for grabs with several candidates already declaring their intention to run.

Athens Messenger: An acclaimed countertenor is set to perform in Athens on Thursday at the Christ Lutheran Church on Mill Street. Terry Barber has sang with the likes of Madonna, Chaka Khan and Jewel.

15 thoughts on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

For 89 years, all of America has shared in one Thanksgiving tradition: watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It is broadcast on NBC for three hours and takes up about 2. 5 miles of New York’s streets.

The 2015 parade featured 17 giant balloons, 12 marching bands, 27 floats and close to the same number of celebrities.

Watching the parade isn’t my personal family tradition, but I sat through the broadcast to see what all the hubbub was about. Here are my thoughts:

1. Loving that the first hour of the parade is actually dedicated to Broadway and not the actual parade. Is that so the rest of it can catch up on the 2.5 mile walk?

2. As much as I’m all for an hour of Broadway, the Macy’s parade isn’t the greatest outlet to showcase something rooted in live performance. The performances really lacked the luster they typically have. Even Something Rotten!‘s fabulous “A Musical” number was tarnished by lip sync.

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3. The casts of The King and IFinding Neverland and School of Rock the Musical didn’t even have mics on. At least pretend, you’re not lip syncing.

4. NBC really capitalizes on the event. It not only had the cast of The Wiz Live! perform a sneak peek, but it also had random interviews with the celebrities of its upcoming shows Telenovela and Superstore, in addition to already-airing Blindspot.

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5.  What other time do you get to hear Matt Lauer explain the premise of Spongebob Squarepants as the giant square balloon floats by? Magic.

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6. Who decides which artist is paired with which float? As in, who decided Daughtry would best pair with the Avocados from Mexico float? And Shawn Mendes on Pirate’s Booty?
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7. While we’re talking about the acts, who picks the lineup? Since when have the Plain White T’s or Daughtry been relevant? How about Christian rock group MercyMe? Shout out to whoever got Pat Benatar though. That was outstanding.

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8. When does Underdog get away again?

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9. Snoopy and Woodstock are still my favorite balloons. Snoopy has appeared in the parade more than any other character.

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10. How much do viewers at home miss when they cut to advertisements? Wouldn’t you be super disappointed if you were that marching band or that dance group that got skipped over?

11. What does it take to help hold the balloons? Apparently, a decent amount.

12. Matt Lauer and Al Roker, for whatever reason, found it hilarious that Savannah Guthrie said “nut mobile” when Planters had its turn in the parade. Either that’s an inside joke or they are just as immature as the masses.

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13. The adults dancing on the floats are living life right now with their corny-as-hell moves while the actual children look rather miserable.

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14. The puns are out of this world. Thank you Savannah for this gem: Pikachu has an “always electric” personality.

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15. Instead of having dozens of lip syncing artists, feature more performance groups, such as the 610 Stompers and the Kruti Dance Academy. Those are acts most people don’t typically get to see and they can actually display their talents and not just mouth along to it.

If the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade isn’t a longstanding tradition in your family, you probably won’t get why it’s such a big deal. It’s quite a spectacle. Macy’s spends an undisclosed amount on it, and it shows. It’s not something viewers need to dedicate three hours to, but it’s worth it to have it on in the background while you prep Thanksgiving dinner and set the table.

A Thanksgiving for 100

Friendsgiving is a roaring trend. People all over the country reserve a day for a second or maybe third, Thanksgiving celebration.

Janet Smith, Chi Omega House Cook, helps the 160 sorority sisters celebrate their Friendsgiving accordingly by preparing and cooking a full blown Thanksgiving meal a few days before the women leave to return home for their family Thanksgivings.

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Cooking on such a large scale can be overwhelming and time consuming. But, Smith is here to give us a few tips on how to make our very own Thanksgiving meal.

  1. Make sure to take the packet out of the neck cavity that has the giblets in it. Don’t bake it in the turkey… It will ruin it.
  2. Bake your turkey in a cooking bag. It will brown nicely and will not dry out.
  3. When the turkey is done, take it out, set it on the counter, cover it with kitchen towels and let it sit and it will carve nicely.
  4. Bake the pies the night before. Makes it easier so you don’t have to wake up as early.
  5. Enjoy your time cooking!

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Volunteers help Passion Works artists flower

Editor’s note: In a nod to the Thanksgiving holiday, reporters for the Shopping section of Court Street Stories have decided to “shop” for a local charity. What better way to say “thanks” than to find an organization worthy of a donation or volunteer work?

The holiday season brings people together.

Thanksgiving, in particular, enables family members across the United States to gather around the same table to enjoy a smorgasbord of fall-inspired delicacies, to celebrate their gratitude for one another. This Thanksgiving, Court Street Stories wants to place the emphasis on showing thanks by giving back to those in the community who appreciate it most. Passion Works Studio is one place where your presence and time is valued.

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Noah Hogan shows off his bird house, a project he has been working on for two weeks.

Passion Works Studio is a nonprofit organization— located at 20 E. State St. in Athens— that employs adults with and without disabilities as artists. And volunteers are always needed.

“We love the student volunteering aspect of this place,” says Alyssa Cardwell, the lead production artist at Passion Works Studio. “Our artists love that they get to meet new people, share their stories, artwork and a few laughs even. It’s a great connection.”

Cardwell says the studio serves three specific purposes:

1. It’s an art therapy program.

“It allows our artists to express their creativity and get their expressions out there for the community to see,” says Cardwell.

2. It gives artists a sense of individualism by offering the opportunity to make money.

“When their artwork sells here, they get 50% of the profit,” Cardwell explains.

The other half goes toward the studio to fund materials and operating expenses. Artwork can range from a painting or drawing on canvas, paper, sculptures— you name it. Another way artists can make a profit is by working on the Passion flowers that are displayed all across campus, most notably in coffee shops like Donkey and Front Room. Cardwell best describes this intricate piece of art as an involved process.

“Each step is done by one of our artists, and they get paid an hourly rate,” Cardwell says.

They work, hands on, from start to finish. All she does is drill the petals into a wooden block and the rest is the artists’ creation.

Artists also can make money earning a designer fee. Their drawing or painting can be mass produced and printed onto products like jewelry, mugs and tiles if they create a stellar image.

“When we see a strong piece like that, we think it would be cool to make multiples of it by putting it on a magnet or mug [for example],” Cardwell says. “We pay those artists a designer fee for that image so we can use it over and over again — they get a pretty decent compensation for that image.”

3. Community integration.

“Here at Passion Works we are very much involved with the community. We have a lot of art installations on Court Street, buildings at the university and the Essence of Athens, [which] pushes for this beautification of Athens through the arts,” says Cardwell.

The studio invites members of the community in to boost awareness about the group of people who are bringing this art to life. Just recently, a group of home-schooled children came in to assist the artists in making holiday cards. Together, they made cards to send to their relatives. They also formed friendships in the process.

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Artist Sarina loves to incorporate the colors pink and purple into her pieces.

At Passion Works, volunteering most times just means sitting down with artists, helping them however they may ask and then walking away having a made new friends. Building genuine relationships is what makes artists’ spirits thrive, even if it’s just for an hour each week.

Madeline Keener, junior in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism Ohio University, began volunteering in the middle of September 2015, initially because of a story she pitched to Backdrop magazine.

“I was working on a story for a publication, and it was about a man who is actually one of the artists at Passion Works. [Volunteering] was another way to get to know him and observe him,” explains Keener.

That story was submitted in the beginning of October and Keener still goes to volunteer every Monday she can from 8-10 a.m. She says it’s the feeling she gets after spending some time with the artists that keeps her coming back.

“After I volunteer at Passion Works, I feel happy. I have a sense of accomplishment and gratitude for these people that always welcome me with smiles and high fives,” Keener says. “It just really brightens my day to be able to just hang out and get know these artists.”

Getting started at Passion Works Studio is quite simple. Visit the website and click on the “Get Involved” tab and then select “Volunteer.” Print out the one-page paper, fill it out and then bring it into the studio for a brief orientation. You could start that very day.

“To me it’s [just about] being there for them and providing them a way for their voice to be heard and feel like they are a part of this community,” says Cardwell.

Thanksgiving, done the college way

Not able to go home for Thanksgiving, low on cash, or simply wanting to host a quick “friends-giving” before trekking home for the week? No worries, because a delicious, easy and cheap Thanksgiving dinner is well within reach. Between personal experience and the wealth of crafty cooking that is Pinterest, here is a quick guide to a successful college thanksgiving.

  • The potatoes – Arguably the tastiest part of Thanksgiving dinner, mashed potatoes are also going to be the easiest for a college student. Potatoes are extremely cheap and likely something already in the pantry. In addition, mashed potatoes are a very wing-able recipe, as in one is not really needed. For the perfect mashed potatoes c3873468062_5bd39e7b92_ohop the desired amount of potatoes into small cubes (the number will vary depending on how many people need to be served), boil them until they can be pierced with a fork. drain the potatoes, and add them back to the pot. Once they are back in the pot mash them with whatever you have on hand, often a large ladle will do. While mashing add in a few splashes of milk, a tablespoon or two of butter, and a dollop of sour cream for extra creaminess. Mash till their smooth or leave a few chunks in, again, the recipe is completely adaptable to personal tastes.
  • The turkey – Depending on the group and budget, a full sized turkey is probably unmanageable and unrealistic. Instead, try a thick cut turkey sandwich. For a fancier feel, get it cut fresh from the deli, or get something like Oscar Meyer Carving Board turkey. It will give the feel of sliced-from-the-bird meat without the hours of cooking. Buy a nice crusty bread and layer it up with all the fixings.
  • Rolls –  Nobody has time to make homemade rolls. Take a break and pop your preferred store bought brand into the oven.
  •  Gravy – Again, this will be better done store bought, because without a turkey being cooked in the oven, there will not be any drippings for the base. Luckily, gravy can be bought for about $2.50 a jar and local grocery stores.
  • Cranberry Sauce – Let’s be real, canned cranberry sauce is a classic and the way it jiggles on the plate is tons of fun, but if you are feeling adventurous this recipe promises to be quick and easy.
  • Pumpkin pie – The crowning glory of Thanksgiving dinner and also a deceptively easy recipe to make. For a twist on this time honored dessert try making individual pumpkin pies. To make 12 you will need 1 prepared pie crust, 2 eggs, 4 ounces of cream cheese (half a package), 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/2 can of pumpkin filling, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out10934602786_09a2e29546_o the pie crust and cut into mini circles that will fit into cupcake tins. Separate the white from one of the eggs, whisk it and then brush over the pie crusts. Put the yolk from the first egg in a bowl and beat with the remaining egg. Mix softened cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla extract and the pumpkin pie spice into the eggs and keep mixing until the mixture is smooth. Spoon the filling into the little pies and bake until golden brown and the filling is firm. Finish with a little whip cream or ice cream and voila, little bitty cups of pumpkin goodness.

Feel free to round out the meal with a big green salad, and extra veggie sides, but these basics will get you a delectable dinner and the praise of all of your guests.

Athens County Food Pantry needs donations, volunteers

Editor’s note: In a nod to the Thanksgiving holiday, reporters for the Shopping section of Court Street Stories have decided to “shop” for a local charity. What better way to say “thanks” than to find an organization worthy of a donation or volunteer work?

33364_oh_45701_athens-county-food-pantry_acvThe Athens County Food Pantry is a non-profit organization that provides food for people in need. The organization is supported by volunteers and has no paid employees. The donations mostly come from individuals, groups and local churches in the Athens community.

According to Frank Hare, who works at the organization, students like to donate peanut butter, canned soups, vegetables and candy, but money is the most efficient when it comes to a donation.

“Money always helps the most because we use the money to get food from food banks where we can get a large amount of food with cheaper price,” Hare said.

The Pantry’s hours vary, and they suggest calling in advance before coming in for assistance. According to Hare, most food pantry organizations have a three-day emergency food supply service where people can get three days worth of food, three meals a day.

“We have to have some sort of limit on how much people can take. The three-day emergency service is limited to once a month and it usually works pretty well,” Hare said.

Volunteers are always needed. If you would like to donate or volunteer, call (740) 448-4041

For food assistance, call directly at 1-800-338-4484

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