Trying to get caught up:
Now that the holiday season is in full swing, pupils in schools throughout our area will be turning their attention to an annual rite of this part of the school year - the Jefferson-Harrison Counties Regional Spelling Bee.
The Herald-Star has presented the bee since 1985. Each year, the winning speller and his or her family gets an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Area fifth- through eighth-graders have already started along that road to D.C. Room bees will lead to building bees, which will lead to district bees, which will eventually lead to the regional bee, which is scheduled to be held March 8 at Buckeye North Middle School in Brilliant.
As always, the Jefferson County Educational Service Center is coordinating the event. Sponsors for the bee include Huntington Bank, Eastern Gateway Community College, the Steubenville Rotary Club, Uniglobe Ohio Valley Travel, Amtrak and the Ohio Lottery.
This year's district bees begin Jan. 8, when the Edison Local bee is held at 7 p.m. at Stanton Elementary School. On Jan. 9, the Steubenville City School District bee will be held at 6 p.m. at Harding Middle School and the Harrison Hills City School District bee will be held at 6 p.m. at Harrison Junior-Senior High School. Buckeye Local's bee will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 23 at Buckeye Local High School, with the Indian Creek bee set for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at Indian Creek Middle School and the Toronto bee set for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at Toronto Junior-Senior High School.
If you have the chance, you might want to consider taking in one of the area bees and supporting our area young people.
The area's Christmas parade season is in full swing. Things got started in Wellsburg on Friday. Weirton held its annual evening parade last night and Wintersville will welcome Santa Claus to town at 3 p.m. today.
If you really like parades, this coming Saturday will be a day you should be looking forward to.
The Eastern Gateway Community College Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade will help Steubenville's Fourth Street come to life with the holiday spirit when it gets under way at noon.
That's just the first event on a busy parade day. Chester's parade will be begin at 2 p.m., the Wells Township parade will begin at 3 p.m., Toronto's annual parade is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. and the Cadiz parade will start at 6 p.m.
Adena's annual parade will be held at 5 p.m. Dec. 8, with New Cumberland closing out the area season at 5 p.m. on Dec. 14.
The annual Christmas parades offer a chance for area residents, young and old, to enjoy a little bit of time with their friends and neighbors and take their minds off the more pressing issues we all face in our day-to-day lives.
They also help to bring alive the magic of the Christmas season for the young and those who are young at heart.
(Gallabrese, a resident of Steubenville, is executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.)