Hop to All the Local Easter Egg Hunt Events

Hop to All the Local Easter Egg Hunt Events

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon

Hope’s Place Chocolate Extravaganza- The event will take place March 23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ashland Town Center Mall. The mall is located at 500 Winchester Ave., Ashland. Hope’s Place Child Advocacy Center hosts this tasty event every year as a community fundraiser to benefit their center. All proceeds go directly to continuing to provide FREE services for their clients. If you or someone you know is interested in helping to support this event, you can donate chocolate treats, or a filled Easter basket, purchase a golden ticket, or simply come shop from the many donated baskets that will be for sale. To purchase a ticket or to join as a vendor, please contact Hope’s Place at 606.325.4737 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Holy Family Easter Egg Hunt- On Saturday, March 23, the Knights of Columbus will be sponsoring an Easter Egg Hunt at Holy Family School cafeteria from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be tons of eggs for everyone and even a few Easter egg baskets to give away. The egg hunt starts at 11:15 a.m.

The church is located at 900 Winchester Ave., Ashland.

Mt. Olive Freewill Baptist Church Easter Egg Hunt- On Saturday, March 23, the church will host an Easter egg hunt at 1 p.m. Hot dogs will also be provided. The address is 21610 KY-3 Rush, Ky.

Danleyton Missionary Baptist Church Easter Egg Hunt- On Saturday, March 23, there will be an Easter egg hunt from noon to 2 p.m. The address is 5953 State Route 503 Greenup, Ky. Cupcakes and crafts will take place after the hunt.

City of Flatwoods Easter Egg Hunts- Two Easter egg hunts will be held Saturday, March 23 at the Flatwoods City Park. The park is located at 2515 Reed Street. The first Easter egg hunt will begin at noon and will be a special egg hunt with beeping eggs for special needs kids. The second Easter Egg Hunt will begin at 1 p.m. and is for kids of all abilities from ages 0-12.

City of Ashland Easter Egg Hunt- Join the city of Ashland at Central Park located on 22nd Street on March 30 for their annual Easter Egg Hunt. Inflatables and games will start at 11:00 a.m. and the hunt will take place at 12:30 p.m. for kids ages 2-12 of all abilities. Special prizes and thousands upon thousands of eggs will be waiting to be claimed. Just be sure to bring your own basket and prepare to have a great time as you hunt for eggs.

Easter Egg Hunt with the Green Lantern, Rapunzel, and Princess Belle- Join Kings Way Church March 30 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for their annual Easter Egg Hunt. There will be special appearances from the Green Lantern, Princess Rapunzel, and Princess Belle! The Barker Farm petting zoo will also be there with their bubble machine! FREE lunch for kids and an opportunity for adults to purchase lunch, which will consist of a hotdog, chips, and a drink. The address is 340 Providence Hill Dr., Ashland.

Raceland City Park Easter Egg Hunt- The event will be held March 30 at 1:00. There will be plenty of eggs for the kiddos to find. Please be sure to bring your own basket. The park is located at 712 Chinn Street.

Wurtland Church of God Egg Hunt-  The big hunt starts promptly at 1:00 p.m. March 30. Please don’t forget to bring your own basket. The church is located at 3361 KY-503 Wurtland, Ky.

Easter Egg-Stravaganza at the Adkins BlackHorse Farm- If you are looking for a good time for the entire family, visit the BlackHorse Farm March 30. There will be an egg hunt for ages 1-17, with separate divisions marked for each age group at 1 p.m. Lunch will be provided by the House of Grace Agape Love Ministry at 2:15 p.m. Registration is required for this event. You can register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/easter-egg-stravaganza-tickets-825071891237?aff=oddtdtcreator&fbclid=IwAR0Nqs2FD4NYkjgCd0hi2sIhgA6Zd-lYwfHCZFFwjR9t-R7R-S5u_0-Q-eg

Kids Community Easter Service- On Saturday, March 30, the Old Orchard Christian Church, invites you for some good wholesome family fun. Worship service will be held from noon to 2:00 p.m. There will also be an egg hunt, music, food, and inflatables. The church is located at 3600 Blackburn Ave., Ashland.

Easter Bunny at Summit Church of the Nazarene- Come visit the Easter Bunny and have your picture taken for free on Saturday, March 23 from 10 a.m. to noon

Easter Sunday Celebration — Church starts at 11 a.m. on March 31. You are welcome to arrive early for fresh gourmet coffee from the Holy Grounds Coffee Shop. There will also be a petting zoo and a sign language interpreter present during the service. Address is 401 KY-716 Ashland, Ky.

Timeless Treasures Shimmer at Aladdin’s Art Gallery

Timeless Treasures Shimmer at Aladdin’s Art Gallery

Art From the Attic Sale Continues Through March 16

Lora Parsons

The Ashland Beacon

 Photo 1 Edited

When our oldest daughter was born, so was a family tradition that would carry on for the grandchildren of my dad, JD Thompson. Each birthday and Christmas, he purchased a Matyroshka--a Russian nesting doll--from Aladdin’s Art Gallery in Ashland for each of them. Always in search of a unique, just perfect gift, he knew this was a collection that they could add to and love for many years. Some years, the dolls were barely more than an inch high with the smallest piece at the very center being not much bigger than a grain of rice. Some years, they were gigantic sets with as many as 20 pieces inside, feeling like the nesting might never end. And, then there were years that the nesting dolls took on many different forms--a spaceship, a three-headed dragon, a Beatles “Yellow Submarine,” complete with sea animals inside. The variety and uniqueness of each set captivated the kids and wowed the adults as we all intently watched to see just what would come out of the layer next.


A walk through the store from which they came provides shoppers with a similar experience--layer after layer of unique finds, new items catching the eye with each step forward. Tree of life danglers, leather-bound journals, crystal lamps, wooden puzzle boxes, beautifully-designed kitchen gadgets, flying mobiles, intricate gift cards, an array of artsy accessories like socks, gloves, earrings, purses--the layers seem to have no end. And, of course, one can’t forget the framed and unframed artwork that bejewels the walls of what some customers describe as “their happy place” for obvious reasons. Anyone who has been inside knows the treasure trove that this Ashland icon is overflowing with.  And, owner, Mary Johnson, names her customers’ emotional reactions when they walk through the store as one of her greatest pleasures at Aladdin’s.

Started in 1965 by her parents, Joe and Jackie Mock, Aladdin’s has been in the Ashland community for almost 60 years. Remarkably, it has always been located on the corner of 13th Street and Lexington Avenue.  Johnson shared of her parents:  “Dad and mom didn’t believe in a sale.” Over time, the attic became the storage place of items that hadn’t sold, and they gathered there for many years. Johnson’s mother passed away in 1997, and her dad in 2009, leaving to her not only the store but also an attic full of unpaired treasures.  Prints that weren’t yet framed called to her for a home, and frames that weren’t yet holding a print called for one to embrace. From these pieces that were not yet fulfilling their potential, was born the Art from the Attic framed print sale. Nestled in at the beginning of the year, following the Christmas gift rush, and paving the way for putting out new merchandise, the annual sale allows Johnson an opportunity to “Give old prints and often old frames new life.”  Her eye for pairing what some might simply see as straggling pieces that didn’t sell results in the creation of brand new masterpieces. What had previously been tucked away for safe-keeping re-emerges wearing a shiny new frame with a new lower price tag.  Not only does the art get a second chance at finding an owner, but those new to the art world or with smaller budgets also have a second chance at owning high-quality, affordable art.  But, the pieces available in the sale should by no means be considered “less than.”  Many are, just like their full-priced counterparts: Limited Editions, signed by the artists themselves.

The “Roadrunner” print, for example, pictured here with Johnson, had been in the store for 50 years when she pulled it from the attic. It caught her eye because of the deep mustard shade in it. She knew it would match perfectly with some pieces of a frame from a previous project. Trimming the print to fit the frame simply made for a perfect union, and both caught the eye of a customer the afternoon that this photo was snapped. A piece of art 50 years in the making was purchased, and the new owner loved the piece all the more because of the sense of history that came with it.

If adding or starting an art collection is on the to-do list, the Art from the Attic framed print sale will continue until March 16, so experienced or up-and-coming art connoisseurs still have time to visit the store and see what masterpieces await them.  Even greater markdowns occur during the final stages of the sale, and layaway is an option for payment, both of these making true works of art accessible to anyone wishing to make framed prints part of their daily life. While framed prints are what the annual sale features, that isn’t by any stretch of the imagination all that Aladdin’s has to offer. The variety of art available to purchase means there’s something there for every taste, every age, and every walk of life. As my dad found with the nesting dolls he started purchasing when our kids were infants, art has a way of being timeless, with these gifts still being ones they look forward to even though they’re now in college. He may not have found a way to stop time from passing, but, each time they open a nesting doll, time does in a sense stand still, transporting us all back in time to the many years we’ve sat together around these pieces of art.  Art is much more than the elements used to create it--so much more than the sum of its parts.  And, Aladdin’s has been planting a kind of beauty in our community for many years now that simply can’t be found anywhere else.

To stay up-to-date on what is happening at Aladdin’s (and to view the social media special pricing on the Art from the Attic framed prints sale), follow them on Facebook at “Aladdin’s Art Gallery.”

Ashland Area YMCA River Monsters Make Waves at State Swim Meet

Ashland Area YMCA River Monsters Make Waves at State Swim Meet

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon

 Ian Sarver by Sasha

            Months of rigorous training, early morning practices, and relentless dedication paved the way for the Ashland Area YMCA River Monsters' stellar performance at the state swim meet. Under the guidance of their coaches and fueled by their collective ambition, they arrived at the state swim meet ready to compete and bring home the hardware.

Head Coach of the Ashland Area YMCA River Monsters, Billy Cox, shared before the meet began, “We are very excited. We have a couple of girls that are trying to make national cuts. In fact, we already have several swimmers from other teams that have already made national cuts. This is going to be a really good meet.  There is going to be a lot of competition, and we are going to see some amazing swimmers.” With over 400 swimmers competing, the competition was tough. Every swimmer was ready to paddle his/her way to victory.


      From the very first race, it was clear that the swimmers of the Ashland Area YMCA River Monsters team meant business. The River Monsters had around 36 swimmers compete in the state swim meet. With precision and power, they all surged through the water, leaving their competitors trailing in their wake. Event after event, they showcased their talent and determination, breaking records, setting new personal bests, and captivating the audience with their performances. Check out what these amazingly talented swimmers accomplished at the state meet:

-Boys 7-8 High Point Winner- Oliver Chapman

-Boys 7-8 High Point Runner-Up - Parker Blum

-Girls 13-14 High Point Runner-Up- Kendall Simpson

-Boys 13-14 High Point Runner-Up- Chris Peacock

-Girls 15-18 High Point Runner-Up- Elena Sandifer

10 of the Ashland Area YMCA River Monsters made zone cuts: Parker Blum, Oliver Chapman, Chris Peacock, Gavin Simpson, Ian Sarver, Elena Sandifer, Brynlee Trippett, Kendall Simpson, Ady Powers, and Maddie Whitlock.

15-year-old Brynlee Trippett of Russell placed first in the 50 m freestyle with a time of 25.58 seconds. Trippett also came in second place in the 200 m backstroke with a time of 2:15, 200 m freestyle with a time of 1:59, and the 500 m freestyle with a time 5:26. She finished third in the 100 m backstroke with a time of 1:03.

Maddie Whitlock, age 16, came in third place in the 200 m breast-stroke at 2:51.

17-year-old Elena Sandifer, set a KYCSL record for the 200 m freestyle with a time of 1:57. The previous record had been set in 1995 with a time of 1:59. Sandifer also finished in first place for the 500 m freestyle with a time of 5:20, 100 m freestyle with a time of 54.75 seconds, and the 400 m individual medley with a time of 4:52. She came in second place for the 200 m fly with a time of 2:29 and 200 m individual medley with a time of 2:15.

13-year-old Kendall Simpson, finished first in the 200 m breast-stroke with a time of 2:38, 500 m freestyle with a time of 5:40, 100 m breast-stroke with a time of 1:12, and the 200 m freestyle with a time of 2:04. Simpson also had a second-place finish in the 400 individual medley with a time of 5:04 and the 200 m individual medley with a time of 2:21.

Together, Trippett, Whitlock, Sandifer, and Simpson won first place for the 200 m medley relay with a time of 1:56 and second place in the 200 m freestyle relay with a time of 1:43.

Trippett, Sandifer, and Simpson also teamed up with Ady Powers and won first place in the 400 m freestyle relay with a time of 3:49 and came in second for the 100 m freestyle relay with a time of 55.21 seconds.

The girls weren’t the only ones that fared well at the state swim meet. Several of the Ashland Area YMCA’s boys had some amazing finishes.  12-year-old Ian Sarver brought home three first place finishes in the 11–12-year-old division for the 100 m backstroke with a time of 1:04, 100 m fly with a time of 1:07, and the 500 m freestyle with a time of 5:48. Sarver also picked up second place finishes in the 200 m freestyle with a time of 2:08 and the 50 m back with a time of 30.37 seconds.

Chris Peacock, age 14, placed first in the 200 m individual medley with a time of 2:15, 200 m fly with a time of 2:21, and the 400 m individual medley with a time of 5:00. Peacock came in second for the 100 m fly with a time of 59.74 seconds and the 200 m freestyle with a time of 2:04. He also secured a third-place finish in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:44.

15-year-old Gavin Simpson came in second place in the 100 m breast-stroke with a time of 1:05 and the 400 m individual medley with a time of 4:43.

Eight-year-old Parker Blum came in first place in the 25 m backstroke with a time of 17 seconds and placed second in the 100 m individual medley with a time of 1:26, 25 m freestyle with a time of 15.44 seconds, and the 50 m freestyle with a time of 35.54 seconds.

Oliver Chapman, age seven, snagged four first-place finishes in the 100 m individual medley with a time of 1:25, 25 m freestyle with a time of 15.01 seconds, 25 m fly with a time of 15.55 seconds, and the 50 m freestyle with a time of 33.62 seconds.

As the crowd's roar fades and the medals are displayed on walls and shelves, the Ashland Area YMCA River Monsters swim team knows their journey is far from over. With their sights set on new goals and challenges, they return home as champions, fueled by the memories of their triumphs and the knowledge that they are capable of achieving greatness.

Life, Learning & Friendship Area Sorority Gives Back to Community

Life, Learning & Friendship

Area Sorority Gives Back to Community

Grace Phillips

Ashland Beacon

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The Kentucky MU Master Sorority will hold its annual rummage sale, Saturday, March 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is the 24th year for the sale and it will be held at Ashland First United Methodist Church Activity Center located at 1811 Carter Avenue, Ashland. All proceeds of the sale will go back into the community for service projects.

The sorority is a part of the organization Beta Sigma Phi which means Life, Learning, & Friendship. Established by Walter Ross in 1931 in Abilene Kansas, for the social, cultural and civic enrichment of its members, the organization is now international with over 200,000 members in the United States, Canada and 30 other countries around the world.

According to Brenda Phelps, chapter adviser, membership is by invitation only. “We meet twice a month to conduct chapter business. However, it is not just business only at the meetings. We have refreshments and then a time to visit with one another. It’s a time we can catch up on each other's families and lives. Lifelong friends are made at these meetings. We have members right now that have been a part of our group for 53 years.”

The sorority is very involved in supporting the various needs of our community. In order to accomplish this goal, they do fundraising events such as the annual rummage sale. The organizations that receive donations vary each year. Some of those that have benefited in the past include: Two Hearts Pregnancy Center, area food pantries, Safe Harbor, The Angel Tree, school patrol trips, AARF, suitcases for NECCO’s foster kids, backpacks for students, CARES Jingle Bell Ball, The Neighborhood, sweatshirts and food for Blazer High School. The group also visits nursing homes, spending time with the residents. They have also volunteered for many area organizations in the past, donating their time rather than money.

Susie Murphy shared, “We have lots of goodies for the sale. I will be bringing some items for quilters to check out. We have way too many items to mention but there will be something for everyone’s interest. Make sure you get there at 9 a.m. sharp for the best selection.” If anyone would like to donate items to the sale, Murphy said to please call and they will gladly pick them up. You can call 606.922.2288 before Friday, March 8 for pickup…you might even get a hug.

Most chapters today have older members who have been in the sorority for 50 to 60 years. Forever friends have been formed during those years…the kind of friends who you can always count on and will always stand with each other. As with life, time moves on, members age and health now affects many in the group. Phelp concluded by saying, “We may not be able to accomplish everything we have done in the past, but we will continue our purpose of helping those in need in every way possible.”

Inspecting the Bluegrass

Inspecting the Bluegrass

Charles Romans

The Ashland Beacon

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              Josh Agee grew up in the Nitro/Poca area in West Virginia and has been around construction and retail his entire life. “I was a store manager for Lowe’s for almost 20 years,” Agee said. “I was on the commercial sales side of it, and that made me interested in the whole building process,” he said. His position at Lowe’s not only inspired him to start his own business but also led him to the Ashland area. “Ashland was my last store, and I left there right before the pandemic.”


              “I was really wanting to get into something on my own,” Agee said, because becoming his own boss had always appealed to him. “I actually had some friends that had gotten into the field back in West Virginia, so that piqued my interest a little bit.  So, I decided to open my own business, and everything went from there to where I am now.”

              Agee now owns Bluegrass Property Inspections, a business that does real estate and private inspections of the entire home and property. He has been offering complete inspections for about four years now and enjoys helping people know exactly where they stand. Predominantly, it is real estate inspections during the sale or purchase process, Agee said, where he goes through and checks for any safety or security issues. “We look at the entire home, interior and exterior and roof,” Agee explained. “We’re looking at electrical, HVAC and structure of the build. We can even do termite inspections.”

              Agee is certified in Ohio and Kentucky, and his inspections go by state and national standards. “It is a really thorough inspection that typically takes three or four hours to complete. We always put out a nice digital report for our customers the same day,” Agee stated.

              Property inspection can also be important at several different phases, Agee said. He regularly provides inspections for different phases of construction or remodeling, which is a necessary step when some lenders require progress reports for different stages of financing a project. Bluegrass Property Inspections also does environmental inspections of sites, such as when a business intends to come in and build on a parcel of land, to make sure there isn’t refuse or other issues on the site. “They give us a checklist, and we can check to make sure things are favorable,” commented Agee.

              Agee said that Bluegrass Property Inspection isn’t a Code Inspection business, but he does keep up with the codes because they affect everything. “I keep up with things because I like to help educate my customers about what the codes are,” he said. Different lenders or even types of loans have different requirements for what must be fixed before buying or selling. “VA loans are probably the most stringent,” Agee shared. “They require you to install GFI (ground fault interrupt) receptacles in certain areas and handrails, for instance. I like to let my customers know because something as simple as that might cause your loan to not go through.”

              According to Agee, much of their business comes to them by ‘word-of-mouth,’ whether that is individuals recommending them to other individuals or realtors and lenders reaching out to them. Agee is very active on social media such as Facebook as well because he wants to give people the personal touch that seems to be lacking in today’s world. “People can message me on Facebook, or they can call or text me,” Agee shared. His number is listed on the Facebook page, and he encourages people to use it if they have any questions. “I’m used to helping customers from being a store manager all those years, and it’s not surprising to be talking to customers now sometimes at 11 p.m. It doesn’t bother me at all. I enjoy helping people with the process.”