Madisonville celebrates Easter

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Miss Rita’s 38th Annual Easter Parade and Egg Hunt marched through the square on Saturday and settled at First Baptist Church for prizes and a reminder of the holiday’s true meaning.

The parade’s top participant of the day was the ‘Hippity Hopity He Has Risen Bunny Mobile’ which was entered by Ingrid and Skylar Schultz. All entries were rewarded with prizes of toys and candy for their participation before they set off to find Easter eggs hidden in the field.

This tradition was started years ago by Rita Slaughter-Davis, who was also the owner and operator of Rita’s Preschool and Daycare as well as the parade’s grand marshal. Miss Rita passed away earlier this year and Saturday was the first parade and egg hunt without her.

“This was Rita’s legacy and something that was extremely important to her,” said Donna O’Brien, the current owner of Rita’s Daycare. “Easter was her big push for the year. She knew the importance of this day and always wanted to make sure people knew Jesus. That was her heart.”

In stride with Rita’s strong religious background, her daughter has set up a program in which one can read the Bible in a year in memory of her mother. For more information on that, visit ritasarmy.com.

The family also hoped to use the day to raise awareness of Glioblastoma (GBM), which was the cancer that took Rita’s life. It is an aggressive cancer of the mind with non-specific symptoms that can be difficult to identify. These symptoms may include headaches, nausea and personality changes.

O’Brien would like to thank everyone who came out to show their support for the parade. She would also like to give a special thanks to all of the business who sponsored the event for making it possible.

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