Parade co-organizer loves Union Café sandwiches, her pet chickens and more

I've called the north end of the University District home for most of my life. The neighborhood is densely populated and the function of community can easily be lost. Thus, I'm a co-organizer of the SoHud Fools Parade and Festival of Hilaria, which focus on fostering a sense of community throughout the neighborhood for all of its residents.

This annual event celebrates its fourth year on Saturday, April 1. Festivities begin at 2 p.m. at the Dude Locker (527 E. Hudson St.) and the parade steps off at 4 p.m. For more detail and a full schedule of events check us out on Facebook at SoHud Fools. Here are a few things I love.

Onion sprouts

While visiting family in Italy last January, my husband and I decided to eat lunch at a restaurant that we had stopped frequenting because food and service had gone downhill. But it was close to the house and we were being lazy. Our lunch arrived with a garnish of microscopic sprouts so spicy and fresh. The chef revealed the mystery sprouts to be onion sprouts. I loved them so much I finagled a second meal at the restaurant before we left. I'm sure we could grow them, but to my delight I've found onion sprouts are grown locally by Sunsprouts Farms.

Backyard chickens as pets

Two years ago, OSU Extension needed to house chicks that had hatched from fertilized eggs incubated in local elementary classrooms for observation purposes. I had lots of experience with furry domesticated animals, but never feathered ones. I now LOVE having backyard chickens as pets. They are fascinating to watch while they investigate the yard with their cat friend in tow.

Mushroom and eggplant sandwich

Looking for tasty vegan food while dinning out? I really love the portobello and eggplant vegan sandwich served at Union Cafe. The combination of marinated eggplant, portobello mushroom and pickles had me visiting the eatery twice a week for a while.

WOSU membership benefit card

I love public radio and have it playing every day in my classroom/studio. This year, while listening to WOSU during its fundraising drive, I decided to donate whatever amount needed to receive the awesome vegetable cookbook that was being discussed. After the cookbook arrived, my WOSU membership benefits card came, too. Now, not only do I enjoy the betterment of listening to WOSU, but I receive membership benefits throughout Central Ohio and beyond.

Supporters of SoHud Fools Parade and Festival of Hilara

As we commence on the fourth year of the SoHud Fools Parade and Festival of Hilaria, we've had an outpouring of support from local businesses, bands, artists and residents — not only from within SoHud, but from the surrounding communities as well. I love that people recognize the importance of this event and want to collaborate to make it successful.