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HAPPY EASTER.

Catholics have a special reason to celebrate today because a new pontiff is leading their church, but this also is the most holy day on the religious calendar of other Christians, though the Orthodox will celebrate on May 5. Those who observe this holiday believe Christ conquered death and offered eternal life to men and women who accept him as the son of God and their savior. Like Christmas, when Jesus' birth is commemorated but secular activities also mark the day, Easter joy also comes in non-religious forms. We're talking about candy, particularly chocolate, often in the shape of bunnies (a symbol of springtime). Of course, anyone who eats too much must find a way to burn off the extra calories, and hopping around like a rabbit is one way to do it.

HOPPING, RUNNING and jumping are activities that healthy children and adults can accomplish, but gymnasts transform those simple acts into incredible feats. Pittsburghers won't have to be world-class athletes to experience the USA Gymnastics National Championships next year. The city will host the event at Consol Energy Center Aug. 21-24, 2014. The championships feature the country's best gymnasts and are used to crown the winners who will make up the U.S. national team. The organization also partners with the U.S. Olympic Committee to select athletes for that stage. So, if a trip to the Olympics won't fit into the family budget, attending part of the national championship just might be the ticket.

LIMITED TICKETS are available for Opening Day at PNC Park tomorrow for what promises to be an inclement kickoff to a Pittsburgh Pirates season. Forecasters are calling for conditions more suitable for football in time for the first pitch at 1:35 p.m. Baseball weather is a lot like the sport itself. A lot can change in a 162-game regular season that runs from April through September. Pittsburghers who have grown weary of disappointment at the beautiful ballpark on the Allegheny River can't be blamed if they're praying for a resurrection of their long-dormant ball club. Let's go, Bucs.

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