Where will you be spending Thanksgiving dinner this year? If you’re a Woodstocker, in any timeline or form, you must be considering involvement in what will be the 42nd Annual Family of Woodstock Thanksgiving Feast at the Woodstock Community Center on Rock City Road Thursday, November 23, from 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
As usual, Family’s Program Director Tamara Cooper is urging folks to show up hungry. Unsaid, that means not only for a full meal prepared by a community of volunteers for the community, but for the great feelings of thanks that arise whenever one gets involved in such community largesse.
Volunteers are already working on rounding up donations of food, cooked and ready to become savory or sweet dishes we all love and cherish. They’re arranging for how the big meal will be served, and take-out and delivered meals will be handled. They’re lining up decorations and all the details that make for a great party.
More volunteers are being sought for clean-up afterwards.
“People come from all over who have ties to Woodstock,” says Cooper. “Some of them come year after year, others alternate years with their family dinners, and still others might suddenly decide one year to bring their family along.
She added how, in addition to restaurants and stores throughout the area pitching in, it’s also become a thing for local residents to supply food, too.
“If someone is baking pies for the day, they’ll bake an extra and send it over,” she said. “We never know quite what we’re going to get.”
“The decorations will be done again be organized by Lisa Childers and the students at the Woodstock Elementary School. The music will once again be CDs,” added Family Assistant Program Director Sue Carroll. “We do not have any live music or poetry readings as we would like the dinner to be a true community dinner where the entertainment is the people you are sharing a meal with.”
Carroll added how numbers for the feast just keep increasing year over year, with service now up in the 500 range.
As for all the new dining and food-related establishments around town, she added that, “We have contacted the new restaurants in town and they will be donating along with the restaurants who have generously donated throughout the years. And this year we are proud to say that we are attempting to reach zero waste. We will have a supervised composting and recycling station and we will be using only compostable, biodegradable and recyclable utensils and paper goods. We are proud to do our part to contribute to a greener Woodstock community.”
Both Cooper and Carroll added how the last half hour of the dinner on Thursday will see volunteers concentrating on packing up food to go, sending home leftovers…and helping that green profile Woodstock cherishes.
People who are homebound or don’t have access to transportation should call the Family hotline at 845-679-2485 to request delivery of a dinner.
Everyone else should head on down to the Community Center Thanksgiving afternoon. It’s what Woodstock’s all about.