Each year, we Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November.
This year on November 28th, families and friends will unite and engage in the traditional celebration of Thanksgiving dinner. This feast customarily will feature turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and sometimes pumpkin pie. On Thanksgiving, families open up their homes not only to share a dinner with loved ones, but to also communally reflect and give thanks for everyone’s blessings. Although most people usually associate this national holiday with their specific family, Thanksgiving is also celebrated in large scale among communities. In the Hudson River Valley, counties are holding different Thanksgiving events in order to celebrate the holiday in a communal manner.
If you are from the Dutchess area, take part in the excitement of the Mid-Hudson Road Runners Club’s Turkey Trot road races. You and your family can choose to participate in either the kids free one mile race, the two mile fun run, the five mile, or the 25k on Thanksgiving Day at Arlington High School. If you are interested in partaking in one of the Turkey Trot races be sure to register before the deadline on Tuesday, November 26th. However, the great part about the Turkey Trot is that it is not only serves for the purpose of road races, but also as a drive for local families in need. Whether or not you want to participate in any of the day’s races, come and join in the Thanksgiving spirit by dropping off donations. This year Turkey Trot will be collecting crayons, diapers, coloring books, non-perishable food, shampoo and conditioner, soaps, and socks in all sizes. To find out more information about the Turkey Trot or to register for the event visit http://www.mhrrc.org/.
If you are looking to get some exercise before sitting down to a big feast on Thanksgiving Day or just want to be in the presence of over two thousand families, friends, and neighbors come and check out the 11th annual Family of New Paltz Turkey Trot in New Paltz. This event features a Mashed Potato Kids Fun Run, a 5k walk/run, and a plentiful of spectators cheering community members on. Bring your loved ones to the Turkey Trot not just for the races, but for the additional family entertainment. Your family can watch a performance by the Fuzzy Lollipops, get your faces painted, take pictures in photo booths, and possible win a fifty-fifty raffle! All proceeds from this fun event will go towards the Family of New Paltz Food Pantry, which seeks to provide food to community members throughout the holiday season.
There are also two other small-scale Turkey Trots in Ulster County taking place in the spirit of Thanksgiving. On Saturday, November 30th you and your family can check out the third annual Phoenicia Turkey Trot. The proceeds from this event will go towards funding for a much-needed new roof for the Pine Hill Community Center, which provides essential community-building activities. Or, you can take part in the Kingston Turkey Trot that takes places on Thanksgiving Day. This event is hosted by the Junior League of Kingston and the events proceeds go towards rebuilding the Kingston Kinderland playground at the park.
To get more information about any of these exciting events, visit http://www.ulstertourism.info/landing/turkey-trots-become-ulster-county-tradition.
And even before you have finished your left-overs, Sinterklaas will be coming to Kingston!
Join the Hudson River Maritime Museum on Friday November 29th from 11-4 or Saturday 10-2 for a family workshop to create crowns and other decorations for their young “kings and queens” to wear for a parade with Sinterklaas on Saturday afternoon when he boards a tugboat to sail for Rhinecliff. http://www.hrmm.org/event/sinterklaas-workshops/
If you are a resident of Rockland County and have small children, consider visiting Jill’s Ceramics in West Nyack on November 25th and 26th. Jill of Jill’s Ceramics invites children of all ages to come and make something special for the holiday table. Children can pick from a variety of Thanksgiving pottery items. You and your family can spend an enjoyable day painting holiday-themed ceramics. For more information visit: http://www.nymetroparents.com/rockland/listing/Jill-s-Ceramics.
If you and your loved ones are interested in making a truly memorable Thanksgiving morning, join in the Rockland Road Runners’ 5 mile Turkey Trot at Rockland Lake. Over the past years, this event has become the largest event in Rockland County, attracting over 3,000 participates annually. Come and run alongside your neighbor and help raise money to support the efforts of the Marisa Fund to eradicate childhood cancer. Also, do not forget to bring perishables for the Turkey Trot food drive to benefit People to People. If you interested in signing up for this exciting event, register on November 25th, 26th, or 27th from noon-8:00pm at Modell’s at the Palisades Central Mall. Also, to get more information visit: http://rocklandroadrunners.org/races/TT/.
If you are from Westchester County take part in the Saw Mill River Audubon Turkey Mountain Hike. Come and burn off those excess Thanksgiving feast calories on Friday, November 29th. You and family will enjoy a scenic hike up to the top of Turkey Mountain in Yorktown. If you are interested in this post-Thanksgiving workout make sure you pre-register for this event! For more information visit www.sawmillriveraudubon.org or call 914-666-6503.
On Saturday, November 30th gather your entire family and take them to the Great Turkey Walk Off in North White Plains. Take a refreshing walk through Cranberry Lake Preserve and see the remains of the nineteenth century farmhouses and twentieth century stone-mining operations. This is a fun way to burn off Thanksgiving calories! For more information visit www.westchestergov.com or call 914-428-1005.
The Cranberry Lake Preserve will offer a “cultural outing” with artist David Licata to view his glass orchids that have been installed along the trails on Saturday, November 30th starting at 10:00. Visit www.westchestergov.gov/parks or call 914-428-1005 to learn more.
There will be tree-lighting ceremonies, art openings, gallery talks, holiday craft fairs and more throughout Greene County. Durham will hold its 16th annual tree-lighting ceremony on Saturday November 30th starting at 3:00. The Prattsville Art Center will hold a combination art show and holiday gift fair that same afternoon starting at 1:00, followed by an evening program from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. Tannersville will host a Holiday Craft Fair on the 30th with activities for the whole family from 10:00 till 4:00 and a tree lighting at 5:00.
Learn more about these and other things to do around the county at: http://www.greatnortherncatskills.com/events.
By Kaitlin Murphy, Marist ‘14