Like many other communities, Lynchburg Virginia doesn’t host a Thanksgiving parade. That may be in part because Thanksgiving dinner is often celebrated Southern style, around 2pm. However, there are plenty of other Thanksgiving events and activities in the Lynchburg area.
There are posters hanging in many retail store windows to announce the annual Turkey Trot. This year, the Turkey Trot will be held in downtown Lynchburg for the first time. The race is sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank and benefits the Presbyterian Home and Family Services and the Family Alliance. This organization has been serving the central Virginia area since 1903, helping families overcome difficulties, improve parenting and job skills, and make good choices. 8500 central Virginia individuals are served annually.
The Turkey Trot includes a 5K race beginning at 9am that explores downtown Lynchburg on a slightly hilly course. Starting at 8th and Main Streets, racers will travel up Main Street to Washington Street, then Washington to Jefferson Street. Racers will then travel Jefferson Street to Cabell Street, across the D Street Bridge to Rivermont Avenue, and then backtrack to the starting point.
In addition to the 5K.race, there will be a 3K Fun Walk starting at 9am and a Youth Mile starting at 10am. This event is a Lynchburg tradition for runners and families alike. There’s still time to register at The Presbyterian Home’s website www.phfs.org.
Lynchburg Daily Bread, located at 721 Clay Street, will be serving lunch on Thanksgiving Day to those in need in the central Virginia area. Lunch is served 7 days a week at Lynchburg Daily Bread from 10:50am until 12:20pm. Over 40,000 meals are served annually.
Lynchburg Daily Bread relies on volunteers to prepare, cook, and serve meals daily. This organization has been helping the Lynchburg and central Virginia communities since 1982 and added a day shelter for the homeless in 2001. The day shelter provides the homeless and others in need with a warm place to find socialization, snacks, games and toys, and mobile phones for job and housing searches and other needs. You can learn more about Lynchburg Daily Bread at their website www.lynchburgdailybread.com.
Most families in the Lynchburg area celebrate the holiday with family or friends. Some families travel out of state to visit grandparents or other relatives. However, Kroger Stores in the Lynchburg area offer fully cooked Thanksgiving meals for families unable or unwilling to cook on Thanksgiving Day. There are both turkey and ham dinners available starting at $39.99. The ham dinner includes stuffing and one side with rolls. The turkey dinner includes stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes and one side with rolls. There are many sides from which to choose and even pies are available.
Although there are several area restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner, the majority of area families prepare dinner at home or travel to a family member’s home for Thanksgiving. The traditional Southern Thanksgiving dinner includes turkey and ham with many side dishes. Side dishes include mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, corn pudding, green beans or green bean casserole, butter beans, broccoli or broccoli casserole, macaroni and cheese, various other side dishes, pumpkin bread, and homemade rolls. It wouldn’t be a Southern meal without homemade desserts including pumpkin pie, pecan pie, apple pie, chocolate or lemon meringue pie, and many others.
Southern Thanksgiving dinners will be served throughout Lynchburg and central Virginia including at my house. Family will gather at my table to give thanks for all that we’ve been blessed to receive before sharing our meal of plenty. My Thanksgiving desserts will also include Toll House pie and turkey cookies. Turkey cookies don’t contain any turkey but are homemade shortbread cookies made from an old family Christmas cookie recipe, rolled and cut into turkey shapes, and decorated with icing and candy sprinkles. The turkey cookies are the most requested dessert at my family Thanksgiving dinner.