What many regard as the nation’s first Thanksgiving took place in December 1621 as the religious separatist Pilgrims held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest.
The day did not become a national holiday until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving, President Franklin Roosevelt later declared that Thanksgiving Day always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping.
While the turkey is generally served as the main dish for a Thanksgiving dinner, goose, and duck, and ham, are now sometimes served in place of the Thanksgiving turkey. Some other alternative recipes for a Thanksgiving dinner include the Chinese recipe for goose that could be used on the similarly-sized American bird. Vegetarians or vegan's usually have tofurkey, a tofu-based dish.
"Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twenty minutes. Football Half-times take twenty minutes. This is not coincidence." - by Erma Bombeck
COVID-19 executive orders in effect apply to indoor gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people, effective November 23rd: Outdoor gatherings are limited to a maximum of 150 people
The following indoor gatherings are exempt and may continue under the current rules – limited to 25% of a room's capacity, up to 150 people:
Burn those turkey calories with a virtual 5K to benefit the Helen L. Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children. Register online, put on a costume if you like, and then complete your 5K at your leisure between Wednesday, Nov. 25 and Monday, Nov. 30.
Head north, head south or just head around the block! The route is yours to choose.
Following your Turkey Trot, head to Dune Drive for carriage rides, live music, children's performances, crafts, giveaways and more. And stick around: While Santa will not be able to meet with families this year, he is still heading to Avalon with a special lighting of Dune Drive at 4:30pm, with a variety of characters waving along the way. Gather safely along Dune Drive and watch as the island lights up for the holidays! Following the lighting, head east to the beach: The Avalon Recreation Department will be hosting drive-in movies at the 30th Street parking lot Friday and Saturday. And do it all over again on Saturday with more live entertainment, fun crafts and performances and, of course, some holiday shopping at our retail stores and restaurants.
Red Mill - 11th Annual Festival of Trees
Friday, November 27th through Sunday, November 29th, 2020 from 10am - 4pm
Red Mill Museum Village
56 Main Street
Tickets - $10
This event features Christmas trees, designed and decorated by community members, local businesses and organizations, will be displayed on the grounds of the Red Mill Museum Village. The kick-off begins on Thanksgiving weekend (Friday, November 27th through Sunday, November 29th from 10am -4pm).
The opening weekend coincides with the very popular Winter Village, an outdoor holiday market hosted by Marketspace Vendors with over 40 unique vendors. The display of trees placed outdoors among the historical buildings will continue to be on view Saturdays and Sundays, December 5th – 20th from 12-6pm.
Proceeds from this event will benefit the Red Mill Museum Village, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization
Gobble - Gobble Hike, South Mt. Reservation
Friday, November 27, 2020; 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
South Mountain Reservation
Essex County Dog Park
Maplewood, NJ 07040
Hike the Fairy Trail, Hemlock Fallls, Lenape Trail, and more Trail hike for 4-5 miles.
Finish time will depend on the pace of the group. ETA is about 3 hours.
Directions: Enter South Mt Reservation from South Orange Ave onto CREST DRIVE (from either east or west). Drive straight to where the road ends. Turn right onto Bear Lane. Park near the gazebo and look for the FreeWalkers banner.
Masks will be required. Dress for warmth (layers suggested) Hiking shoes/boots. Trails can be muddy and rocky in some areas. Hiking poles are helpful; not required. Water and light snack for energy if you like it.
Proceeds from this event will benefit FreeWalkers, a 100% volunteer organization that hosts FREE walks throughout the year.
Thanksgiving Hayrides, Wreath & Sleigh Bell Sale
Saturday, November 28, 2020; 10am - 4pm
Howell Living History Farm
70 Wooden Lane
Lambertville, NJ 08530
Celebrate the holidays by taking a scenic, horse-drawn hayride through the heart of Pleasant Valley, passing fields of harvested corn and newly-sprouted winter wheat—and crossing the fords of Dry Run Creek. The rides are free, and visitors are invited to lend support to the farm's community outreach programs by bringing canned goods for donation to area food banks and soup kitchens. At the visitor center, the Friends of Howell Farm will hold their annual Wreath & Sleighbell Sale, featuring straps of bells made by the farm's harnessmaker