Triplicate Staff

Enjoy Thanksgiving dinnerwith a few hundred friends

If you haven't figured out where you'll be dining on turkey today, you might want to consider joining several hundred of your fellow Del Norters.

The annual community Thanksgiving dinner will be served from noon to 2 p.m. at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds. Last year's event attracted more than 800 people.

While the meal is free to all comers, a donation of non-perishable food items for the local holiday food basket program is appreciated.

In addition to turkey, the dinner will feature all the traditional accessories, including stuffing, vegetables and pies for desert.

There will also be about 50 gallons of coffee, 12 gallons of milk and other beverages to wash down more than 30 pounds of rolls,said organizer Teri Sandler, who begins accepting donations for the dinner each September.

"It's our community. We have a gracious, loving community," said Sandler.

Longtime local resident Judy Powell said last year that she has become a regular attendee of the event.

"When you live alone and have no family, it's a real nice place to go to have dinner and to people watch," said Powell, who has attended for the past four years.

At first she was apprehensive about coming to the dinner.

"I didn't know what it would be like, and my perception of what I thought it would be like and what it's actually like are completely different," said Powell, who brought her own plate and silverware four years ago.

"I have not brought that stuff again," said Powell. "I knew I wouldn't need it."

Donna Walker, a Hiouchi resident, brought 11 family members to the dinner for their first time last year.

"We thought this would be a nice thing to do with the family," Walker said then. "I think we may do this next year. This is nice. I like the atmosphere and the music."