TurkeyQuest: A Thanksgiving-Event Guide
Thanksgiving is, of course, a celebration of harvest, a symbol of friendship and a time for families to come together. Unless you can't stand your family. Be that as it may, the holiday has an interesting history, one that has now developed into a three-state dispute over which one hosted the first Thanksgiving. The feast's origins are commonly traced to the Pilgrim gathering at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621. But interestingly, some sources point to similar feasts held in places like Virginia or even Spanish Florida.
A couple of centuries later, in addition to family feasts, Thanksgiving is celebrated with parades (New York City, Detroit), cultural festivals (Milwaukee, New Mexico) and "Turkey Trot" road races (Nevada, Seattle). It's also recognized as the start of the overall holiday season, so there are plenty of light shows (Oklahoma, Phoenix), homages to Christmas (Mississippi, North Dakota) and Black Friday sales (Iowa, Pennsylvania).
MapQuest has compiled all of these events -- two per state and per major metro area -- into TurkeyQuest. And we've also offered a third suggestion of where you and your family can volunteer in each of those places. Hopefully, in doing so, we will honor the spirit of that first Thanksgiving -- wherever it may have taken place.
TurkeyQuest State and City Thanksgiving-Event Guides
Thanksgiving In Boston
by Shellie Braeuner
In Beantown, a local brewery invites contestants to smoke and grill turkeys for charity, volunteers host a dinner for the HIV-positive and Pilgrim traditions are never far away.
Thanksgiving In Virginia
by Caryl Ramsey
Massachusetts usually gets first-Thanksgiving cred, but Virginians see things a little differently. Plus: Trot to benefit those living with cancer or spoon out good deeds at the Giving Heat Community Thanksgiving Feast.
Thanksgiving In Seattle
by Nia Stanley
How does a 5K run relate to plates of mashed potatoes? Hint: It's got nothing to do with carbo loading. Find out how the Emerald City gives thanks on Turkey Day.
Do Good! Our Map Of Thanksgiving Volunteering OpportunitiesClick on a pinpoint to learn more about how and where you can volunteer this holiday -- and make Thanksgiving better for someone else. Also, learn more about what other fun activities are happening in your area. (Note: Most organizations prefer that you call in advance to officially register as a volunteer rather than just showing up.)