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Thanksgiving In Massachusetts: A MapQuest Guide

Thanksgiving in Massachusetts is a time for gathering with family and loved ones, expressing gratitude and, of course, eating. As part of TurkeyQuest -- a MapQuest guide to Thanksgiving events, featuring everything from parades to holiday sales to activities for families -- here are two of the best ways to experience Thanksgiving in Massachusetts and one opportunity to give back to others.

Massachusetts Thanksgiving Events Map

America's Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration

Holiday revelers can celebrate Turkey Day in true Pilgrim fashion at America's Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration. The whole family can join the festive crowd at this veritable Thanksgiving-palooza in historic Plymouth for a gloriously stuffed weekend that includes the New England Food Festival; performances from the Navy Sea Band Chanters and the Crusader Senior Drum & Bugle Corps; hands-on kids' activities right by Plymouth Rock; and, of course, the annual Grand Parade. The famous parade is a mini history lesson, with floats representing Pilgrims' log cabins and well-known monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial. The festivities begin the Friday before Thanksgiving and run through the holiday weekend. Visit the website for a full schedule.

Waterfront Park, Water St. and Leyden St., Plymouth, MA 02360

Feaster Five Thanksgiving Day Road Race

Runners can reduce their post-meal guilt by burning a few calories at the Feaster Five Thanksgiving Day Road Race in Andover before diving mouth-first into the most gluttonous gorge of the year. Every year, the race organizers invite a few world-renowned runners to participate in the race and take part in a meet-and-greet afterward. Participants may get the chance to run alongside a famous marathoner, such as "Boston Billy" Rodgers, who has won both the New York Marathon and the Boston Marathon four times. Entrants may choose to walk or run the 5K as an individual or as a relative on a team with 10 or more family members as part of the annual Family Contest. There are shorter Fun Run courses for kids up to age 12, too. Fresh apple pie is awarded to all finishers big and small, plus there are prizes for top-finishing individuals and family teams. Registration is $5 for the Kids Fun Run, $30 for adults participating in the 5K or five-mile course.

N. Main Street and Haverhill Street, Andover, MA 01810

Volunteer: Food Bank Of Western Massachusetts

Organizing a canned-food drive for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts can help ensure that needy families have a bountiful Thanksgiving. For nearly 30 years, this organization has been working to reduce hunger in the area through their food-distribution programs and hunger-education initiatives, which are driven in part by volunteers. Prospective volunteers should visit the FBWA website for detailed instructions on how to organize a canned-food drive. The group also needs volunteers in its warehouse to help sort food donations. Workers are asked to attend a an orientation before signing up for a shift in the warehouse.

97 N. Hatfield Road, Hatfield, MA 01038 | Go to Huffington Post Impact to see how else you can volunteer.

Thanksgiving In Massachusetts: Video

Scenes from America's Hometown Thanksgiving Parade in Plymouth, Mass.

Did we miss a Massachusetts Thanksgiving event? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Want other great Thanksgiving events and volunteering opportunities? Check out TurkeyQuest and our coverage in Boston, New Hampshire and Maine.

Interested in more stories about Massachusetts? Go to Patch and scroll the list of states to get great local coverage of your neighborhood.

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