Thanksgiving in Missouri 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 Missouri and one opportunity to give back to others.
Missouri Thanksgiving Events Map
Branson Area Festival Of Lights
The annual Branson Area Festival of Lights offers a drive-thru holiday experience with almost 200-lighted displays. The mile-long route includes a giant, brightly lit Santa Claus, glittering snowmen, blinking Christmas trees and tunnels surrounded in lights. Many of the displays are synchronized to music to further enhance the holiday cheer factor. Admission is $12 for cars, $30 for vans and $55 for large buses. A $2-off coupon is available online. Family passes for the season are $25 or $15 with a donation of five nonperishable food items. Proceeds from this event benefit local food banks.
Springfield's Annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk
In 2010, more than 7,100 people participated in the Springfield Turkey Trot, making the event Missouri's largest annual race. The money and food collected at the annual 5K run, jog and walk benefits the Springfield-Greene County Park Board Scholarship Fund, the Developmental Center of the Ozarks and the Ozarks Food Harvest Food Bank. All participants are encouraged to bring at least three nonperishable food items for the food bank. Donation bins are available throughout the grounds at the Springfield Expo Center, where the race begins and ends. Registration is $20 for children and $25 for adults.
Volunteer: Springfield Victory Mission Thanksgiving
The Springfield Victory Mission offers several services to individuals struggling with substance dependence, including job training, foster care and faith-based programs. The group also operates shelters, soup kitchens and thrift stores. The organization is always in need of volunteers and Thanksgiving is no exception. Due to the busy Thanksgiving season, the mission needs help putting together food baskets, decorating meal halls and serving Thanksgiving dinner. Donations of food, clothing and toiletries are also welcome. Those who wish to volunteer should fill out the volunteer information form on their website.
Thanksgiving In Missouri: VideoThe Springfield Turkey Trot attracts thousands of participants each year, including adults, children and canines.
Did we miss a Missouri Thanksgiving event? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
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