HUFFINGTON POST
10/27/2011 01:10 pm ET Updated Dec 24, 2011

Thanksgiving In Dallas-Fort Worth: A MapQuest Guide

Thanksgiving in Dallas-Fort Worth 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 Dallas-Fort Worth and one opportunity to give back to others.

Dallas-Fort Worth Thanksgiving Events Map

Dallas Turkey Trot

A Dallas tradition since 1968, the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot includes an eight-mile race, a 5K and a wheelchair race. The unusual eight-mile course reflects the event's origins at White Rock Lake Park, where participants ran "to the big oak tree and back." The event has since moved to downtown Dallas to accommodate up to 5,000 runners. Participants are encouraged to wear costumes -- or at least a turkey hat. Proceeds from the event benefit the Dallas YMCA. After the race, runners and their families can enjoy live music, bounce houses and pony rides. The races start near City Hall. Registration is $25 for each race.

1500 Marilla St., Dallas, TX 75201

Fort Worth Parade Of Lights

Since 1983, the Parade of Lights has marked the beginning of the holiday season in Fort Worth. Held downtown on the day after Thanksgiving, the parade features more than 100 floats covered in festive lights. The parade also includes marching bands, horse-drawn carriages and colorfully costumed characters. There's no charge to watch the parade, but reserved seats are available along the parade route at prices ranging from $10 to $25. They can be purchased in advance on the Parade of Lights website. The parade starts at the corner of Houston Street and Belknap Street at sundown. After the parade ends, the lights on the Sundance Square Christmas Tree are turned on, and kids can have their photos taken with Santa Claus.

265 N. Houston St., Fort Worth, TX 76102

Volunteer: Thanksgiving Meal Deliveries For Meals On Wheels

Volunteers get to brighten the day of homebound elderly or disabled people by delivering hot, delicious meals for Thanksgiving. On most routes, volunteers visit six to eight clients during their shift. Recruiting for volunteers begins in October. This is a popular tradition for Dallas families, so the available positions fill up quickly. Volunteers can sign up in advance on the Visiting Nurse Association's website. Meals should be picked up between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. at the Visiting Nurse Association's office. The recipients appreciate the company as much as the food, so many volunteers set aside a little extra time for chatting and visiting.

1440 W. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, TX 75247 | Go to Huffington Post Impact to see how else you can volunteer.

Thanksgiving In Dallas-Fort Worth: Video

Get into the spirit of Fort Worth's Parade of Lights with amateur video of Elvises on minibikes.


Did we miss a Dallas-Fort Worth 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 Texas, Houston and Oklahoma.