AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — The Alley in Aiken, South Carolina will look a little different this Thanksgiving Day. The One Table that brings Aikenites together is not a part of the picture.
Every Thanksgiving, The Alley was transformed into a meeting place where one can give thanks for what they have and also give thanks for those in the community around them. Organizers say this year won’t be the same because of COVID-19.
“We felt like even in spite of COVID if we really planned well that we could provide an opportunity for people to connect people, to share with people, and have a meal with each other,” Organizer of Our Family Dinner Table LaRahna Hughes told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.
Now in One Table’s place, at least for this year, a new thanksgiving event called Our Family Dinner Table. “We fought really hard to be able to create a safe environment,” Hughes shared.
On Thursday from 11 a.m. -3 p.m., residents will have the opportunity to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner and entertainment over at Generations Park. The event is promised to be in line with COVID-19 guidelines. “We have our tent circle. Individuals will be there as early as eight o’clock. We’ve measured and made sure that we’ve got safe passageways and distances in between the rows of tents that will be placed so that people are able to walk and there’ll be someone to direct any there to park,” she said.
Organizers will have a serving area set up, where meals will be packed for those attending.A DJ will be entertaining the crowd after dinner. “There’s also space there, weather permitting, for people to meet in the grassy area,” Hughes added.
Several people have pitched in to help with the huge undertaking. “I had some adults that came out late last night to the night shift of washing and wrapping the sweet potatoes to be able to bake every bit of that has made the difference in pulling this off,” she recalled. “One of the churches and said, we will allow you to use our kitchen to be able to have a refrigeration drop-offs space for things to be donated. And so, it’s really a collective effort,” she added.
There is transportation available for folks who need a ride. The free service will be available from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the following locations:
• Citizens Park on Old Airport Road
• Gyles Park on Park Ave. S.E.
• The H. Odell Weeks Activities Center on Whiskey Road
• KJ’s Market on York St. N.E.
“The first thing is we want people to reach out into community if they are in need of transportation, look within their circle first. But for those that do not have access to transportation or the relationship, the option is there.,” Hughes pointed out.
There are also volunteer spots still open, call 803-443-6735 for more information.
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