I’m a sucker for the holidays. The decorations, the lights, the celebrations, the food. And I love when communities get together to celebrate. For Halloween neighborhoods and community organization host special trick-or-treating opportunities and classic movie showings. Christmastime involves companies holding galas while family and friends get together and host pot-luck dinner parties. But what about Thanksgiving? Between all the hoopla of the surrounding holidays, sometimes Thanksgiving gets the short end of the stick. But not to fret! There are those out there who have not forgotten. Here are a few of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions around the country.

Turkey Trot – Denver, Colorado

When you think of Thanksgiving, you think of the three F’s. Family, football, food (lots of it). Right? Well, in Denver Colorado, you can add one more F to that list: fitness. On Thanksgiving morning, participants can run or walk the 4-mile course around Washington Park or do the quarter-mile Family Fun Run! For spectators there are lots of other fun activities (coffee included) to participate in as well. But it doesn’t just stop there. Let’s add one more F to the mix: fundraising. This event helps Mile High United Way tackle childhood literacy, high school graduation rates and economic self-sufficiency for adults and families.

H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade – Houston, Texas

I can’t think of what Thanksgiving would be like without the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Growing up on the west coast, I always looked forward to waking up early and watching all the floats and performers go by while eat my breakfast with the family. Houston takes it to a whole new level and hosts their OWN Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s a 66-year old tradition with more than 200,000 parade-goers expected each year! Other cities such as Philadelphia, PA host a event (their’s is the oldest parade in the country)! Needless to say, a lot of people across the country get an awesome start their day!

Thanksgiving Eve – Downtown Bradenton, Florida

We understand that Thanksgiving Day is reserved for family, but what about Thanksgiving Eve? Each year Downtown Bradenton prepares for its “biggest bar night of the year” which also happens to be the day before Thanksgiving. This festival closes down main street and allows people to drink and enjoy some great food, courtesy of the community food trucks. Crazy to think that this night is busier than New Year’s Eve, but I love the tradition of getting together and celebrating with the friends and coworkers you love almost as much as your family!

Helpings From the Heart – Orlando, Florida

Inspired by the Salvation Army, businesses in downtown Orlando, FL feed over 25,000 meals to residents in need on Thanksgiving Day. The tradition started in 1993 and has grown so large that it now requires 1,000+ volunteers. Helpings From the Heart has had such an impact that now some of the previous recipients of this generosity are now dedicated, annual volunteers. Now I am well aware that these type of events are not, by any means, uncommon, but regardless, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the day of thanks than by giving back!

Does your community have a Thanksgiving tradition? Drop us a comment below and tell us about it! If it doesn’t, there’s no better time to begin one than now!

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