Clergy plans pre-Turkey Day ceremony |

Clergy plans pre-Turkey Day ceremony

Thanksgiving celebrations in Park City will start the day before the turkeys are put in the oven and televisions tuned to the pigskin games.

The Park City Interfaith Council plans a service of singing, refreshments and food collecting on Wednesday, Nov. 22, one day before Thanksgiving. The event, planned at the Shepherd of the Mountains, a Lutheran church off S.R. 224, is scheduled to include a reading of Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation.

Meanwhile, Tim Dahlin, the chairman of the Interfaith Council, who is from the Christian Center of Park City, says his congregation plans to receive 300 turkeys from the Park City Board of Realtors. The center intends to donate the turkeys to the needy. Dahlin says needy people who want to receive a turkey should call 649-2260.

The Nov. 22 event starts at 7 p.m. and people are encouraged to bring pies or other desserts to share. Other refreshments will be served.

But the Wednesday celebration is different than previous Thanksgiving gatherings. In the past, up to 2005, the Interfaith Council scheduled community Thanksgiving dinners. But Dahlin says that the interest in the dinners dropped, saying there was "dwindling response."

"The people who were mostly there were the servers," he says, wondering if the event was promoted enough. "We got the feeling we weren’t scratching where there was an itch."

He says the Interfaith Council discussed the event starting in July and decided not to hold a dinner in 2006.

"It probably wasn’t meeting the need," Dahlin says, adding that volunteers were interested but the attendance did not warrant it continuing. "We had a lot of generous hearts wanting to serve others."

He says instead the Interfaith Council is considering a festival in May to mark the Cinco de Mayo holiday, celebrated in Mexico and by Mexican immigrants. The details, though, are not decided.

Paddy Wood, who helped start the Thanksgiving dinner about nine years ago and since moved to Carmel, Calif., says its popularity grew through 2004, when she says 450 people attended.

"I thought it was incredibly successful. Every year, more and more people came," Wood says.

She says the dinner drew rich people and those not as well off and Anglos and Latinos.

"It was the one time I saw the broad spectrum, the diversity of Park City, all come together," Wood says, adding, "It just leaves a big hole and an opportunity that’s been missed."

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