Red Rock Canyon School invites community to annual Thanksgiving dinner; volunteer opportunities available

Composite image. L-R: Keeli and Ashley Slater volunteer with family during annual community Thanksgiving dinner at Red Rock School, St. George, Utah, Nov. 23, 2017 | Background photo by Jag_cz/iStock/Getty Images Plus. Foreground photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE With Thanksgiving less than a week away, Red Rock Canyon School will once again open its doors to thousands of area residents who have made the school’s annual dinner part of their Thanksgiving celebration –  a holiday tradition that started more than 40 years ago.

Flyer announcing Thanksgiving dinner event to be held at Red Rock Canyon School Nov. 22, 2018, St. George, Utah | Image courtesy of Red Rock Canyon School, St. George News

The Thanksgiving dinner will take place at the Red Rock Canyon School, a residential youth treatment center located at 747 E. St. George Blvd., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The dinner is free and open to everyone in the community.

America’s first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World more than 400 years ago, a time when isolated immigrants and the country’s indigenous people sat down for a meal, thankful for the bounty and for each other.

However, setting aside time to give thanks for blessings bestowed and preparing feasts celebrating a harvest are practices that existed long before the Pilgrims joined the Indians for a meal.

The Red Rock Canyon School event has grown in size as attendance has steadily increased in recent years. In 2017, nearly 4,000 people took part in the festivities.

Putting on a dinner for thousands is a herculean task that takes an army of volunteers, sponsors, generous businesses, private citizens and donations that come from every part of the community.

While the festive dinner itself is the grand finale, an event of this magnitude requires the efforts of hundreds of volunteers involved in the preparation, cooking, restocking and cleaning. The planning and preparation typically begins more than three months in advance, Sherman Habibian said in a 2017 interview.

The dinner is open to everyone in the community – from those who are down on their luck to college students who may not have a place to go on the holiday.

“We don’t turn anyone away,” Frank Habibian, owner of the Red Rock Canyon School, previously told St. George News.

Donation and volunteer opportunities are still available. For more information contact Tami at 435-673-6111 or by emailing Tami@rrrtc.com.

Event details

  • What: Red Rock Canyon School annual Thanksgiving feast.
  • When: Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Where: Red Rock Canyon School, 747 E. St. George Blvd., St. George.
  • Admission: Free to the public
  • Red Rock Canyon School Website | Facebook | Telephone: 425-674-6111

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

 

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