Thanksgiving Day marks a time when families gather together and give thanks for all the blessings in their lives. The first Thanksgiving is said to have lasted for three days, and took place sometime between September 21st and November 9th, 1621. The Plymouth Pilgrims were taught by the native Wampanoag Indians how to live off the land. The original menu probably included not only turkey, but also waterfowl, venison, corn and barley. The first national celebration of Thanksgiving took place in 1775, but it was to celebrate the victory of the Continental Army at Saratoga during the American Revolution. It wasn’t until 1827 that Thanksgiving was declared an annual holiday. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed that Thanksgiving would be officially held the fourth Thursday in November to lengthen the holiday shopping season. The true meaning of Thanksgiving is to give thanks for all we have, and share the time with friends and family. There are many ways that you can help in your community during the holiday season by volunteering at food pantries, food banks and community Thanksgiving dinners.
Thanksgiving Weekend Events
Thanksgiving weekend in Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. is full of family activities, holiday kick-off events, Turkey Trots and much more. While the day after Thanksgiving is filled with Black Friday deals and shopping, it is also a kick off to the holiday season. There are many fun events for the entire family over the holiday weekend.
Start off your Thanksgiving by running a 5K for local charities .There are many Turkey Trots in the Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. areas. In Washington D.C., join the Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger at Freedom Plaza starting at 8:30am. The 5K run and walk is sponsored by SOME (So Others Might Eat), which has programs for the homeless and serves 800 meals a day to the hungry in Washington D.C. The Y of Central Maryland will sponsor the annual Turkey Trots at 6 locations including Arnold, Baltimore City, Bel Air, Ellicott City, Towson, and Westminster. The 25th Annual Turkey Chase sponsored by the Bethesda-Chevy Chase YMCA will have a 10K and 2 Mile Fun Run Thanksgiving morning supporting the YMCA’s Youth and Family Services, YMCA-Bethesda-Chevy Chase and the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club Foundation. In Northern Virginia, there are also a few turkey trots. Alexandria will host a Turkey Trot starting at 9am at George Washington Middle School supporting ALIVE!, a non-profit organization serving Alexandria’s needy. The Arlington Turkey Trot kicks off at 8am at Christ Church of Arlington. The run raises money for Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless, Doorways for Women and Children and Arlington Food Assistance Center.
Holiday Parades in Virginia
Reston Town Center in Reston, Virginia hosts a day full of holiday activities on Friday, November 28th. There are visits from Santa, a fun run, shopping, a parade and to top off the day, a tree-lighting ceremony. The Silver Spring Thanksgiving Parade is Saturday, November 22nd at 10am in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland. The parade will feature giant balloons, floats, marching bands, clowns, fire engines, dance troops and, of course, Santa and his helpers.
Thanksgiving Weekend Events in Baltimore and Washington D.C.
Baltimore Inner Harbor Christmas Village
Baltimore’s Inner Harbor will once again be transformed into a Christmas Village this year. Christmas Village is a combination indoor/outdoor European holiday market at West Shore Park in the Inner Harbor. There will be over 60 vendors selling traditional European food, sweets and drinks. There will two large Christmas trees and a lighting display featuring thousands of lights. Last year, the village attracted over 150,000 visitors. The Christmas Village will be open for a “sneak peak” on Thanksgiving Day with vendors also open on Black Friday. The official opening ceremony, with choirs, bands and city officials, will be on Sunday, November 30th. There will be many great events held at the Christmas Village throughout the holiday season.
National Harbor ICE!
One of the largest holiday events in the Washington D.C. area is ICE! at the National Harbor. This annual must-see and do event is fun for the entire family. The attraction officially opened on November 14th and will run through January 4th. The National Harbor waterfront is transformed into an ice wonderland from over two million pounds of colorful ice. This year’s theme features scenes from Frosty the Snowman. There are ice slides, family events, entertainment and more throughout the holiday season. There is so much to see and do over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the Baltimore, Northern Virginia, and Washington D.C. areas. ezStorage self storage locations will be open during our regular gate hours on Thanksgiving Day. The offices will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, but will reopen on Friday, November 28th for regular office hours. ezStorage wishes everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving!