Editorial: Here’s a toast to Aiken’s Thanksgiving traditions
Here’s to Thanksgiving, just one more day of the year when Aiken proves that the city truly is the Best Small Town in the South – maybe even the country.
In Aiken, Thanksgiving means traditions, and traditions bring people together to celebrate with family and friends.
As they have for more than a century, hundreds of Aiken residents will hike into Hitchcock Woods for the Blessing of the Hounds, one of the city’s oldest and most-loved traditions.
The short service marks the opening of the Aiken Hounds’ season as a local clergyman or woman blesses the riders and the dogs and prays for a safe hunt down wooded trails and over fences.
The riders in their green coats and their horses make pretty picture and a great photo and video opportunity with the early morning light filtering through the towering longleaf pines.
The uphill walk out of the Woods is a great way to work up an appetite for one of Aiken’s newer Thanksgiving traditions – One Table.
A citywide, communal dinner in The Alley, One Table is what Thanksgiving is all about – people coming together to share thanks and a meal.
And what a meal, or more accurately, what a feast. Turkey and traditional Southern dressing, macaroni and cheese, rice, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cakes and pies will be on the menu – and it’s all free, thanks to churches, civic groups and individuals.
Volunteers start serving at 11 a.m.
Being the best – and having the best traditions - deserves a toast, and Maureen Woltermann and The Aiken Poets offer this one for the best Thanksgiving ever:
Some friendships bubble and sparkle
Like champagne on a wedding day;
Others are quiet and subtle
Like a glass of fine Chardonnay;
Some friendships take off like fireworks
Fast and flashy and bold.
Others come slower in life
And glisten like burnished gold;
So, in our circle of friends
Gathered around us today
Are wishes that shout and whisper
And some that just want to say,
“Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends!”