By Mina Truong, features editor
Thanksgiving will be here in a couple of days and among popular, traditional activities such as turkey carving, baking and cooking, watching football, sleeping in, hunting, spending quality time with the family, kicking back with a cool beverage….why not start a new tradition?
There are a couple of events around town on Thanksgiving Day and around that time that may diversify your Thanksgiving festivities.
Some holiday themed events are occuring as early as today.
Bradley Fair will have a Christmas tree lighting initiation ceremony at 5:30 p.m. today where they will offer free horse-drawn carriage rides, photos with Santa and visits with Ronald McDonald. The proceeds will directly benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Botanica Gardens will host an Illuminations Light Up the Night preview party today at 6:30 p.m. The event will feature food from Wichita’s restaurants. Spectators can sip cocktails and enjoy the view. The event is $50 and is for ages 21 and up.
There are also events for running and walking enthusiasts.
Town West Square Mall will host a St. Jude Give Thanks Walk at 7 a.m. this Saturday. The 5K walk will raise money for the children of St. Jude. There will be food and entertainment at this free event.
The Wichita Turkey Trot presented by Honeysuckle White will be 9:30 a.m. this Saturday at Old Cowtown Museum in Sim Park. The run has been a tradition in Wichita for 36 years. There are two race options, a two mile race and a 10 mile race. Runners can register at Wichita GoRun locations or the day of the race before 9 a.m.
A holiday shopping event hosted by the Down Syndrome Society of Wichita will allow you to get some shopping done while supporting a cause. This event will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday at the Sedgwick County Extension Center and is free and open to the public.
Food for Thought store will put on its annual Gluten Free Taste of Thanksgiving event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday. The event will showcase various samples of gluten-free alternatives.
There will be a Thanksgiving outdoor holiday concert from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21 on the Bloomfield Carillon at the Wichita-Sedgwick Historical Museum.
Wichita Ice Center will be open for public skating from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
Mad Hopz, a bar and nightclub in Wichita, will also be presenting Turkey day Turnt Up at 10 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24. This event will feature hip-hop performances .
Heartspring will be hosting its annual Lights on the Lake Drive-Thru event from 6 to 10 p.m. from now through Dec. 25. The event features light displays. Although there is no charge, donations are encouraged. The event supports Heartspring’s mission.
Another activity may be to volunteer and “give thanks”. There are numerous food banks and Kansas shelters that can use some help. One such place is the Lords Diner which will be open on Thanksgiving Day for those who would like to volunteer.
These activities may allow for new traditions but don’t neglect the old ones either and don’t forget to give thanks.