Thanksgiving feasts, football rivalries and public service events are all part of the traditions that colleges, universities and K-12 schools around the country have honored over the years. Here are some:
University of Maryland
Students, faculty and staff from across the campus are holding the 22nd annual University of Maryland Project Feast, a meal for homeless and disadvantaged peoples in West Baltimore. The event is co-sponsored annually by the Medical Alumni Association, the university’s Student Government Association and the School of Medicine Student Council. A hot meal is provided, as well as clothing and other donated goods.
University of Virginia
The university’s Children’s Hospital co-sponsors a Turkey Trot, a 5K race, with the proceeds going to the hospital. The race is held at Charlottesville’s Boar’s Head Inn, also a co-sponsor.
Ohio State University
Some 2,000 students, faculty, staff and members of their families who stay on or around campus during the Thanksgiving holidays will attend a dinner, the school’s Web site says.The traditional Thanksgiving Dinner will include 120 turkeys, 432 pounds each of green beans and corn, 320 pounds of corn bread and 120 pies, with more than 150 volunteers from the university community helping. The tradition began 20 years ago with only 25 students.
University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M
Since 1894, the two biggest universities in Texas have maintained a Thanksgiving Day football rivalry. This year’s game will be the last because Texas A&M is leaving the big 12 for the Southeastern Conference next year. Both schools have honored different traditions relating to this game. For example, on the Austin campus, students and others clad in burnt orange have attended the “Hex Rally” with the marching band, dancers, cheerleaders and more to support their team. team and “hex” their opponent. At A&M, a bonfire is held, fueled with wood that students have gathered and cut up. An outhouse in the color of Texas burnt orange is put on top. This year there won’t actually be a bonfire because of a ban on burning across the state. Still, plenty of folks will visit the site, Reuters reported.
High schools with top marching bands
Across the countries high schools compete to participate in the Macy’s Day Parade in New York City.
Planning for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins nearly two years in advance. According to www.marching.com, applications from marching bands are due by March 1 in the year prior to the parade. Winning bands are notified in the spring and have about 18 months to raise the funds to make the trip, plan a program and practice to make it perfect.
Smith College, Mass.
College officials ask students if they are staying on campus for Thanksgiving and if they are and want to partake in holiday festivities, a match with a host family will be set up.
Lindsey Wilson College, Kentucky
Bill Luckey, president of the 2,600-student college in Adair County, has hosted dozens of students along with his wife at their home since 1998 (missing only 2009 when their daughter played in a marching band at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York.) Luckey, the Herald-Leader reported, also makes the stuffing.
George Washington University, D.C.
The school’s Native American Student Association sponsors a dinner and event that features a discussion about the holiday and its meaning to the Native American community. This year it took place two days before Thanksgiving.
Plain City Elementary School, Utah
Students on Tuesday participated in a 35-year tradition in which they relive what some think was the first Thanksgiving, with some students dressed as Pilgrims and others as Native Americans, according to the Standard-Examiner. Students saw a presentation from members of two Indian tribes, ate freshly made Indian fry bread, took a hayride through Plain City, played authentic games from the time of the first Thanksgiving, visited with birds from the Ogden Nature Center, listened to stories from a “real” mountain man and watched a video depicting the first Thanksgiving.
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