When you think of November, Thanksgiving and shopping come to mind when planning for the holiday season. Stuff yourself with these ideas to help you get through the month.
1. Work up an appetite
Get your stomach ready for the dinner table while helping those less fortunate as the Utica Roadrunners present their annual Run/Walk to End Hunger on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, at the Parkway Recreation Center, 220 Memorial Parkway, Utica. Registration is from 8 to 8:45 a.m. on race day. The event features at 5K run and 2-mile walk. The cost is $7 per person and $20 per family, plus two nonperishable items per person. Donations will benefit the Compassion Coalition and local food pantries.
2. Be a Thanksgiving Day volunteer
The 39th annual Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner at the First Presbyterian Church of Utica at 1605 Genesee St. takes place Thanksgiving Day with seating at noon and 1 p.m. The dinner wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for all the volunteers and donations needed. There are several volunteer and donation opportunities to help serve anyone who needs a meal, companionship or neighborly love on this day of thanks. To help, call 315-732-5111.
3. Gobble your way through dinner
Don’t feel like cooking? Treat yourself and the family to the annual Thanksgiving dinner from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona. The last seating is at 3:30 p.m. Wear your elastic-waist pants to enjoy this delicious, traditional feast complete with live music, balloon artists and face painting. Tickets are $42 for adults, $22 for children ages 6-15 and free for ages 5 and younger. For tickets, call 315-361-7469.
4. Shop ‘til you drop
Clinton Shoppers’ Stroll & Holiday Parade is Friday and Saturday, Nov. 24-25, when village businesses and community organizations offer complimentary food, drink, hospitality and music both days and Friday evening. Area churches have bake sales, crafts, food and pie sales and music. Don’t miss the traditional roasted chestnuts, hot pretzels, buttery popcorn, hot cider and more for sale. Activities include horse-drawn carriage rides and holiday carolers performing. Highlights include Friday’s annual tree lighting at 6 p.m. and the Holiday Parade at 7 p.m. Saturday’s events include a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and much more.
5. Get a jump start on a Christmas tree
Ziyara Shriners of Utica’s inaugural "FEZtival of Trees Extravangana" takes place from Nov. 19-26 at the Masonic Care Community,2150 Bleecker St., Utica. View a spectacular display of uniquely decorated artificial Christmas trees all donated by local businesses and organizations ready to be raffled. Each tree winner will receive his or her very own Christmas tree plus all the gifts contained under the tree. Santa Claus and Shriners’ clowns will be on site for pictures and visits with the kids. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Admission is $2 for adults. For information and times, call 315-7325328 or visit www.ziyarashriners.