Chinook Community Thanksgiving Dinner on for next Thursday


Last updated 11/17/2023 at 1:24pm

Havre Daily News/File photo

People attend the 2022 Chinook Community Thanksgiving Dinner. The dinner is set to go again Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, in the Blaine County Fairgrounds Commercial Building.

This year's Chinook Community Thanksgiving Dinner is set for Thursday from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Blaine County Fairgrounds Commercial Building, a long running event that organizers are trying to bring back to its roots.

Betty Billmayer, an organizer for the event, said attendance to the event still hasn't recovered from the pandemic, and they are hoping to see more people this year, especially in person.

Like so many things, Billmayer said, COVID-19 made this long-running community event more difficult for people to attend, and even after a few years, they still don't see as many people in-house as they used to.

"A community feel, that's what it was originally designed for," she said.

The dinner has been held in Chinook since the '80s and has been a staple community event during the holidays, but in 2020 they had to make changes to accommodate for the pandemic. COVID-19, though, has had a lasting impact on the number of people who attend in person.

Billmayer said she wants to bring as many people as possible together and get back more of the sense of community from the pre-pandemic era.

She said one of the things they are trying to do to boost in-person attendance is offering the chance to win door prizes from noon to 1:30 p.m.

As for the dinner, she said, it will be their familiar turkey dinner, including stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, green beans, pumpkin pie and all the usual Thanksgiving fare.

Billmayer said they are still offering pick-up and deliveries of meals, and people can find request slips throughout local businesses, or they can call her at 406-357-4100.

She said they are planning to create around 200 meals this year and are always looking for volunteers to help.

She said they are looking for people to do food preparation, decorations and setup, make deliveries, pretty much anything the event needs.

"No help is ever turned away," Billmayer said.

She said anyone interested can show up at the commercial building at or after 9 a.m. the day before and they will need people from 8 a.m. onward the next day.


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