Will you be sticking around Monmouth for Thanksgiving? A game plan is the secret ingredient to celebrating Thanksgiving weekend at Western Oregon University and nearby towns. The first rule of the weekend is to make it your own and do what you want to do. You have been working hard with school and this is a good weekend to recharge yourself before heading into prep and finals weeks. So go do something you want – go for a hike, see a movie, binge watch your favorite TV show or just chill. We have provided five ideas for you to enjoy the weekend. Here’s wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving.
1. What’s the weekend without food?
Plan on attending a free, traditional Thanksgiving dinner and hosting a Friendsgiving.
If you can’t make it home for the holiday, don’t worry about missing a traditional meal of turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes, pie and more. WOU students are invited to the Monmouth/Independence Rotary Club’s Here for the Holidays. The free dinner is 1 p.m. Thanksgiving Day at the Monmouth Senior Center. Please RSVP by Thursday, Nov. 21.
For a casual meal with friends, celebrate Friendsgiving by inviting friends to a potluck. Friendsgiving can be whatever the hostess wants it to be – a pizza party to everyone bringing their favorite dish. The only requirement is friends getting together to celebrate. After dinner, play board games, have a movie night, a favorite TV show marathon, a craft night or video game tournament.
The WOU Food Pantry is giving away Thanksgiving Baskets to help students and community members celebrate with their loved ones on Thanksgiving. Baskets will be given away in the WUC Willamette Room from 9 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 27. If you are interested in getting a basket, please stop by the Food Pantry during our hours of operation to sign up (find hours at wou.edu/foodpantry or WOU Food Pantry on Facebook).
Maya Angelou said, “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” There are many nonprofit organizations that would be grateful for volunteers to lend a helping hand during the holiday weekend. Look for opportunities in Monmouth, Independence, Dallas and Salem to volunteer.
From hiking to visiting local farms, there is an activity for everyone to enjoy in Polk County.
4. Start your holiday shopping
Small Business Saturday is Nov. 30. Learn about local businesses at Monmouth-Independence Chamber of Commerce.
Find homemade crafts from more than 150 vendors at the Polk County Craft Festival on Nov. 29-30 in Rickreall. Admission and parking are free.
Visit the Howell House for MaMere’s Merry Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30. Open house, tours, and craft fair at historic Howell House just east of WOU campus. Free admission.
5. Cheer for the Wolves
The women’s basketball team plays at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29 and 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30. Ticket available at WOU Athletics.