Various groups around Madison County offer holiday meals

Before it’s time for jingling of bells and roasting of chestnuts, this week is the time for cranberries popping in the oven and turkey frying.

Most of all, this week is for thanks. Give thanks for the gardens’ harvest, to be puritanical; or give thanks for healthy family and friends. Some folks who don’t have family in the area, or who simply choose to share Thanksgiving with a plethora of people, have a few options around Madison County.

Bethel United Methodist Church in Sheridan offers dinner on Thursday at noon in their Bethany Hall. Laurie Rogers takes reservations for the dinner and has been for over 17 years. She says the count of attendants has gone from 80 to 100 people at a dinner, down to about 40 last year. But there is plenty of food, no matter how many attend.

Members of the church sign up about a month prior and make food for the feast, whether they come or not. There is no charge, but donations can be given. Anyone is welcome.

“Anybody that needs a meal can come,” Rogers said. “Anybody that needs a friend can come.”

She even had a few hunters one year who couldn’t find an open restaurant.

For reservations, contact Laurie Rogers at 842-5345, or Kathy Slick at 842-5128.

The Madison Valley Baptist Church in Ennis is offering a free traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m.

This is the first year they have had the dinner on the day of Thanksgiving. Usually the meal is offered the Sunday before, or after. The decision was made earlier this year to change the day after the church saw the need in the community. The food has been donated by church members and local businesses.

“Madison Foods and Deemo’s have donated the turkey and meats,” said Maria Lake. “This is really a community outreach, not just the church.”

Not sure how many will attend, Lake said they are preparing for a lot of people. They are requesting that anyone needing a meal delivered locally should call 682-4244 by Tuesday.

For celebrations that begin the day before, head out to Pony and The Pony Bar for smoked turkey and potluck fixings. Owners Paula and Scott Lambert have been putting this event on for the 10 years they’ve owned the bar. Usually about 20 to 25 people show up. Festivities start at 7 p.m. There is no charge, but bring a special dish.

They also offer a full, free Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday starting at 5 p.m. Call 685-3386 if you have any questions.

“They usually clean it all up,” Paula said.

So, come on time, and ready to eat.

If none of these fill the bill, take a plate to the neighbor. Or take one to those who have to work for the day; especially if there is more than enough to be thankful for and it no longer fits in the fridge.

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