Whether it’s sharing a holiday meal with friends or getting in some early holiday shopping, the season is alive and well.
The Spirit of Oakdale community Thanksgiving dinner will be served at the Gene Bianchi Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 24.
The meal has grown over the years, with organizers planning for about 1,200 diners this year.
The Community Center is at 110 So. Second and serving of the traditional Thanksgiving meal is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
There are no specific ‘seating’ times, just come when you want and stay as long as you please.
Along with the hot, freshly prepared holiday meal, those attending can also receive a bag of groceries to take home; there will be games and activities for youngsters, with each child also getting a toy to take home with them. No one goes away hungry, as the buffet style service is open ended and you can go back for seconds.
“We do get a lot of seniors and people who don’t want to be alone,” said co-coordinator Mickey Peabody. “If you don’t have a family, make this your family.”
Meanwhile, plan to attend the 19th Annual Cowboy Christmas Gift and Craft Show, also being staged at the Community Center on South Second, over the weekend. A highlight of the holiday season in Oakdale, Cowboy Christmas is adding more shopping time this year by opening on Friday, Nov. 25, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for indoor exhibitors only. On Saturday, Nov. 26, both indoor and outdoor exhibitors will be open at 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The event continues to attract interest from all over California and there will be 12 new exhibitors this year and 23 returning for a total of 35 inside booths. On Saturday, Cowboy Santa arrives at 11 a.m. He will be available for pictures until 3 p.m. Lunch and snacks will also be available and proceeds will benefit the Oakdale High School District 5 rodeo team.
Also upcoming to help usher in the holiday season, the fourth annual Oakdale Old Fashioned Christmas, hosted by a number of downtown merchants. That event will be Friday, Dec. 2 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. centered on Third Avenue and including photos with Santa, bounce houses, wagon rides, food booths, crafts, a petting zoo, face painting and live music provided by Remedy and Second Tradition. Cost for the wagon ride is $1 or a canned good, with all proceeds benefitting Family Support Network and the Center for Human Services.
Downtown merchants will stay open late that night and offer a variety of specials.