Thousands Feast Together at Twin Ports Thanksgiving Buffet

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: November 28, 2019 08:04 PM

Northlanders gave thanks this holiday season as a community at the 30th annual Twin Ports Thanksgiving Buffet Thursday.


Thousands gathered at the DECC for the traditional free Thanksgiving dinner. Community members were excited to dig into their delicious homemade Thanksgiving dish.

Over 4,000 meals were served at the event. Organizers made 2,200 pounds of turkey, 1,850 pounds of mashed potatoes, 6,000 rolls and bars, and 150 gallons of gravy.

“We were full in the dining room right away, within the half hour we had everyone seated. It was a great morning seeing lots of smiles and a lot of repeat people that come back every year so it’s fun to make those connections again,” said Monica Hendrickson, the event organizer.

It takes a team effort of over 800 generous volunteers to make the special Duluth event happen.

“It’s great to be part of such a well-organized far reaching event and be able to do a little bit to help others feels really good,” said Matt Whittaker, a volunteer.

“It’s heartwarming to see and come down here. There’s kids that can't eat or people that are homeless that come here,” said Lashonda Sias, an attendee from Duluth.

Sias said she’s been coming here ever since she was little and now she gets to share that tradition with her adorable two-year-old twins.

“I really enjoy coming down here actually, it's nice to see the community be together as a family,” said Sias.

Kids were greeted by Santa at the event and got to make Thanksgiving crafts. 

The Thanksgiving buffet has become a home for the holidays for many people and has turned into an annual tradition for many.

“We actually just talked to a gentleman who it was his first time here. He was unable to be with his family on Thanksgiving, and that's what it’s about, that everyone has a meal and a place to call home on Thanksgiving,” said Hendrickson.

“This is a great way to be around people and still feel part of the holiday spirit,” said Whittaker.

On this day dedicated to spending time together and giving thanks, community members shared what they cherish the most about celebrating Thanksgiving as a community.

“I’m thankful for being with my family,” said Cathy Edlund, an attendee from Babbitt.

“We're just really thankful that we get to be together as a family and do this all together,” said Whittaker.

“I’m thankful for being able to make new friends and sitting together here making a whole great big Thanksgiving family,” said Shawn Whithaus, an attendee from Babbitt.


Alejandra Palacios

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