Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving gives us the chance to gather around a beautiful meal, spend some quality time together, and count all the things we’re grateful for. It’s also a time to think about others in our communities and share our blessings.

This 2022 holiday season it’s time to focus on whatever makes your heart happy. That good feeling can be found by hosting dinner, spending time with friends or spreading joy by giving back in your community. No matter how you decide to celebrate, food — specifically turkey — remains at the center of all the good that comes with the holiday season.

A Message from Oregon Department of Transportation

Are you hosting the Thanksgiving feast this year? As the host, you set the tone for your guests – what to bring, expected dress (shout out to my casual heroes), etc. This year, remind guests to leave the turkey business to your kitchen and OFF of our state highways. We’re seeing a troubling rise in close calls between crew members and vehicles. Our crews ask that you remember – we all have families and friends who want us to arrive safe and sound.

Cars make their way through a snowy Santiam Pass. Signage indicates they're traveling in a snow zone and overhead VMS warns: Snow zone - chains required.

Many holiday travelers will flock to the roads this week, but wet, snowy weather could gobble up your plans if you aren’t prepared. Our crews work through the feasting to keep your travels safe, but we could use your help. If there’s snow or a crash, continued staffing shortages mean we may need more time to clear roads.

We’re working to fill current vacant positions, but you should be prepared for less snow plowing. Please be courteous and patient with our crews, whether they are plowing or flagging traffic – we have a shared goal to keep you moving.

Here are some trip tips for #TurkeyDay travel:

🦃 This week is one of the busiest travel times of the year, regardless of conditions. Expect delays, plan ahead, and allow extra travel time.

🦃 Be careful when traveling over mountain passes. Check TripCheck.com for road conditions. Many camera displays include temperature and other helpful information.

🦃 Pay attention to roadside message signs. They contain critical information about conditions on the road ahead, like chain requirements.

🦃 Be ready for wintry road conditions. Carry chains and know how to use them. In case of major delays, pack supplies for you and your passengers such as food, water, blankets, warm clothes and medications.

🦃 Drive for conditions. Rain, snow, or extra traffic – slow down and give space for more stopping time, especially if the road is slick.

🦃 Give snowplows extra space and never pass on the right. Be patient. The safest place to be when it’s snowing is BEHIND a plow.

🦃 Don’t be a turkey! Make sure there’s a sober, focused and alert driver behind the wheel to help you get to and from your destinations.

🦃 Watch out for the whole flock and keep a lookout for pedestrians and cyclists who are often less visible in wintery weather.No matter how or where you travel in Oregon, be prepared for changing conditions. Let’s look out for each other, our crews, and emergency responders on the road. Everyone deserves a safe holiday weekend.

Free Thanksgiving Meals In Lane County

Although the Whiteaker Holiday Dinner is not happening this year, a coalition of groups have decided to do their own.

Alluvium, a spiritual center, in partnership with The Way Home and Reality Kitchen, will provide warm meals for members of the unhoused community on Thanksgiving Day. All three organizations share a common history and a goal to house or provide food for unhoused or at-risk Eugene residents.

“It was inspired by the absence of the Whiteaker Dinner,” said Will Paradis, an Alluvium community member. “We really felt it’s a very important aspect of this community and people depend on it and we wanted to keep it going when we found out it wasn’t going to happen in the way that it has for many years.”

Volunteers are more than welcome to lend a helping hand. Meals will start going around at 1:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Alluvium is located at 810 west Third Avenue in Eugene. Organizers are planning to serve more than 125 meals alongside grilled foods, sandwiches, and snacks.

Alluvium, 810 W. 3rd Ave. Alluvium is working with The Way Home of Eugene and Reality Kitchen to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for the unhoused. They will be serving 125 meals that will consist of turkey and additional assorted sides. They will start serving at 1:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving at Alluvium.

Veneta – Fern Ridge Service Center, 25035 West Broadway A free dine-in meal will be provided on Wednesday between noon and 1:30 p.m. The event is open to all.

Junction City — Moose Lodge #2238, 427 Front St. The lodge will be hosting a free hot Thanksgiving dinner for community members. It will be open on Thanksgiving from noon to 5 p.m. and the event is open to anyone. Call 541-998-1164 for information.

Florence – Elks Lodge #1858, 1686 12th St. The Kiwanis Club of Florence will be distributing 750 free to-go meals at the Elks Lodge on Thanksgiving. They will start serving at 11:30 a.m. and will stop serving when the 750 meals have been distributed. No more than four to-go meals per vehicle unless all recipients are present.

Lane County meal sites*

The Dining Room
270 W 8th Ave
Passing out to-go meals
M-Th 12-2:45PM

St. Vincent de Paul Service Station
450 B Hwy 99 N
(18+ only); limited number of guests in the building, outdoor respite space available
M-F 8:00AM-5:00PM

Ebbert Memorial Methodist Church
532 C St, Springfield
Passing out to-go meals
Monday 8:30-10:30AM
Tuesday/Thursday 8:00-11:15AM

Free People!
Sunday Breakfast at Washington-Jefferson Park, 9:15-9:45AM
Sunday Dinner at Washington-Jefferson Park, 5:00-5:30PM

Hearth & Table
Free meals for local college students once a week Thursdays, 6:30PM-7:15PM.
Central Lutheran Church, 1857 Potter Street.
The entrance to use is the one in the back, off the parking lot. The meals are packaged for reheating, plant-based, and recipes are provided, so students can develop their cooking skills on their own by practicing the recipes.

When the big feast comes around, don’t forget what Thanksgiving is all about. Being thankful is an important part of being happy and sharing this joy with others will only elevate your holiday. Oh, and remember to give your compliments to the chef, it is Thanksgiving after all.

We’ll be back in the office on Monday 11/28 – Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Willamette Valley Magazine

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving Weekend

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