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200 pounds of potatoes are boiled and whipped up for the meal, which is expected to bring in 450-500 people. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Holy Rosary to host Thanksgiving

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entertainment Detroit Lakes,Minnesota 56501
Detroit Lakes Online
Holy Rosary to host Thanksgiving
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Many people this time of year are beginning to think about turkey and how not to screw it up for Thanksgiving.

So imagine knowing you’ve got 30 turkeys to roast and a guest list of around 500.          


It’s the kind of pressure folks at Holy Rosary welcome year after year as they prepare for their annual Community Thanksgiving Feast, which is free and open to the public.

The dinner is being held Thursday at the Holy Rosary Parish from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., but with this kind of smorgasbord, the cooking begins at the crack of dawn.

“A couple comes in at 6 a.m. to get the turkeys going in the roasters,” said Mary Brenk, who along with her husband, Matt, is co-chairing the event. “And then not too long after that, more people come in to scrub up 200 pounds of potatoes and get them boiling.”

Of course, a small army of volunteers make their way into the kitchen to help whip up another 40 pounds of sweet potatoes with a marshmallow topping, cranberries, stuffing, 50 dozen party buns and 60 pumpkin and apple pies.

“There are families who volunteer to help with this every year — they’ve made it their family tradition,” said Brenk, who says helpers range from middle aged school children “to some of us more seasoned ones,” she laughed.

“It’s wonderful how it all comes together — you contact people, and they’re willing to donate and help — they make it an easy event because they pitch in so willingly.”

Brenk says she believes the event remains incredibly popular because there are always people who either don’t have family around to celebrate with or just enjoy the simplicity and atmosphere of the church event.

A local family volunteers to decorate all the tables for the feast, while the dinner is set up in a buffet style.

“And for those who are, for whatever reason, unable to leave their homes, we do deliver,” added Brenk, who says they’re expecting to deliver roughly 200 meals.

“For some folks, we will be the only people they see all day that day when we deliver food to them,” said Brenk, pointing out how that makes this event even more important.

There will also be volunteers to provide transportation to and from the church for people who need it.

Transportation and meal delivery requests will only be taken for residents who live within a few miles of Detroit Lakes and should be called in no later than Nov. 25, at 847-1393.

Brenk says there will be a free-will donation set up, as the event is fully funded by donations, “but there’s nothing required of anyone,” she said, adding that the goal is just to provide a place for all community members to come and enjoy the holiday.

“It really is such a nice, relaxed, welcoming atmosphere,” said Brenk, adding how proud people at Holy Rosary are of the event.

“But you don’t have to be a church member to come,” stressed Brenk, who says she loves how there is such a mix of people who make the event a yearly tradition.

Holy Rosary Church is located at 1043 Lake Ave.