The autumn leaves have begun to change to a vibrant hue, and fall is certainly already in the air as organizers set the table for the eighth annual One Table Thanksgiving dinner.
Each year since 2005, One Table has lured hundreds from throughout the community into downtown for a chance to celebrate this uniquely American holiday.
There's little doubt that it is Thanksgiving in Aiken when the aroma from turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and desserts all blend together in The Alley with live music to make the annual event appealing to the senses.
The dinner will be held from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
Event organizer Kathryn Wade said organizers are looking for volunteers who want to help with clean up, food service and preparing food.
The much-beloved event has continued to grow in popularity each year, initially drawing more than 400 people downtown.
This year organizers are bracing for more than 3,000 local and out-of-towners to join together downtown for Thanksgiving.
Organizers are asking for volunteers to consider cooking a covered dish or baking a dessert.
The homemade desserts and dishes can be dropped off at Newberry Hall from 4 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 21.
Wade said they have never gone unaided when organizers have turned to the community for help putting on the festivities.
“I think it is indicative of the greatness of Aiken and the community,” she said and explained that the annual diner is free and open to all.
“This has been a wonderful event that not only draws people from Aiken,” she said. “This has become a wonderful event that people plan to attend every year.”
Those attending One Table are asked to bring a canned food item to donate to Area Churches Together Serving and Christ Central Ministries.
Monetary Donations may be made through Christ Central Missions Division. Checks must be made out to Christ Central Missions Division, or CCMD. Please Specify One Table on comments line only.
For more information, visit www.onetable.org.
Aiken Standard file photo Thousands gathered for turkey, stuffing and more in downtown Aiken Thursday for the 7th Annual One Table Thanksgiving dinner.×
Aiken Standard file photo The Alley was brimming with food, music and friendship as thousands gathered in downtown for the 7th Annual One Table.×