In just a week's time, the familiar sights, sounds and aromas of Aiken's One Table Thanksgiving Day dinner will waft through the streets of downtown, carrying the spirt of thankfulness to all those who sit down together.
The event has been called One Table for one reason – dozens of tables are linked together to form one place to eat. The table will wrap from Bee Lane into The Alley where people from all walks of life will sit down together.
The annual diner is free and open to all.
Each year since 2005, One Table has attracted hundreds from throughout the community into downtown for a chance to celebrate.
Since the first dinner, when more than 400 people gathered, the event has continued to grow.
This year, organizers are bracing for 3,000, said event organizer Kathryn Wade.
The dinner will be held from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
As the event grows, so has the goodwill of those who volunteer to make the dinner possible.
“We are filled up with volunteers,” Wade said. “We have some on a waiting list.”
Each year, people without loved ones nearby attend One Table for company. Families who can't afford a large meal go for the food and residents who simply want to spend time with others gather.
Wade said she has talked with a handful of newly widowed women and widowers who will be at the event for the first time.
“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. Specify One Table on the comment line only.
Organizers still need donations of desserts, cold salads and packaged rolls, which can be dropped off at Newberry Hall, 117 Newberry St. S.W., from 4 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 21.
For more information, visit www.onetable.org.