Rotary Club of St. John Announces Thanksgiving in Franklin Powell Park

Turkey and all the fixings

The Rotary Club of St. John has announced the second annual “Thanksgiving in the Park” will take place from 4-7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 22, in Franklin Powell Park. This event, in collaboration with the St. John Community Foundation, the STJ Angels’ Long-term Recovery Team and other local supporters, is a Thanksgiving Day feast served to the St. John community in celebration of coming together and supporting one another in the festive spirit of gratitude for progress, recovery, community cohesion, fellowship and local culture. All on-island are invited to attend this free community-wide holiday event.

Thanksgiving 2017 was very different on St. John. With most of the island still without power, it was impossible for most people to enjoy a home-cooked meal with their family. In the true spirit of the holiday and of Love City, those who were able to use their kitchens created a meal for those who could not.

“Last year we had 50 volunteers use their personal ovens to bake and slice the turkeys. We fed over 700 people!” said BJ Harris, treasurer and foundation chair of the Rotary Club of St. John.

“The support and contribution from the Love City community is what makes this event successful,” said Kai Frett, president of Rotary Club St. John.

“It was wonderful to see the community come together last year in the Park,” said Celia Kalousek, director of the St. John Community Foundation, “From the Love City Pan Dragons and Dynamic Dancers to residents, young and old, locals and transplants! I was told over and over, that we needed to do this every year, so here we are again. Thanks to the Rotary Club of St. John and other community partners! It was almost like a moving feast with people hanging in the park or moving on to say hello to friends at Ryan Sharkey’s 420 to Center dinner, Dog House Pub, Skinny Legs and other hotspots on Thanksgiving Day. Wherever you go, know we are grateful to call you all neighbors, friends and family!”

This year, Thanksgiving in the Park celebrates St. John’s pace of recovery from the devastating 2017 hurricanes and its current planned resiliency projects to strengthen the community. In this effort, the event strives for a reduced carbon footprint to serve as an environmentally sensitive holiday gathering. Dinnerware will be bio-disposable and attendees are strongly encouraged to bring refillable drinking containers to minimize the consumption of plastics. Water stations and a cash bar will be provided; local musicians and entertainers are invited to contribute performances to the festivities.

Be part of Thanksgiving in the Park. Anyone who would like to participate in the event are asked to help with set up, serving, cooking, cleaning up, donating supplies and offering entertainment.

Please contact Teri Mandemaker at the Rotary Club of St. John (360-503-8597 or or Rachel Rachfal at the St. John Community Foundation (643-9410 or to contribute, perform or otherwise assist.