SOUTH FORK — From a warm meal on Thursday afternoon to a blazing bonfire on Friday night, South Fork is heating up for the holidays.
The Kiwanis Club of South Fork will host its annual Thanksgiving Day celebration at the South Fork Community Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 22. The Kiwanis Club prepares for an estimated 500 people every year, serving full plates while receiving food and clothing donations from area residents.
The Kiwanis branch in South Fork relies on volunteers and donations to serve this massive meal. They’ll cook dozens of turkeys using Del Norte school kitchens, and they’ll coordinate donations received for other Kiwanis programs. Throughout December, for example, the Kiwanis Club funds Christmas parties for kindergartners to fourth graders in Del Norte and Center.
Valley residents typically donate enough gifts for 400 children. In addition to food, games, and special prizes for the parties, the Kiwanis donations also provide dictionaries for all the fourth grade classes. Additional Kiwanis donations go to food banks and the delivery of food baskets for South Fork families in need. Kiwanis club surplus donations also boost a migrant workers program that provides food, lodging, and services.
Starting at 4 p.m. on Nov. 23, the 2nd Annual South Fork Yuletide Extravaganza will kick off with hot bowls of chili, baked potatoes and sopapillas at the South Fork Community Center. Christmas caroling wagons will depart from the community center at 5:30 p.m. and continue circulating singers around South Fork until 6:30 p.m. when everyone will head to the South Fork Visitor Center.
While Santa fields gift requests from children at the visitor center, revelers will gather around a pile of scrap wood to prepare the bonfire and begin the countdown before lighting all the decorated trees.
Coordinated by the Friends of South Fork, the Yuletide Extravaganza event will also feature a new Christmas display near the water tower on Highway 160.