Thanksgiving in Truckee

You have all heard the traditional Thanksgiving story! The original gathering took place in the autumn of 1621, between the Pilgrims and the Indians to celebrate making it through the first year at Plymouth Rock. Many had died, but they made it through with the help of the Indians. A harvest festival was proclaimed and lasted three days.

  • In 2014, Thanksgiving Day falls on Thursday, November 27
  • In 2015, Thanksgiving Day falls on Thursday, November 26

This was a centerpiece that my Mom did for her Holiday Table in 2011

This was a centerpiece that my Mom did for her Holiday Table in 2011. Half of the fun for the Holiday Meals at her house is seeing what she comes up with to decorate her table!

Truckee Area 2013 Events

(Will be updated to 2014 Events as we get closer to November and event details for 2014 are known!)

Squaw Valley's - Thanksgiving Dinner on the Mountain

When: Thursday, November 28, 2013
Time: Seatings at 1:00pm and 4:00pm
Where: High Camp at Squaw Valley, USA
Description: Head up to High Camp for a Thanksgiving dinner that you'll never forget. The feast will be presented buffet style and will be held in the Terrace Room with expansive views of the mountain and Lake Tahoe. On the menu is sage roasted turkey, honey roasted ham, and all the traditional fixings.
See all the details:
Reservations are required. Please email to make your reservation.

Price: $39 for adults, $29 for kids 12 and under. (Price does not include Cable Car ticket)

3rd Annual Tahoe Community Thanksgiving Celebration

When: Thursday, November 28, 2013

Time: 2:00pm – 6:30pm
Where: North Tahoe Event Center (Kings Beach Conference Center at
8318 North Lake Blvd in Kings Beach, CA)
Description: This event is a community potluck.

Some of my favorite area Restaurants serving Thanksgiving Dinner on November 28, 2013 include the following: (Reservations required - space is limited)

  1. Where: Garwoods Grill & Pier - 5000 n. Lake Blvd, Carnelian Bay
    1. Time: 1:00pm - 9:00pm
    2. Description: Traditional Holiday Menu, plus Regular Menu also available
    3. Reservations (530) 546-3366 or 1-800-298-2463
    4. Price: $29 adults

  2. Where: Jake's on the Lake - 780 N. Lake Blvd, Tahoe City (Boatworks Mall)
    1. Time: 3:00pm - 8:00pm
    2. Description: Traditional Turkey Meal as well as full dinner menu available.
    3. Reservations (530) 583-0188 (after Oct. 28, 2013)
    4. Price:TBA

  3. Where: River Ranch Lodge - Tahoe City (corner Hwy 89-Alpine Meadows Rd)
    1. Time: Bar opens at 1pm, Dining Room opens at 1:30pm
    2. Description:Special Thanksgiving Dinner Menu including a 3 course Traditional Turkey Dinner with all the fixings.
    3. Reservations (530) 583-4264 or Toll Free 866-991-9912
    4. Price: $27 for adults and $15 for children under 12.

  4. Where: Thanksgiving Harvest Banquest at The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe Ballroom - 780 N. Lake Blvd, Tahoe City (Boatworks Mall)
    1. Time: 11:00am - 5:30pm
    2. Description: Traditional Thanksgiving Favorites, as well as fall inspired dishes.
    3. Reservations (530) 562-3000, extension 3051
    4. Price: $85 for adults, and $35 for children ages 3-10.

  5. Check out the links to the Reno Casino's on my Reno Page - I've heard they are having spectacular Thanksgiving Day meals!

More events will be added as I run into them!

Thanksgiving Facts

Some facts you might not know are:

  • Turkey and pumpkin pie were probably not included, but fish, berries, watercress, lobster, dried fruit, clams, venison, and plums, were probably on the menu!

  • The next Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in June 1676, to commemorate the fact that their community in Massachusetts was secure. The day was set aside as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise to God. The Indians were seen as a hindrance to acquiring land, rather than a help at this time, and were not included.

  • In October 1777, another Thanksgiving celebration took place, to celebrate the victory over the British in Saratoga.

  • In 1789 George Washington proclaimed a National day of Thanksgiving, but many people were opposed to it because they did not believe that the hardships of the pilgrims warranted a national holiday. President Thomas Jefferson was opposed to having Thanksgiving.

  • The feast did not become a national day of Thanksgiving until 1863, when President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November a day of Thanksgiving. Every President after that proclaimed Thanksgiving a holiday.

  • The date was changed a couple of times, but in 1941, Thanksgiving became a legal holiday, occurring on the fourth Thursday in November, more than 300 years after the original feast.

  • Thanksgiving today has come to be associated with family reunions, turkey and stuffing, eating way too much, eating pumpkin pie while stuffed, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, an expensive time for air travel, the start to the holiday shopping season, and watching football! It remains a day of gratitude and food like the original celebration!

  • The day after Thanksgiving, named "Black Friday" is the biggest shopping day of the year and over the years, stores have opened earlier and earlier trying to "outdo" each other. I must admit, that this is a day that I stay out of the stores, but some fantastic shopping deals can be found on this day!! See Truckee Shopping! If you are a store owner in Truckee, you can enter the details of your Black Friday Sales or Holiday Sales on my Truckee Shopping Sales page for FREE!

  • The following Monday after Thanksgiving, in recent years has been named, "Cyber Monday" and is essentially the same as Black Friday, only the sales deals can be found by shopping online. I much prefer this option, as you don't have to get out in traffic and deal with the crowds in the stores!


Gratitude is defined as the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful. It is an important quality to develop in your life for many reasons. Many studies have shown that grateful people are happier; less stressed out and depressed, and experience greater satisfaction in life. The practice of starting a gratefulness journal and writing down three things you are grateful for each day, can actually increase your happiness! Take the time to be grateful!

If you are planning a big family meal at home, try to incorporate others in your group this year...those that don't have family nearby to visit, military families that have loved ones serving, single parents with kids, or those who live alone and might not have a place to go!

Truckee area Non Profits - Help needed in 2013

Thanksgiving is a time of year when lots of Truckee Non-Profit Organizations and Lake Tahoe Non Profit Organizations need extra help! Some organizations want to help the elderly and needy and make sure that everyone has a great meal on Thanksgiving!

As I run into places in Truckee that have opportunities to volunteer your time, or your resources for Thanksgiving Programs, I'll post them here! If you know of anything...please contact me!

  • Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe - donate $5.00 and get a raffle ticket for the chance of a $1,000 gift card to be selected on Nov. 15, 2013 at 5:00pm. For all the details:
  • Project MANA will be having their annual Lets Talk Turkey Thanksgiving food distribution for families in need on Sat., Nov. 23, 2013. Families in Truckee, Incline Village, and Kings Beach will receive a frozen turkey, and all the fixings for the traditional holiday meal. Donated Turkeys and cash contributions are appreciated! For more details:

Thanksgiving Alphabet

T: Turkeys, tablespreads, being together,
H: Happiness and homes to protect us from all weather,
A: Aunts and uncles, a reunion in Fall,
...N: Nieces and nephews, family members all!
K: Kind-hearted kin coming over for dinner,
S: Surely you'll have fun, but you won't get thinner!
G: Gourds and pumpkins, mouths open wide.
I: Indians and Pilgrims we remember with pride.
V: Very special times-there could even be snow.
I: Imagine what it was like at Plymouth long ago.
N: Never forget how the settlers led the way,
G: Giving thanks and blessing this special day.



Thanksgiving Food

Thanksgiving Dinner

Our Thanksgiving Dinner - 2011

This section was written by my sister Kerry, of Healthy Diet Habits. She has a science degree in dietetics, and is helping me with my Holiday section and some of my "Foodie" pages! Her website offers tons of practical Healthy Eating tips!

Thanksgiving is a day centered on foods that are harvested in the fall. The traditional meal includes: stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, ham, cranberries, rolls, green beans or corn, gravy and topped off with pumpkin pie! It’s a high-fat, carbohydrate feast that would put us off, any other day of the year, but is a must for Thanksgiving! Or is it?

These simple tips can make your Thanksgiving feast a simpler, stress-free, healthier meal:

  • Skip the pre-meal appetizers. You know those dips and chips that add hundreds of extra calories, and fill you up before the serious eating begins!

  • Downsize your turkey to a chicken! Turkey’s are hard to cook because they are so big. Chickens taste better, are easier to handle, and less fussy to cook and carve!

  • Make your dressing from scratch, rather than a box. You will be amazed at how much better it tastes. No stove top stuffing in a pouch! Fill it full of celery, onions, and any chopped vegetables that you love. You can prepare all ingredients the day before and whip it together at the last minute.

  • Unless you just love the last minute hassle of gravy; buy healthy premade gravy. This will greatly cut out last minute stress or have a relative make it at home and bring it! Reheating works great!

  • Make your cranberry sauce from scratch rather than buying it from the can. You can add less sugar and the end product does not even taste similar.

  • Choose only one other carbohydrate between potatoes, yams, corn, or peas. Enjoy the real vegetable, rather than adding lots of fattening goodies. Simple foods taste great. Mashed potatoes can be made ahead of time and kept warm in the oven, to eliminate the last minute stress too.

  • Skip the rolls!

  • Add a fresh low carbohydrate vegetable to the meal. Ditch the green bean casserole. Fresh green beans taste so much better!

  • Fix a low carbohydrate fresh salad that is not full of fattening goodies! A green salad full of fresh ingredients will be a highlight of the heavy meal! Try making a Vegetable Turkey - pictured below!

  • Fix a fresh fruit salad, rather than a Jell-o salad full of canned fruits. Fresh fruits are a treat at this time of year.

  • Stick with pumpkin pie or a lower calorie dessert choice. Serve only small portions. Remember that Costco pies are meant to be cut into 16ths. No need for huge pie pieces, when such a heavy meal has already been consumed. Your guests will thank you.

Vegetable Turkey Tray for Thanksgiving Dinner

Vegetable Turkey, made & photographed by Leigh Storz

For tips on making Holiday Produce trays, please check out my Produce Trays page on my Holidays and Observances website!

The goal of the Thanksgiving meal should be simplicity! Great ingredients fixed in a simple manner. Fix as many of the dishes from simple, scratch recipes, using real foods. Choose recipes that can be fixed the day before, to eliminate stress and allow you to enjoy your family and friends!

For Additional Thanksgiving & Holiday Tips from Kerry, see: (these links open up her website in a new browser)

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