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Thanksgiving comes a little earlier

Treasure Island The city helps Canadians observe their day in October with food and festivities.

By SANDEE DAVIES, Times Staff Writer
Published September 30, 2007


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In the United States, we think of Thanksgiving as a uniquely U.S. celebration, but our neighbors to the north beg to differ. Canadian Thanksgiving has a long and storied tradition. Unlike the American tradition of remembering Pilgrims and settling in the New World, Canadians give thanks for a successful harvest.

It has officially been celebrated on the second Tuesday in October since 1957. The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an English explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Orient. He held a formal ceremony to give thanks for surviving the long journey.

Around the same time French settlers arrived with explorer Samuel de Champlain and formed "The Order of Good Cheer," feasting and sharing their food with their Indian neighbors.

The city of Treasure Island has been celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving for the past seven years, making our transplanted neighbors feel at home and nurturing goodwill. Can/Am Week was started when band director David Chubb and his wife, Marlene, brought the Westlane High School Band of Niagara Falls to Florida for their Thanksgiving break. Last year, the A.N. Meyer band joined in on the trip.

The week of festivities includes a visit from the mayor of Niagara Falls, Ted Salci, the two high school bands performing a week of concerts, a prayer breakfast and a full-course Canadian Thanksgiving dinner.

Reservations for the prayer breakfast, with Treasure Island Mayor Mary Maloof and Mayor Salci, are required by Monday for the Friday morning event. The guest speaker will be Jack Levine talking on "Our Families, Our Futures: Across the Generations and Across the Borders." Tickets are $15.

Tickets for the Thanksgiving dinner, held on Oct. 8, are $10 and can be purchased in advance or at the door.

Contact the Treasure Island Chamber of Commerce, 144 107th Ave., for more information and to purchase tickets for both events; 360-4121.

The band concerts are free.

If you go

Canadian/American Week schedule

FRIDAY

Mayors Prayer Breakfast, 7:30-9 a.m., Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club, 400 Treasure Island Causeway.

Concert, 4 p.m., John's Pass Village.

Saturday

Concert, 9 a.m., Saturday Morning Market, Willams Park in downtown St. Petersburg.

Sunday (Oct. 7)

Concert, 4 p.m., the Pier Musicfest, 800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg.

Monday (Oct. 8)

Concert, noon, Bay Pines VA Center, 10000 Bay Pines Blvd., Bay Pines.

Concert, 3:30-5 p.m., and Thanksgiving dinner, 5 p.m., at the Treasure Island Community Center, 1 Park Place and 106th Avenue in downtown Treasure Island.

Information: For reservations, tickets or more information, call 360-4121.

[Last modified September 30, 2007, 01:21:20]


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