Taste of Thanksgiving

Alisa Boswell

Portales First United Methodist Church’s 58th annual Turkey Dinner and Bazaar kicked off at 11 a.m. Thursday and by 12:15 p.m., the church’s fellowship hall was jam-packed with people from Portales, Clovis, Elida and more.

“It’s a good time to be fed and have good fellowship,” said Elida resident Molly Anthony. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Elida United Methodist Church will be holding its 15th annual turkey dinner Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Elida High School cafeteria.

“We advertise in Floyd and Portales a lot and they’re really good to come out and support us,” said Elida event coordinator Ruth Moore. “We’ve had a lot of interest and we feel real hopeful. I called some other churches and invited them and put some posters up and we’ve had some good responses so far.”

Moore said the Elida dinner usually sells 200 to 250 plates each year.

Fellowship seemed to be the theme of the dinner with many local residents listing fellowship with their friends as the main reason they enjoy attending each year.

Portales resident Frankye King has been helping with the Portales Methodist dinner for about 30 years, she said.

She said Portales community members and Elida community members showing each other support goes both ways, because people from Portales attend the Elida dinner while people from Elida, such as the Anthonys, attend the Portales one.

“I enjoy getting to see the people that I only get to see this time of year,” King said. “And the fact that it all goes to missions.”

King said she plans to attend the Elida dinner on Sunday.

Director of the Portales event Shelly Atwood said the Portales dinner was turning out to be as successful as in previous years. Last year, the church sold 1,876 plates. Atwood said she did not yet know the number of plates sold this year but she feels confident it will be at least as many as last year.

“You come to the dinner and you get to see a lot of people you don’t get to see much. It’s a happy time,” Atwood said. “It sets the tone for Thanksgiving and the whole fall season.”

Elwyn Hulett said he and his wife have been attending the Portales dinner since they first moved to the town 16 years ago.

“It’s a church community effort,” Hulett said. “You see everybody from kids to community members that help make this happen.”

Atwood said it does take the help of many people to make the dinner events happen.

“I’ve grown up in Portales, so I’ve always eaten at the dinner,” she said. “I think this year, it’s going to be as good as ever.”

Funds from the Portales dinner go toward missions and funds from the Elida dinner go toward community services projects.