David Seacord hopes to create a new Thanksgiving tradition in Baker City by hearkening to the holiday’s origin.

“It started as a community event, and it moved to focus on family gatherings,” said Seacord, a fine art painter and piano technician who has a studio at the historic Churchill School.

“That’s all wonderful, but what if you don’t have a family?”

That question prompted Seacord, and the dozen or so other artists with studios at Churchill, to plan the inaugural NE Oregon Regional Thanksgiving Day Gathering & Potluck at the Churchill School Dancehall, at Broadway and 16th streets.

Brian and Corrine Vegter of Baker City bought the 93-year-old building in 2018.

Everyone is welcome to attend the event, which is planned from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28.

The school’s parking lot is off 16th Street just south of Broadway.

A suggested donation of $3 to $5 per person, to support the Churchill School Art Center, would be appreciated.

“The whole point is the community coming together to be grateful for the chance to come together,” Seacord said. “Not everyone has a place to go.”

He hopes to remind people that that’s not actually the cause.

Seacord invites attendees to bring a dish — both the vegetarian and the omnivore are welcome, according to a flier advertising the event — to share as part of the potluck feast.

“Nobody’s going to be turned away,” Seacord said. “The idea is you come with your offering, whatever you have made with love.”

The flier suggests people “kindly consider NOT bringing commercially prepared dishes” and to “please create a label card of your ingredients.”

In addition to the meal, the event is slated to include:

• Emcee-facilitated social mixing games

• A planetary peace healing ceremony

• Impromptu open-mic talent show of musicians and poets

More information about the Thanksgiving gathering is available by calling 541-820-3633.

Other local Thanksgiving events:

• Calvary Baptist Church, at Third and Broadway streets in Baker City, will offer a free turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day at 3 p.m.

• Thanksgiving dinner at the New Bridge Grange, about 3 miles north of Richland, at noon. In addition to a dinner provided by the Grange featuring turkey, ham, potatoes and gravy, everyone is invited to bring a side dish and dessert, and then stay after dinner for games including pinochle, dominoes, Yahtzee, Monopoly and other games that participants bring.

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