While more than 300,000 out-of-town visitors typically flock to Las Vegas for Thanksgiving weekend, locals are doing what people all over our nation do – settling in with family and friends for good food, laughter and football. Plus, of course, Black Friday (or Thursday) shopping!
The average American will consume approximately 3,000 calories during Thanksgiving dinner. Add in pre-meal snacks and evening pie, and that number can easily reach above 4,500 calories. Burning off as many calories as possible before the bird even reaches the table, many runners sign up for turkey trot races. And Las Vegas has a Turkey Trot that is consistently ranked among the Top Ten trots in the country.
The Las Vegas Turkey Trot half marathon runs along a historic railroad trail that meanders around the scenic Lake Mead Recreational Area and through tunnels once used for workers to take materials to the Hoover Dam. The event offers something for everyone including a one-mile stroll, 5K course, 12K run and, of course, the aptly named marathon course: the Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam.
With an average November day-time temperature between 63-70 degrees, cooking the Thanksgiving bird on the grill has become somewhat of a tradition for many Las Vegans. Not only is the weather perfect for being outdoors, grilling opens up precious oven space.
If you haven’t tried this method before, according to Martha Stewart you’ll need a kettle grill with a lid that’s at least 22 inches in diameter, such as a Weber; a chimney starter; trussing supplies; a bag of best-quality charcoal briquettes, meat thermometer and a disposable heatproof aluminum roasting pan. Plan on 11 to 13 minutes of cooking per pound. Most importantly pay attention. You’ll be adding eight to nine briquettes to each side of pan every hour to maintain a grill temperature of 325 degrees F on oven or grill thermometer. Recipes run the gamut from simply traditional like those found on the Food Network to those a bit more Epicurious.
There’s no longer any doubt that Las Vegas, the Entertainment Capital of World, is also the Sports Capital of the World. Catch the Las Vegas Raiders vs. the Dallas Cowboys on CBS at 1:30 p.m. on turkey day. And the city’s beloved Vegas Golden Knights play the Edmonton Oilers at home at T-Mobile Arena later that weekend – Saturday, Nov. 27.
No place does Black Friday shopping like Las Vegas. Here are just a few suggestions.
This time of year, many organizations sponsor special food drives. Watch for opportunities to pitch in at locations like Smith’s grocery stores, which partners with local charities. If you can help, here are a few organizations that traditionally hold Thanksgiving food drive: United Way of Southern Nevada, Three Square and Help of Southern Nevada.
Items that are most needed include: instant mashed potatoes, stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, canned and instant gravy, canned vegetables, boxed pasta and rice, pumpkin pie filling and desserts and other nonperishable groceries.
After making the best of a 2020 virtual Thanksgiving, we have so much to be grateful for this year. As the American author William Arthur Ward once said: “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”