FAIRMONT - A traditional Thanksgiving dinner doesn't happen overnight, certainly not when you're anticipating a crowd of 100-plus people.
At the Salvation Army in Fairmont, Majors Dale and JoAnn Hixenbaugh and their troupe of trusty volunteers are preparing for the annual Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, but they're having a bit of trouble.
The Hixenbaughs relocated to Fairmont this summer, and they're not certain what kind of turnout to expect, other than hearsay from past events since not many people have called to make reservations. It might be the warm weather, or how early Thanksgiving falls this year, but either way, the lack of feedback makes planning difficult.
"We want to make sure we have a rough estimate for how many to expect," JoAnn said, partially so they make enough food, but also so they don't have too many or too few volunteers.
The free meal is open to everyone, regardless of income or circumstances, and runs from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday.
Dale, who used to cook in the U.S. Army, is ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work.
"We'll have four turkeys and a ham, 10 pies, six big cans of peaches, cranberries, stuffing for a hundred ..." he listed.
"It's going to be a nice dinner," JoAnn added.
Call (507) 238-9797 to make a reservation.