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Community invited to free Thanksgiving meals
A-Community dinner pic1
Volunteers are serving free Thanksgiving meals beginning at 5 p.m. Nov. 26 at the Lakeview Center on Dawson Forest Road. Rivals Grill in downtown Dawsonville is offering a free luncheon on Thanksgiving Day. - photo by File photo

Preparations are in place for everyone wanting to celebrate the holidays with a hearty feast this Thanksgiving.

The festivities start Nov. 26 with a free dinner at the Lakeview Center, beginning at 5 p.m.

Now in its fifth year, the dinner is organized by volunteers with the local Alliance of Churches and features turkey, all the trimmings and a variety of homemade desserts.

While initially designed for those who find themselves alone or can't afford to travel to be with family for the holiday, the dinner has grown into a community-wide and much anticipated event that welcomes everyone.

A free luncheon is also planned on Thanksgiving Day at Rivals Grill in downtown Dawsonville in the City Hall shopping center.

Owner Danny Lyons said the meal is his family's way of giving back to the community that has provided so much for them.

In the past, the family had spent Thanksgiving volunteering at shelters in Atlanta.

"What I want to do this year instead of taking them to Atlanta, I want my family to come here in our community and help feed the hungry and give the senior citizens a free Thanksgiving dinner here in the restaurant," he said.

Two settings are planned, with the first at 11 a.m., followed by a second at 12:30 p.m.

"We're going to have turkey, we're going to have ham, stuffing, green bean casseroles, pies and cakes, salads, rolls," Lyons said. "We'll provide the food and my kids will be here serving, getting their drinks. It would tickle me to death if we could be full in here at 11 o'clock."

He added that everyone is welcome to the free meal.