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Thanksgiving Traditions

American Thanksgiving originated in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts as a harvest festival for thanks and prayers and was attended by pilgrims and Native Americans. George Washington proclaimed Thanksgiving as a National holiday in 1789, but was celebrated on and off for many years. President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a Federal holiday in 1863. Over the years the day to celebrate sparked great controversy by presidents and the House of Representatives and between states on which day to observe Thanksgiving—the last Thursday of the month or the fourth Thursday of the month. While President Franklin D. Roosevelt at first declared that the last Thursday of the month would be a Federal holiday for Thanksgiving, he later changed the day to the fourth Thursday of November and signed a bill on December 26, 1941 to confirm the day.

Some fun facts about Thanksgiving:

  • As Sarasota was a rocking place during the Roaring Twenties with the Ringling’s, here are some Thanksgiving traditional foods of that time for you foodies: Parched Corn; Hot Cider Vegetable Glaze; Meat Pies; Turkey Stuffing; Persimmon Pudding; Coffee Cream Candies; Pumpkin Pies and Fruit Cakes.
  • Gimbals Department Store in Philadelphia was the first to have a Thanksgiving parade in 1920. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade didn’t start until 1924.
  • Cranberries were introduced to the pilgrims by the Native Americans and used for cooking as well as medicinal purposes. They also used them as a dye for fabrics.
  • The dance the ‘Turkey Trot’ was inspired for ballroom dancing by real turkeys trotting.
  • Over 45 million turkeys are purchased a year for Thanksgiving.

Need a hostess gift for Thanksgiving? Need something fun to do Thanksgiving weekend while on vacation in Sarasota with family and friends?Purchase a food tour, walking or trolley tour gift certificate at or

It’s a great way to learn about Sarasota history and relax after a ‘sometimes’ busy and long Thanksgiving day. Also a great experience! An ideal tour for a true foodie! We can customize a tour for your group. Want to see Sarasota in a trolley and relax after the holiday? This is the tour for you!

Happy Thanksgiving! We are thankful for all of our clients!

Sources: Wikipedia and

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