Creating a “Festival of Sharing” on Thanksgiving Day in the greater La Crosse area.
La Crosse Community Thanksgiving Celebrates Community
The La Crosse Community Thanksgiving is a celebration of all that is good about community life in the Coulee Region. We are an interfaith endeavor put on by volunteers for all people of the Coulee Region at the La Crosse Center. This is an inclusive event where everyone is invited to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at no cost and share the day with others.
Celebrating our 39th year!
In 1982, four people had a dream to create a “Festival of Sharing” on Thanksgiving Day in the greater La Crosse area. There would be food, fellowship and worship. There would be no charge for the dinner and it would be available to everyone in a welcoming atmosphere. The dinner would be based on a Thanksgiving dinner held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin put on by Father Marty Karr and his organization called “A Place To Be”.
The planning committee worked closely with the Salvation Army and Cooperative Campus Ministries to create a structure in which to plan and hold the dinner.
The first year approximately 100 volunteers put on the dinner with donated food and financial contributions from numerous individuals and businesses. Stoffel Hall, which is part of the English Lutheran Church, hosted over 300 attendees on Thanksgiving Day 1982 for a traditional turkey dinner. On that day the tradition began of celebrating community on Thanksgiving Day and it continues today.
La Crosse Community Thanksgiving is an expression of celebrating community and giving thanks for the blessings we have. It brings diverse people together promoting awareness, understanding, and community building. This event is made possible through the generosity of caring individuals, students, organizations, churches, businesses, foundations, and artists.