The Rapidian Home

First Ever Downtown Turkey Throwdown

Underwriting support from:
Concerned turkey

Concerned turkey

Danny Beckett

Danny Beckett

Wondering if you're up to the challenge of Thanksgiving 2009?
Like any physical or mental feat, success depends on preparation and practice. For Rapidians who are nervous about the upcoming holiday, there is an opportunity to give the event a trial run; a practice session.

On Monday, November 23 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. The First Annual Downtown Turkey Throwdown will take place. The potluck/turkeyfry/social media gathering will take place near the Biggby Coffee Shop at 146 Monroe Center. "The main purpose of the throwdown is community building in much the same way the original Thanksgiving was intended," said Cindy Grace one of the event organizers. While the intent might be the same, how the contemporary Pilgrims gather is different than the first Thanksgiving in 1621. While a bell might have called people to the first Thanksgiving, it is social media that is brining people together for the Downtown Turkey Throwdown.

Danny Beckett, 25, conceived the event and said he literally put it all together early this week. "I'd been at my sister's for a birthday party and we had turkey. As I was driving home I was thinking about how really cool the party was and just thought it would be great to do it outside old Pilgrim style and get a bunch of people from the community involved," he said. "It is really about the spirit of Thanksgiving. We have a lot to be thankful about. Even when things haven't been great for everyone, we all have something to be thankful about. We're focusing on being thankful-we're not raising money and it isn't going to cost anyone anything to participate," said Beckett.

Beckett found enthusiastic help from Twitter followers Grace and Lisa Lehmann. "I just put it out there and Cindy and Lisa really ran with it."  The women are working on some of the logistics securing donations of silverware, plates and dressing (also known as stuffing) and gravy from the Corner Bar in Rockford. Beckett's invitation on Facebook and Tweets on Monday started the ascent from fun idea to possible big event. The Facebook RSVP list is growing by the day. This event is open to all.

"We're certainly not basing success on numbers. Even if a dozen people come and friendships are formed, a meal is shared and kindness is shown by donating food, then it will be phenomenally successful. Of course, the more the merrier," said Grace. "We just like the idea of gathering the community and sharing a spirit of thankfulness,"said Lehman.

While Beckett is heading up the frying of the turkey, participants are expected to bring a dish to share and non-perishable food items to be donated to Mel Trotter Ministries. People with names A-K bring a bread, L-S are to bring a side dish and T-Z bring a dessert. Organizers envision sawhorse tables and participants will likely stand and eat.

"I really like gathering people and bringing people together," said Beckett. "You're not going to make much of a difference in this world if you're gathering by yourself," he said.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.


 In the spirit of Thanksgiving...thank you for the excellent story Roberta. I'm looking forward to meeting you at the Throwdown on Monday.