Some facts, schedules and other information you might want to know for the 2021 Thanksgiving holiday:
The Thanksgiving holiday weekend will be dry and mostly seasonable. Thanksgiving Day will be cold with highs in the upper 20s and partly cloudy skies. Black Friday will be mostly cloudy with highs in the lower 30s. Saturday and Sunday will feature partly cloudy skies and highs in the upper 30s.
Some places are offering a free Thanksgiving dinner if you want some companionship Thursday:
• Hope Gospel Mission is holding its annual Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The dinner will be at Hope Gospel Mission’s Renewal Center for Men, 2650 Mercantile Drive, which is across from Festival Foods on Eau Claire’s west side. The meal will be offered as curb side pickup/drive through. There will also be a dine-in option. For those who are dining in, there will be a short program at 11:30 a.m. The meal includes turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green beans, cranberries, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie. No reservations are needed. For more information visit hopegospelmission.org or call 715-492-3867.
• The Community Table, 320 Putnam St., will serve a free Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. This will be a carryout meal. For more information call 715-835-4977.
If you need some advice about cooking your turkey, call the toll-free U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-674-6854. The line is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Send email questions to MPHotline@usda.gov.
Or you can call the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line at 800-288-8372. Help can also be reached by text messages at 844-877-3456. For the 40th year, home economists and dietitians dish out turkey preparation tips to thousands of callers each holiday season every day through Dec. 24. Butterball also provides answers to the most-asked questions about cooking turkeys at butterball.com.
Thanksgiving travelers will spend a lot more for gasoline than they did last year.
The statewide average is $3.12 a gallon for regular unleaded, the American Automobile Association in Wisconsin said. That is 3 cents per gallon less than last month but $1.22 more per gallon than Thanksgiving 2020.
AAA estimates that 53.4 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home for the Thanksgiving holiday, up 13% from 2020. This brings travel volumes within 5% of pre-pandemic levels for the 2019 holiday, AAA says. AAA predicts nearly 1 million Wisconsinites will travel for Thanksgiving, an almost 13% rebound from the total number of travelers during the 2020 holiday.
Call 511 to check road conditions in Wisconsin. You can access the report online at 511wi.gov.
Government offices and public libraries in Altoona, Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire and Menomonie are closed on Thanksgiving Day.
Eau Claire City Hall and Eau Claire County Courthouse will also be closed on Friday.
No garbage will be picked up in Altoona, Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire and Menomonie on Thursday.
Financial institutions with personal service will be closed Thanksgiving.
Chippewa Valley Museum in Carson Park will close Thursday. It will be open from noon to 5 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.
Three National Football League games will be played on Thanksgiving Day.
The Chicago Bears are at the Detroit Lions at 11:30 a.m. on FOX, the Las Vegas Raiders are at the Dallas Cowboys at 3:30 p.m. on CBS and the Buffalo Bills are at the New Orleans Saints at 7:20 p.m. on NBC.
Two college football games will be played Thursday on national television. Fresno State is at San Jose State at 2:30 p.m. on FS1 while Mississippi is at Mississippi State at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN.
The Festival Foods Turkey Trot will be Thursday at Hobbs Ice Center, 915 Menomonie St. The event, which begins at 8 a.m., features a 5-mile run, 2-mile fun run, 2-mile walk and a dog jog.
The cost is $35 for adults and $15 for children younger than 18. Shirts and bibs can be picked up at Hobbs Ice Center from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday and beginning at 6:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
Proceeds benefit the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater Chippewa Valley.
For more information visit festivalfoodsturkeytrot.com.