Giving thanks: celebrating Veterans’ Day and Thanksgiving

After the glitz and glitter of Halloween, November is a time of reflection. Join us as we celebrate our country’s heroes— and give thanks for what we have.

Raising the flag – Bridge Day

Veterans’ Day

Autumn Fest | Sweet Springs Resort Park

Gap Mills

If there’s an excuse to play some tunes, West Virginians will bring out the fiddles and guitars. You can, too. White Noise Co., a band, invites everybody to bring an instrument to Veterans’ Day-Autumn Fest on Nov. 11.

But if you can’t even whistle, that’s ok. Bring 2 desserts instead; you might win a prize from the judges. Other highlights include hotel tours (bring cash, since this is a fundraiser) and shopping. In fact, this is an opportunity to get some Christmas gifts! Local artisans, beekeepers, and craftsmen will display their goodies during the event.

WVJO Veterans’ Concert | Greenbrier Valley Theatre


Take a seat at the Greenbrier Valley Theatre on Nov. 13 and listen to the West Virginia Jazz Orchestra’s Veterans’ Concert. Bright and peppy, the music will fill you with patriotism and optimism.

Tickets are available, although military servicemen and women (veteran and active duty) may come for free.

Museums and memorials

  • Veterans’ Memorial Museum (Hinton): a history lover’s delight, this museum has exhibits that range from Revolutionary War to the Gulf Wars. Prized items include General MacArthur’s footlocker and a vintage Jeep.
  • Veterans’ Memorial (Hinton): not far from the museum is this eye-catching stone wall, which resembles a mosaic.
  • Vietnam Memorial (Princeton): the sleek, smooth monument honors veterans who served during the 1954-1975 war.
  • Mercer County War Museum (Princeton): wander through 3 floors’ worth of exhibits and artifacts, all of which date from Civil War times to today.


(Run) fast before feasting. Dine at a resort. Skip cooking entirely and pick up Tom Turkey instead. Whichever you choose, southern West Virginia makes Thanksgiving easy.

Thanksgiving Day Run | Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex


With feasting on the horizon, it helps to burn off those calories in advance. Good thing there’s a race! The Thanksgiving Day Run features 2 events: a 5-mile walk-jog race and a 1-mile Family Fun Run. Both raise funds for charity and both are traditions that go back 40 years. Join the turkey trot Nov. 23!

Thanksgiving Day Package and/or Buffet

Love the holiday but hate the cleanup? The Resort at Glade Springs in Daniels solves that problem.

Here are your options:

  • Package deal— spend Nov. 22-25 at the resort. You and your family get lodging, daily breakfast, and a Thanksgiving buffet in the ballroom.
  • Buffet only— dine at the resort with your family. Reservations go quickly, so make plans now while there’s time!

Learn more about this special event.

“Thanksgiving Here or to Go” | Adventures on the Gorge


Prized for its clifftop views of the New River Gorge, Smokey’s Steakhouse is no ordinary restaurant. Thanksgiving makes things even fancier. If you choose to dine in the timber-frame hall, an entire buffet spread is yours for the picking. Doors open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and reservations are recommended.

You can also order Thanksgiving to go. Smokey’s Steakhouse will prepare entire meals with your choice of turkey, ham, or prime rib. Desserts will be available, too. Reservations are required by Nov. 16.

“Thanksgiving to go” | Tamarack


Are you a confident baker but a nervous cook? Tamarack, Beckley’s famous art center, can help. Its gourmet chefs prepare everything from slow-roast turkey and brisket to casseroles. Just pick what you want from the menu and order by Nov. 19. Easy, right? And if you’d rather cook but don’t have time for pie, well, Tamarack bakes those, too.

Trails for Thanksgiving

If you’re visiting the area— or need to entertain your relatives— why not exercise? The scenery is gorgeous and burning those calories is always a good thing.

Check out Southern West Virginia’s handy trail guide for inspiration! Dozens of wilderness trails are out there for hiking and biking.

What’s your favorite memorial or Thanksgiving tradition?