Onslow County residents are ready to get back to tradition this Thanksgiving


With this year’s Thanksgiving being the first “normal” since the COVID-19 pandemic, many Onslow County residents are excited to return to their holiday traditions.

While turkey and football are the plans for most, others take Thanksgiving to a whole new level. For Richlands resident Jen Sanseverino, Thanksgiving is the perfect day to enjoy a great traditional Italian meal.

“We have lasagna, fresh homemade bread, cheese and crackers, soup and wine,” Sanseverino said. “My family sends apple cider from my hometown orchard with a barrel of apples. Everyone gets up early to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Adults watch Black Friday ads to see which stores they want to visit. We all play board games and card games We are grateful to be together.

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The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and flipping through Black Friday ads are staples for many families on Turkey Day.

Richlands resident Patti Berry said it was her family’s tradition to wake up and watch the parade together while they had breakfast. Then they peel the potatoes to make mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner. Berry said she’s been doing the breakfast and the parade for more than 30 years now, and remembers being little with her mother doing the same.

“Now my daughter is staying overnight at my house the night before so we can continue our tradition,” Berry said. “I’m thrilled to be with my family. They travel from Florida and Virginia to be here. Spending time with my family on Thanksgiving is our other tradition. We go to my sister’s house and hang out all day until we can’t eat anymore, then laugh and hang around some more.We like to watch all the newspaper ad sales and never go shopping.

Ted and Dianne Hodges, residents of the Richlands, on Thanksgiving from a previous year.

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Jacksonville resident Rebecca Jean Ellis said Thanksgiving is her family’s favorite holiday because it’s all food without too much craziness. Her family likes to get everything ready on Wednesday night so they can watch the whole Macy’s Day Parade.

Ellis said her mother died around 20 years ago and she was an amazing cook. So she learned most of the family recipes. The only thing she didn’t learn was cornbread dressing.

“My secret Thanksgiving tradition is I go into the kitchen and talk to him and ask him to walk me through,” Ellis said. “It turns out perfect every time.”

Several Onslow County families are taking a page from Sanseverino’s book and foregoing the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. This year, Swansboro resident Birdy Jones said she is looking forward to spending time with her parents and husband while greening up some old family favorites.

The family of Hubert resident JC Phillips feasts on seafood every Thanksgiving. Phillips said the meal was complete with baked stuffed plaice, oyster dressing and crabmeat-stuffed jumbo shrimp. They also have an oyster roast the night before with the family.

Jacksonville resident Katherine Acevedo Schwarz said she and her family are Hispanic immigrants from Venezuela and Peru.

“We don’t have this celebration in our countries, but we ‘adopted’ it when we came here,” Schwarz said. “We sometimes enjoy the traditional dinner with turkey, mashed potatoes, salads and cornbread. Other years we enjoy Latin or Italian dishes, depending on who will be in charge of the meal. kitchen.”

For other Onslow County residents, however, Thanksgiving isn’t always about family, but it’s still special.

Jacksonville resident Lisa Young-Huff drives a cab at Yellow Cab in Jacksonville. Every year, she says, dispatchers and drivers who have to work on Thanksgiving get together at the cab office, all bringing something and eating together.

Richlands resident John Chilson is used to being on active duty in the military, which he says stands for ‘Friendsgiving’, characterized by breaking bread with brothers and sisters in arms. Unfortunately, Chilson added that this year’s inflation is forcing them to cut back on their usual festivities. .

Another Richlands resident, Zenobia Zenobia, said her family is from California. With most of her family members dead, she said she and her son were mostly alone on vacation.

“Last year we were invited to a friend’s house that I had met a year or two before,” Zenobia said. “They were so kind and welcoming. We absolutely look forward to returning this year and years to come. If you know someone who is away from home and alone, consider inviting them to join your holiday celebrations. .”

Journalist Morgan Starling can be reached at [email protected]


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