If you see a quorum of Mesquite City Councilmen conferring together and it’s not an official meeting, you might say, “Oh, oh. Might this violate the open meeting law?” But Wednesday, Nov. 21, you’d just say, “More, please.” And it all it might have violated was your diet.
The councilmen and other city staff and officials were serving up thousands of Thanksgiving dinners at the Mesquite Senor Citizen Center at 102 Desert Dr., the side street adjacent to the Mesquite Recreation Center. And workers from the center also were doing their share, as the entire city government put the term “public servants” to practical use.
The police also were there. But there was no expectation of trouble. Police Chief Troy Tanner and SWAT Capt. Scott Taylor joined the serving staff.
The only lines the thousands of diners waited in were to get in the building. Trays of roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes and all the trimming were brought to the table by the servers.
Entertainment also was provided through the day, which started at noon with hungry diners lined up at the senior center doors. Both of the large common rooms were filled with tables and seating was plentiful.
After some pumpkin pie, some diners were able to walk off their meal getting to their cars, as the parking lot was filled to overflowing.
But Thanksgiving wasn’t the only harbinger of the holidays this past weekend. A holiday bazaar was held at the CasaBlanca special events center.
While the free Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday may have been the best deal of the week, there were plenty of great values at the bazaar, which featured hand-made and commercial made items.
There was an abundance of one-of-a-kind jewelry and pottery. There were glass works, art works and floral displays. Sports fans weren’t left out with team logos on shirts, caps, scarves, knickknacks and whatnots.
Some booths sold items to decorate the house for the holidays while one sold doll-sized houses. There were woodcrafters, and items made from dozens of wine corks, while another vendor had melted beer bottles into bizarre but useful shapes. The knitting and crocheting arts were not neglected.
A DJ pounded out music to keep the tempo moving and children had a large slide to slide down. Outside the events center, there were hot dogs, cotton candy and popcorn for the hungry, as well as fresh roast nuts. And We Car for Animals also was there seeking new homes for loving pets.
The holiday bazaar was a preview of things to come. The CasaBlanca special event center is filled today with Christmas trees for this year’s Festival of Trees, which began Wednesday evening. The festival, which features Christmas trees decorated by individuals, businesses, churches and organizations, also includes continuous entertainment, as well as door prizes and raffles. It’s open today 2-8 p.m.
On Friday, Nov. 30, the festival again runs 2-8 p.m. But at 6 p.m. there’s a special program scheduled to honor veterans.
All veterans will be admitted for free on Friday. The cost to attend any day of the festival is $3. But if you bring in a can of food, the cost is $2. All the conned goods will be donated to local food banks.
Saturday is the last day of the Festival of Trees. The hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. A lunch with Santa Claus is scheduled 12:30-2:30 p.m. and cost $10 per child.
Other features of this year’s festival include a silent auction for selected trees; the Salvation Army Angel Tree and a drop off for the Any Soldier Project.