GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) – The Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson metro area is home to approximately 1.5 million people, and that means there are over a million ways to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. So FOX Carolina wanted to know what people upstate are thankful for? And how did people celebrate?
Our first stop was downtown Greer, where the Block family, owners of La Bouteille, a wine and beer boutique, got into the Christmas spirit.
“We work hard together as a family so we can provide for our family,” said Shelly Block, owner. “(Thanksgiving) is all that matters to your family.”
The family boutique offers wines and craft beers from all over the world.
“From all over the world,” said Block.
And since 2015, preparing for the start of the holiday shopping season has been a family tradition around Thanksgiving.
“It doesn’t matter what we do as long as we do it together,” Block said.
The spirit of unity also echoed in establishments such as the Crate Restaurant & Wine Bar.
“This is a time of year when everyone is considered family,” said Jaquette Ginyard, owner of Crate Restaurant & Wine Bar.
The site served a couple from Spain who were part of 200 people to receive a free Thanksgiving Day meal from a serial entrepreneur grateful for being outspoken and successful.
“I’m grateful to be still open after COVID,” Ginyard said. “I’m grateful for the community here, for my family who moved here from New York to help me. I have many things to be thankful for.”
Ginyard isn’t alone, a recent poll by The Economist and YouGov found that about half of Americans celebrated Thanksgiving Day indoors with people outside of their household, up from just a third of Americans two years ago.
“It’s about community,” Ginyard said.
The poll also found that the things people are most grateful for this year are family, health and life.
“The amazing community we have and I am grateful for my college and my friends, teammates and coaches,” said Ashtyn Lamelle, a Limestone University undergraduate.
It’s a different energy at the Clevedale Historic Inn and Gardens in Spartanburg, where Chef William McClellan serves a group of strangers.
“Thanksgiving is about networking and meeting people,” McClellan said. “It’s a time to experience new cultures and different things.”
He is proud to serve visitors at the former plantation’s annual Festive Feast for Modern Pilgrims, a place rich in heritage and hospitality where fellowship among strangers is the main dish.
“Connection is what I live for,” said Dr. Caroline Caldwell, a participant. “I’m thankful for ‘framily’. And that’s all of the people you connect with through your soul, heart and mind, and it doesn’t matter if it’s blood. It is about values, peace and thoughts of continuing connections.”
Connectedness is a profound concept, just as profound as some people’s opinions on other popular topics.
“Politics. Definitely politics,” McClellan said.
The latest poll also found that, depending on the year, a political debate is part of one in five conversations at Thanksgiving Day dinner. But people we’ve spoken to say Thanksgiving is reserved for other important matters.
“Togetherness,” Ginyard said.
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