For the 37th year, Bellingham’s Old Town Cafe served a free Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, this year to 434 people. It took 29 turkeys and lots of mashed potatoes, casseroles, salads and pies and the help of about 50 volunteers. Lots of the food was donated, and it was definitely homemade and all made from scratch
Owner Diane Brainard said the volunteers start calling in August. Some of the volunteer started cooking Tuesday and Wednesday night, while others worked two shifts Thursday to provide the free feast from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
While the restaurant has run out of food in the past, this year’s feast fed all who showed up.
Local musicians showed up throughout the day to provide holiday spirit as diners they ate their turkey dinner.
The diners were a mix of homeless people, college students and families. “It’s a real community event,” Brainard said. “We get people from all walks of life. A lot of these people I see once a year. I see them at this event.”