State Representative Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary) recently announced the Harvest Feast will be held at 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 16 at the New Shiloh Baptist Church, 1727 W. 15th Ave., in Gary.
Area residents attend the annual dinner each year to celebrate Thanksgiving with a traditional holiday meal and live gospel music performances.
“This is the 27th year we have held the Harvest Feast,” said Dr. Smith. “It is a great joy to see families come together as a community to offer thanks for the many gifts God has bestowed upon us. It is also gratifying to see the sheer delight in the children’s eyes and smiles on the faces of the elderly. It is a bountiful meal, with all the trimmings and delicious deserts.
“However, the meal is more than sustenance for the hungry,” explained Dr. Smith. “It is a feast for the soul as well. We will have incredibly talented Gospel singers and musicians, some of the best in the Midwest. I give particular thanks for those who join us who have no families or nearby friends with whom they can celebrate the holiday. They are a blessing to me and all of us. I believe the greatest gift God shares with us is the gift of one another.”
Dr. Smith says senior citizens, those with no family in the area, and, in fact, all Gary community residents are welcome to attend the Harvest Feast.
The Harvest Feast starts with a church service followed by a complete, traditional Thanksgiving meal, featuring turkey, dressing, beef roast, macaroni and cheese, green beans, greens, mashed potatoes, and dessert. A variety of Gospel musical groups will perform as well. The event is free and open to the public.
Dr. Smith said he welcomes and would greatly appreciate help with the meal. In particular, he needs assistance with the set-up, preparation of food, serving of food, and cleanup. For more information, call him at 219-887-2046.
Dr. Smith organizes and hosts the event every year as a memorial to his mother, the Rev. Julia E. Smith, former pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, and his aunt, Magnolia Allen.