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Amid changing pandemic, what will Thanksgiving look like this year?

As the country exits the pandemic, what will Thanksgiving look like this year?
Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 6:58 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - What will Thanksgiving look like this year as families plan for the holiday with declining COVID-19 numbers? Many are looking forward to the return of normalcy and seeing loved ones after skipping big celebrations last year.

“I isolated last year, but we are getting together this year,” said Ann Pace.

The Jackson resident is among the many Mississippians who will be gathering with family this Thanksgiving.

She, like most grocery shopping this Tuesday, has gotten the COVID-19 shot and is eager to visit with loved ones.

“My plan is to have Thanksgiving lunch with my son and daughter-in-law and my two grandchildren and my sister may come from Texas. We are all vaccinated,” said Pace.

“I think people are just ready to enjoy the holidays and try to move on,” said Ray Martin of Hattiesburg.

“We’re all vaccinated as well and if it’s a day like today we’ll have it outside, but I feel like it’s much safer now,” said Leila Lane of Jackson.

Others are planning to hit the road to share that Thanksgiving feast. Hoping to put last year in their rearview mirrors.

“Last year we cooked and everybody came by and picked up their to-go plates,” said Gervis Kendrick. “We’re going to Oxford, Mississippi to be with my daughter who teaches school there in Oxford.”

“We had a dinner in my carport with our daughter and her family, but this year we’re going to the beach. I’m excited about it,” said Jackson resident Kathy Hays.

“We’re going to Starkville and celebrate with our whole family. I just think it’s wonderful,” said Brenda Burghard of Madison. “It’s time. We’ve all had our vaccinations and we feel comfortable, and we’re good to go.”

Still others plan to remain cautious about gatherings.

“I’m just gonna stay at home, my husband and I,” said Jackson resident Shirley Graham. “We’re gonna invite maybe two people, and that’s about it. Everyone’s been vaccinated.”

“We’ll be at home. We don’t do any traveling that’s not required of us because of the pandemic,” said Byram resident Wendell Paris. “We believe that everybody should stay masked that we ought to follow science.”

Honey Baked Ham store supervisor Yolanda Thomas reports a 50 percent increase in orders this year over 2020.

Last year, customers ordered small hams for four or fewer people. This year the orders are for large hams to feed larger groups. There are about 5,000 total orders.

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