Eighteenth annual Turkey Feast this Friday

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Volunteers hand out apple and pumpkin pie to students during lunch on Friday on the Quad. Charu Gupta, president of the Palo Alto High School Parent Teacher Student Association, said she was determined to organize the Turkey Feast despite some difficulties. “There’s a shortage of supplies out there, but we really, really wanted to make this happen for our students,” Gupta said. “This is one of the most fun events I know — students and staff [will] all remember this.” (Photo: Jonathan Chen)

Payton Anderson and Leena Hussein

Parent volunteers hand out apple and pumpkin pie provided by the Parent Teacher Student Association during lunch during last year’s Turkey Feast on the Quad. Freshman Lilia Kuzmicheva said the Thanksgiving Feast is a great way for students to celebrate this appreciation-filled holiday. “A lot of Paly students celebrate thanksgiving so it’s nice to have the holiday incorporated into the school day,” Kuzmicheva said. “But also for people that don’t really celebrate it at home, it’s a way for them to be able to experience and learn more about it during school.” (Photo: Jonathan Chen)

With Thanksgiving approaching, Palo Alto High School’s 18th annual Turkey Feast will be held during an extended lunch on Friday at the Quad. 

With everything including turkey and mashed potatoes and an array of delicious homemade pies, the Turkey Feast is an event organized by both the Associated Student Body and parent volunteers. ASB’s social commissioner and sophomore Kennedy Do said Turkey Feast is a tradition many in the community spend the year looking forward to. 

“It’s really important for students to bond with one another and to unite the community with events like Turkey Feast,” Do said. “Because of COVID in past years, we haven’t seen that in a while.”

According to Do, ASB also organized the Week of Thankfulness leading up to the feast — a newer addition to the tradition. Each day consists of a new activity and students will have the opportunity to show appreciation for a new group on campus including students, teachers, friends, and campus custodians. Do said she hopes the inclusion of campus custodians in this year’s thanking will prompt students to show more appreciation towards the group. 

“Usually during the Week of Gratitude we only do Teacher Appreciation,” Do said. “But then we [ASB] also thought that it would be nice to show our appreciation for the custodians as well, so we dedicated a day to them as well.” 

Although the assortment of treats is one reason why this event is heavily anticipated by students, Do said the feast allows students and staff to come together and express their appreciation for one another. 

“It’s really important to show your gratitude for teachers because I feel like a lot of their work is under-appreciated,” Do said. “So it’s nice to, every once in a while, show them that we really do appreciate all that they do for students.” 

According to Do, there are over 100 parent volunteers from the Parent Teacher Student Association contributing to help set up, serve, and supply food for the feast.

ASB Social Commissioner and senior Evie Kramer said she enjoys planning fall festivities like Turkey Feast because it gives students opportunities to engage with one another.  

“It brings the community together and is a fun thing we all get to do together before the break,” Kramer said. “As Spirit Commissioner, my whole job is to help with events that bring people together at Paly and I think this is a great one.” 

Many freshmen, including Lilia Kuzmicheva, are looking forward to experiencing one of Paly’s annual fall festivities for the first time.

“ASB fall festivities impact the school because they help students get into the fall spirit and provide fun bonding events,” Kuzmicheva said. “I’ve never been to this sort of event during school, so I’m excited to experience it.” 

Senior Theresa Hart said Paly’s Turkey Feast tradition helps bring a sense of community and inclusion to campus that she is appreciative of. 

“I do think this [Turkey Feast] helps bring the Paly community together because it’s something that a lot of people enjoy and it’s nice to see that many people in one place,” Hart said. “ASB tries their hardest to get people to just see other people and I know that when I go to the activities I see people I normally don’t see on a daily basis.”

Students can buy tickets for tomorrow’s feast here.