(Stacy Spensley, Flickr Creative Commons)

(Stacy Spensley, Flickr Creative Commons)


Events are happening around Haines and Skagway for Thanksgiving, and believe it or not, not all are about the food.

If you’re considering whether to wear the pants with the extra-stretchy waistband tomorrow, consider this: Haines and Skagway are both offering Thanksgiving exercise options before the endless trays of food are presented. Turkey Trots are taking place in both communities and could help the guilt that inevitably follows over-indulging.

“There’s no reason you can’t enjoy these foods at other times of the year, in moderation, so there’s no reason to go overboard on this one day.”

That’s Kate Fossman, a registered nutritionist and dietician in Haines. She says going heavy on the non-starchy veggies and a little easier on the rest, is a surefire way to remain upright and awake after the meal. A little movement, even just a quick walk, is another way to combat overeating.

“It might make you feel a little less full so that when pie comes around, you’re actually looking forward to it instead of just trying to stuff it down.”

She adds that there’s no reason to go without a favorite, decadent food, but everything in moderation. And if you’re going for seconds, start with the veggies first, she says.

Those looking for a little more exercise on Turkey Day can sign up for the Turkey Trot. In Skagway, it’s the 14th –annual event. In past years around 30 people take part, says Brandie Bounds, who is helping out. She says the run offers a good chance to get moving early before the big feast.

“It’s good for anybody, whatever pace you want to do works,” said Bounds. “It’s just around town.”

The fun run-walk is a 5-K and starts at 10:15 a.m. at the Pizza Station with food and drink available. The $10 fee goes toward Skagway School’s intramural program. There will be apple pies for the winners.

In Haines, the 5-K trot starts at 9 a.m. at the old fire tower in Fort Seward. Participation is free and open to all.

Afterward, from 1-3 p.m., the Ministerial Association of Haines is hosting a community-wide Thanksgiving dinner at the Haines School.

Jane Cowart is helping out with the meal and said last year, nearly 100 people showed up. She and her husband pastor a local church, and while the dinner is hosted by several churches, it’s open to everyone. And it’s sure to offer a diverse and plentiful spread.

“This will be the second year we’ve done it at the school and the two years before that, each church did their own little thing and then we just thought it would be a good idea to come together and do it in a neutral place, so … four years (total).”

She says the meal is truly for everyone, not just those who are down on their luck.

“If people need it, they need it and if they just don’t want to be lonely or if they just want to be part of the community because the churches doing so many things with meat but then the community brings side dishes. We end up with so much food and unexpected food because everybody has their special things they like to make at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It turns out to be a really fun time.”

She adds that even if you can’t bring a side dish, definitely bring an appetite.

Happy Thanksgiving.