Nearly 2,000 people gathered at the Blaisdell for the state’s largest Thanksgiving meal

Nearly 2,000 people gathered at the Blaisdell for the state’s largest Thanksgiving meal

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In Honolulu, 800 volunteers whipped up the largest Thanksgiving meal in the state.

Folks started lining up long before doors opened at the Neal Blaisdell Center Thursday morning. In all, close to 2,000 people gathered together for a traditional Thanksgiving meal and fellowship.

While guests were greeted at the door. Volunteers formed an assembly line in the kitchen cooking up the holiday feast.

“We probably start planning this event about six months before,” said Major Jeff Martin, Salvation Army Division Leader. “We have 900 pounds of turkey, 35 gallons of gravy and we have about 300 pumpkin pies.”

As plates piled high with turkey and all the trimmings were placed on the tables, Bob Stillwell wasn’t thinking about food.

The 90-year-old has been playing in the Salvation Army Band since he was ten -- and this is a gig he doesn’t miss.

“It’s a wonderful experience to see the people,” said Stillwell.

This is the second time Theresa Linoz has come to the Blaisdell to share in the holiday meal. This year she’s accompanied by her five grandchildren.

“It’s really special,” said Linoz. “There’s so much food. Being around everybody. The whole community. We all come together.”

After guests filled up on food they were invited to fill up a bag at the Sally Shop. It’s a new addition this year offering people essentials like socks, shampoo and snacks.

On top of the dinners served at the Blaisdell, another 24,000 people received Thanksgiving meals statewide -- thanks to a generous donation from Bruno Mars earlier this month.

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