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Posted: November 22, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Blue Willow Inn restaurant to host ‘First Thanksgiving’

Owners of the internationally acclaimed Blue Willow Inn restaurant, Louis and Billie Van Dyke, announce today the opening of their third annual "First Thanksgiving" exhibit and replica table in Social Circle, Ga.

What has become the American tradition of Thanksgiving actually stems from the feast held in the autumn of 1621 by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians to celebrate the colony’s first successful harvest. Our modern celebration is centered on the turkey, but the first Thanksgiving brought together the foods and the traditions of both the English settlers and the American Indians.

The First Thanksgiving exhibit at the Blue Willow Inn Restaurant and Village, the only one of its kind outside of Plymouth, Massachusetts, will reflect this marriage of cultures. A period table, constructed out of rough-cut lumber, will be adorned with settings and decorations typical of the early 1600s in New England. Also on exhibit will be a replica saber, musket gun, American Indian spear and hatchet, a 150-year old wheel barrow, a cooking fire with a pot on a steal frame, and an old bible and cross and numerous other artifacts. The feast itself will be representative of the first Thanksgiving and will include venison, wild turkey, squash, corn, gourds, berries, nuts, cranberries, lobster, fish and the like.

"A replication of the first Thanksgiving ties in perfectly with the essence of The Blue Willow Inn," said Louis Van Dyke. "We designed the Inn as a way to transport our visitors back to simpler time and this authentic replication will allow us to experience the Thanksgiving Season and absorb a little history."

This unique early American feast and exhibit provides visitors with a flavor of Thanksgiving. It will run through Sunday, Nov. 29.

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