GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) – The Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson metro area is home to approximately 1.5 million people, meaning there are over a million ways to spend Thanksgiving. So FOX Carolina wanted to know what people upstate are grateful for? How did people celebrate?
Our first stop was in downtown Greer, where the Block family, owners of the wine and beer boutique La Bouteille, created a festive mood.
“We work hard together as a family to provide for our family,” said owner Shelly Block. “(Thanksgiving) is what matters to your family.”
The family-run boutique boasts wines and craft beers from around the world.
“From all over the world,” Block said.
And since 2015, preparing for the start of the holiday shopping season has become a Thanksgiving family tradition.
“It doesn’t matter what we do as long as we do it together,” Block said.
The spirit of unity also resonated with companies such as Crate Restaurant & Wine Bar.
“This is the time of year when everyone is considered family,” said Jacket Ginyard, owner of Crate Restaurant and Wine Bar.
The site catered to a couple from Spain who were part of 200 to receive free Thanksgiving food from a serial entrepreneur who is grateful to be open and thriving.
“I’m grateful to be still open post-COVID,” Ginyard said. “I am grateful to the community here, my family who moved here from New York to help me. I have many things for which I should be grateful.”
Ginyard is not alone: A recent poll by The Economist and YouGov found that roughly half of Americans celebrated Thanksgiving indoors with people outside their family, compared to just a third of Americans two years ago.
“It’s about the community,” Ginyard said.
The survey also showed that this year people are most grateful for family, health and life.
“The wonderful community we have and I am grateful for my college and my friends, teammates and coaches,” said Ashtyn Lamel, a student at Limestone University.
It’s a different energy at the Clevedale Historic Inn and Gardens in Spartanburg, where chef William McClellan serves a group of strangers.
“Thanksgiving is about socializing and getting to know people,” McClellan said. “This is the time to get to know new cultures and other things.”
It prides itself on serving visitors at an annual feast for modern pilgrims at a former plantation, a place of rich heritage and hospitality where socializing with strangers is the main course.
“Connection is what I live for,” said Dr. Caroline Caldwell, a participant. “I am grateful for the frames. And these are all the people with whom you are connected with your soul, your heart and your mind, and it does not matter by blood. It’s about values, peace, and thoughts about continuing to connect.”
Connectivity is a deep concept, as deep as some people’s opinions on other popular topics.
“Politics. Definitely politics,” McClellan said.
A recent poll also found that, depending on the year, political debate is part of one in five Thanksgiving dinner table conversations. But the people we’ve spoken to say that Thanksgiving is reserved for other important things.
“Together,” Ginyard said.
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