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Cloudy,52°
Friday, October 31, 2014
Stepping Out
Thanksgiving ushers in the festive season around the area
Savoring the flavors of holiday traditions
By Karen Bloom
Sweet treats: The all-important holiday pie is being prepared at Old Bethpage Village under the watchful eye of a young visitor.

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching — and with it the holiday season bursts forth. Before we settle in for that day of feasting, welcome the holiday season by exploring some of the many holiday-themed events nearby.

An 1863 Thanksgiving
It’s become an annual ritual for families to make a pre-Thanksgiving trek to Old Bethpage Village Restoration’s re-created 19th-century village. Take some time to immerse yourselves in the sights and smells of the holiday season, as those early years of our national day of feasting and giving thanks comes alive. Imagine that it’s 1863 and you’re preparing a holiday meal for your family, following President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation of the first official national holiday of Thanksgiving Day. What would it be like? Step back in time at Old Bethpage Village Restoration and find out when the village celebrates an “1863 Thanksgiving” this weekend.
In keeping with its longtime tradition, the village is bustling with activity as it readies for an old-fashioned Thanksgiving: wood-burning stoves, beehive ovens and hearths are fired up to prepare foods and baked goods made from 19th-century recipes. The culinary exhibits include the “spitting” and roasting of turkey in a tin reflector oven beside the Williams House hearth and preparation of pies at the Powell House. The village also displays 19th-century methods of food preservation employed for late fall crops.
Historical period music adds to the festive atmosphere each afternoon and children’s stories are read several times each day.
Enjoy an old-fashioned Thanksgiving, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 23-24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $10, $7 children and seniors. Old Bethpage Village Restoration is located on Round Swamp Rd., in Old Bethpage. (516) 572-8401.

Feasting Native American-style
Native Americans always made the most of nature’s bounty at harvest time, even though it certainly wasn’t known as Thanksgiving. Yet, there was plenty of feasting and festivities as they gathered to commemorate their harvest before preparing to settle in for the approaching winter.

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