Thanksgiving Day 2012 is Thursday, November 22. Aside from family meals, there are plenty of ways to celebrate around Charlotte. Whether it's volunteering your time, prepping for Black Friday shopping, or running in a 5K, not everything shuts down on Thanksgiving Day. Of course, plenty of things are closed on Thanksgiving, and that information is here as well.
What's open and what's closed?
Federal offices: Closed
North and South Carolina State offices: Closed
Mecklenburg County and city of Charlotte offices: Closed
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools: Closed
Charlotte-Mecklenburg libraries: Closed
Buses, light rail: CATS will operate on a Sunday schedule
Compost Central: Closed
Garbage pickup: Closed. Thursday customers will receive service on Friday, Nov. 23. Friday customers will receive service on Saturday, Nov. 24.
Mecklenburg ABC stores: Closed
S.C. ABC stores: Closed
FedEx: Closed. FedEx Custom Critical available
UPS: Closed. UPS Express Critical available
U.S. Postal Service: Closed
Don't Feel Like Cooking?
Not everyone enjoys cooking a large meal on Thanksgiving Day. And for those of you who would rather sit back and let someone else wait on you, Charlotte offers many dining options. View a listing of restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day.
Volunteer in the Community
A great way to celebrate Thanksgiving in Charlotte is by giving back to the community. Each year, Loaves and Fishes, a Charlotte based charity that hosts a food panty, hold a Thanksgiving food drive. Members of the community can volunteer their time to the drive by picking up donated food items from area schools and churches or they can donate food items directly to one of the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantries located throughout the Charlotte area. There are also several other volunteer opportunities.
Take in a Parade
The annual Belk Carolinas' Carrousel Parade is Charlotte's biggest and best parade of the year. In 2008, TravelMuse.com named the Carolinas’ Thanksgiving Day Parade as the fourth largest Thanksgiving Parade in the United States. The parade begins at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day at Tryon at 10th and marches straight down Tryon to end at Stonewall Street. If you're planning on making the trip Uptown for the parade, organizers suggest you ride CATS buses or the LYNX Blue Line to the Parade. Round-trip fare is only $3 for adults.
Run a Race
2012 marks the 24th Charlotte SouthPark Turkey Trot, an annual Thanksgiving Day race. There will be limited race day registration, but it is capped at 9,000. Events include a 1 mile Fun Run at 8:30 a.m., an 8k Run/Baby Joggers at 9 a.m., a 5K walk at 9:20 a.m. and a Tot Trot at 10:15 a.m.
Start your Black Friday Shopping
Usually, I'd say you can start planning your Black Friday shopping, but stores are opening earlier and earlier this year. Many of them are even opening Thanksgiving night. Check out a list of local mall and store hours for Black Friday 2012.