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Citadel News Service
16 Nov 2005

Thanksgiving in the Mess Hall

A Thanksgiving tradition for the Corps of Cadets, knobs make hats for upperclass cadets that reflect their personalities, leadership, aspirations or accomplishments and present them at the annual Thanksgiving meal. From the simple to the elaborate, the bigger and bolder the hats the better.

Each year a Thanksgiving meal is served to the Corps before they go on furlough. This year when it was all over cadets had consumed 170 turkeys weighing 4,035 pounds, 435 pounds of ham, 170 pumpkin pies, 800 pounds of mashed potatoes, 650 pounds of yams, 270 pounds of green beans, 650 pounds of stuffing and 30 gallons of gravy. Whew! Nap anyone?

After the feast, cadets retired to the barracks where the celebration continued with a vivid display of all the Thanksgiving hats and a after-dinner cigar.

Here's a look at some of the festivities:

The kitchen in Coward Mess Hall is where all the hard work takes place. The crew from Aramark - Mike Coble, Larry Nelson, Chip Smith, Meghan Balasa and Clarissa
Simmons - loads up steaming hot 20 pound turkeys on a cart before heading into the mess hall to serve them.


A knob puts some finishing touches on an upperclassman's Thanksgiving hat while the turkey awaits carving.


Cadets go to a lot of trouble and inject creativity into their hat creations.


Ay matey! A pirate hat would not be complete without a pirate ship.


Regimental Band cadets get into the Thanksgiving spirit.


Mary Parker, Ms. Mary as her cadets call her, sports her own Thanksgiving hat as she takes yams into the mess hall. The hat was made by cadets at Mary's tables. The cadets also gave her a jumbo sized Thanksgiving card signed by everyone at her table.


Cadets Moore and Maddox carve up a 20-lb. turkey for the cadets at their table during Thanksgiving in the mess hall.


Knobs make their own Thanksgiving head gear and get into the spirit of the more relaxed annual mess hall celebration.


Some hats are more elaborate than others - this one is for a Regimental piper and came complete with a tape recorder that played pipe music.


In addition to hat decorating, some companies set a formal table for the meal.


The mess hall ladies serve up the turkey just before cadets coverged on the mess hall.


Knobs present Cadet Poole with a Tostitos snack hat.


The bigger the better - if it's too big to wear, then it is the perfect Thanksgiving hat.


Happy Thanksgiving.


Achieving excellence in the education and development of principled leaders
Media Contact:
Kim Keelor-Parker
(843) 953-2155

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