Thanksgiving 2022: How do people in the Upstate define the day?

There’s approximately 1.5-million people in the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson metro area, and that means there’s over a million ways to spend Thanksgiving Day. So FOX Carolina wanted to know, what are people in the Upstate thankful for? And how did people celebrate?
Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 8:54 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - There’s approximately 1.5-million people in the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson metro area, and that means there’s over a million ways to spend Thanksgiving Day. So FOX Carolina wanted to know, what are people in the Upstate thankful for? And how did people celebrate?

Our first stop was in downtown Greer, where the Block family, the owners of La Bouteille, a wine and beer boutique, ushed in the holiday spirit.

“We are working hard together as a family so we can provide for our family,” said Shelly Block, owner. “(Thanksgiving) is whatever is meaningful to your family.”

The family’s boutique boasts of wines and craft beers from all over the globe.

“From all over the world,” Block said.

And since 2015, prepping for the start of the holiday shopping season is a Thanksgiving Day family tradition.

“It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, as long as we’re doing it together,” Block said.

The spirit of unity also resonated inside businesses like Crate Restaurant & Wine Bar.

“This is one time of year where everyone is considered family,” said Jaquette Ginyard, Crate Restaurant & Wine Bar owner.

The site served a couple from Spain who were part of 200 people to receive a free Thanksgiving Day meal from a serial entrepreneur whose thankful to be open and thriving.

“I am thankful to still be open after COVID,” Ginyard said. “I’m thankful for the community here, for my family that moved here from New York to help me. I have a lot of things to be thankful for.”

Ginyard isn’t alone, a recent Economist and YouGov poll finds approximately half of Americans celebrated Thanksgiving Day indoors with people from outside their household, up from just a third of Americans two years ago.

“It’s about community,” Ginyard said.

The poll also finds the things people are most thankful for this year are family, health, and life.

“The amazing community that we have, and I’m thankful for my college and my friends, teammates and coaches,” said Ashtyn Lamelle, Limestone University student.

It’s a different energy at Spartanburg’s Clevedale Historic Inn and Gardens, where executive chef William McClellan is serving a collective of strangers.

“Thanksgiving is about networking and getting to know people,” McClellan said. “It’s a time to experience new cultures and different things.”

He takes pride serving visitors at the former plantation’s annual Festive Feast for Modern Pilgrims, a site that’s rich in heritage and hospitality, where fellowship amongst strangers is the main course.

“Connection is what I live for,” said Dr. Caroline Caldwell, an attendee. “I am thankful for ‘framily.’ And those are all the people that you connect with through your soul, your heart and your mind and it doesn’t matter on blood. It’s about values, peace, and thoughts of continuation of connections.”

Connectedness is a deep concept that’s just as deep as some people’s opinions on other popular topics.

“Politics. Definitely politics,” said McClellan.

The recent poll also finds depending on the year, a political debate is part of one-in-five conversations at the Thanksgiving Day dinner table. But the people we spoke with say Thanksgiving is reserved for other matters of importance.

“Togetherness,” Ginyard said.