The "Grand Illumination" takes place each year the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The downtown areas of two local cities, separated by a river, light up their buildings simultaneously. A parade sets off at the same time.
I am fortunate to be able to enjoy the celebration from the deck of my brother's houseboat. We travel across the river and tie up alongside the parade route to enjoy the festivities. The above pictures were taken topside as we traveled across the river. Most of us disembark to watch the parade streetside.
There are balloons.
And more balloons.
And fire trucks.
|Photo Credit: Victoria|
Of course, this guy showed up!
What is a celebration without food? Everyone contributes something and we enjoy some great munchies during the trips there and back and dockside at the celebration. I made some cookies and brought some homemade Chex Mix, alongside a cheese ball that I make for most family gatherings.
The recipe is very simple and was created by my mom decades ago.
2 Blocks Cream Cheese*
8 ounces Cheddar Cheese*
2-3 ounces Bleu Cheese (to taste)
Pecans or Walnuts, Chopped **
Soften cream cheese as directed on the package. Mix the first three ingredients together in a food processor. Butter (or use baking spray) a small bowl and refrigerate for 4 or 5 hours (or even overnight). With buttered or baking spray on hands (this mixture is sticky at this point!) roll into a ball. Cover with nuts. Top with cherry (as above) or pecan or walnut half. (Optional.) Serve with favorite crackers.
*Low or reduced fat cheeses may be used.
** If preferred, the cheese ball may be served in a bowl without nuts.
|The other side of the river post illumination|
I enjoyed my little break from Thanksgiving preparation (Thanks, Captain Rob!) and I am looking forward to the big day! I hope you are too!
Thanks for stopping by!