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December 05 / 2023
This year we are looking back on 12 years of Thanksgiving celebrations with the Two Rivers Privity. This gathering is the best opportunity for us to say thank you to everyone who has actively supported us throughout the year. Such gatherings are always a matter close to our hearts and extremely important to us. Everyone gets together again in their outfits in our beautiful tavern, enjoys a delicious meal and celebrates properly! Then we close our Old West season.
An afternoon of fun, games and snow
Surprising snowfall on the eve of our party heralded the start of winter. Autumn is long gone, but now Father Frost has everything firmly in his grip and covered our Beaver Creek Valley in a magical white.
The first guests arrived after midday. Most of them were not deterred by the distance or the local weather conditions and came from near and far to the Valley of the Beavers to join us for the festivities.
The origin of Thanksgiving teaches us solidarity
The Thanksgiving tradition, as we know it today in the USA, dates back to 1621 - even if the actual origin of the festival is still disputed. The settlers of Plymouth Rock gained a foothold in the land of the Patuxet tribe at this time. A plague killed almost all the Natives, while a harsh winter claimed the lives of almost half the settlers.
Today's reports date back to 1620, when a Native named Tisquantum (Squanto) taught the settlers how to farm. Squanto, who had been a slave in Europe before returning to his tribe, taught the settlers how to fish, grow corn and offered his services as a translator before he died of an illness a year later.
The chief of the Wampanoag tribe, Massasoit, also provided the settlers with food during their first winter on their new land. Massasoit hoped for a pact between his people, who, like the Patuxet, were severely weakened by the disease, and the English, who had a great advantage due to their weaponry. The Wampanoag were in conflict with the Narragansett tribe at the time - a strong ally would ensure the Wampanoag's chances of survival.
The agricultural efforts finally bore fruit and the English Pilgrims celebrated with the Wampanoag tribe for three days in 1621 after a successful harvest.
The origin of Thanksgiving actually teaches us to stick together, to help each other out in difficult times and to broaden our horizons. We therefore want to join in with the idea of exchanging experiences, competing in games, celebrating and focusing on a great community.
We know, of course, that peace between the tribes and the white settlers did not last long in the course of history. In the years that followed, many Natives were killed or taken to reservations, even though they were the ones who originally ensured the settlers' survival.
“Festival Games” in Beaver Creek Valley
This year, we once again had plenty to keep everyone entertained. The "Festival Games" put the skills and knowledge of all those attending to the test. They had to recognize different animals by their skins, throw axes at wooden targets and put their shooting skills to the test.
After the very funny but also extremely frosty excursion, our participants were invited back to the warm tavern. There they were able to share their knowledge about trappers, Indians, cowboys and western movies.
At the same time as we were playing, we were preparing dinner together. Hard-working hands formed dumplings and a wonderfully delicious-smelling roast was finished in the wood-fired oven.
But before that, our guests were served coffee, homemade cakes and the more than justified mulled wine!
A cozy evening with delicious food and good music
Once the games were over, everyone gathered in the cozy, warm tavern. We enjoyed the delicious feast in good company, after which the winners of the day were announced. The champions had their dinner costs for the day waived. The participants who came in second place received a voucher for dinner, to be redeemed at our Authentic Camp 2024. The third-placed participants were able to enjoy two beers, also to be redeemed at Camp 2024. The winners of fourth place didn't go away empty-handed either, as all the competitors received a small gift.
In his Thanksgiving address, Chet McCay thanked all guests and members for coming, for their ongoing support throughout the year and for their loyalty to the community.
As usual, all the birthday children who celebrated their milestone birthday this year were presented with a TRP shirt. There were six people in total, who together reached 280 years of life.
The Beaver Creek Valley Ramblers provided the musical accompaniment to the end of the evening. They once again performed one or two "TRP hits". Sometime late at night, this gigantic day ended with a successful party. Many thanks to everyone who enjoyed this evening with us.
So long, Beaver Creek Valley - The return journey the following day
The following day dawned faster than we would have hoped.
After a hearty breakfast, things got exciting once again - rather unintentionally: a stuck RV couldn't get off the site. The weather had softened the ground so much that it seemed impossible to get out without help. However, with combined forces - and we're talking about the strength of several horses here - the situation was resolved and our friends were able to make their way home. And we, we already have another reason to say thank you to our TRP helper Josef.
We are looking forward to next year and are excited to see what it has in store for us. We are proud of our great community and look forward to shaping the coming Old West season together.
So there is only one thing left for us to say:
Have a nice, peaceful, thoughtful and calm Christmas, have a good start to the New Year and get through the winter without worries. We sincerely hope that we will all meet again next year, safe and sound, when it's time to say it again:
Welcome to Beaver Creek Valley!
Chet McCay & Colton White – Beaver Creek Pioneer