HARLINGEN — Chilly winds and cloudy skies didn’t stop hundreds of attendees from lining up to partake in this yearly community Thanksgiving celebration.

H-E-B hosted its free 26th annual Harlingen Feast of Sharing dinner yesterday afternoon at the Community Center.

The tradition was created in 1989 and is part of H-E-B’s Food Bank Assistance Program, which works toward preventing hunger.

“We’re honored to share this holiday tradition with you and your families,” H-E-B Border Region Public Affairs Manager Linda Tovar said to attendees during the opening ceremony. “On behalf of 100,000 partners across the state of Texas and H-E-B, we want to express our great appreciation for all that they have done to serve our nation.”

Harlingen resident Maria Garcia, 65, said she has been visiting H-E-B’s annual Feast of Sharing since 2014.

“I enjoy having this experience with my family and making memories with them,” Garcia said. “My husband Manuel, he passed away, but he enjoyed coming every year. I’m with my sister and grandson this year and think it’s a great event.”

Mayor Chris Boswell attended the event and said he feels thankful for his family and his very warm and loving community.

“I really enjoy seeing everyone have an opportunity to get together and have this wonderful meal,” Boswell said. “It’s a really wonderful thing that H-E-B does for our communities and throughout Texas.”

While visitors waited inside Casa Del Sol, located next to the Community Center, they listened to musical performances by Los Fresnos CISD’s conjunto group and San Benito CISD’s conjunto and mariachi groups.

According to Harlingen Feast of Sharing chair member Erma Esparza, the event was able to serve about 4,000 to 6,000 attendees.

“We were kind of worried that the weather was going to keep the community from coming, but it looks like they came in droves,” Esparza said with a laugh and a smile. “From attendees to volunteers and organizers, I really enjoy seeing the community come together.”

MORE INFO

An average Feast of Sharing dinner serves

• 3,000 pounds of sliced turkey

• 2,500 pounds of cornbread dressing

• 750 pumpkin pies

• 380 gallons of mashed potatoes

• 140 gallons of turkey gravy