With an estimated 196,000 U.S. citizens in the Calgary consular district, many people here get to celebrate Thanksgiving twice -- once in early October when Canadians mark the holiday, and once again on the fourth Thursday of November. While the date may differ on each side of the border, the traditions of this holiday are pretty much the same in both countries. Families gather for a big meal of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie and football season is in full swing. Thanks to satellite and cable TV, American fans here in Canada can get their fill of NFL football on Thanksgiving Day, but they can also take in Canada's biggest football event of the year, the Grey Cup Canadian Football League final, which will be played in Vancouver this weekend.
Here in Calgary, the local chapters of the American Legion and American Chamber of Commerce are co-hosting a Thanksgiving gathering for the first time. Together, these two organizations will serve up a hearty meal with all the trimmings for citizens of both countries at a local branch of the Canadian Legion. The Calgary chapter of the American Legion has been co-located in a Canadian Legion for years, a testament to the close allied relationship our two countries have long enjoyed. While veterans, their friends and families are sitting down to eat, over at the principal officer's residence, Consul General Laura Lochman will be serving a turkey feast to smaller group of Canadian friends, as she does every year, to celebrate common holiday traditions and give thanks for the close bond of friendship the United States and Canada share.