Here’s where to find a community meal in Routt County this Thanksgiving |

Here’s where to find a community meal in Routt County this Thanksgiving

Five-year-old Aiden Waldron bites into a chocolate chip brownie topped with whipped cream during a 2019 Community Thanksgiving Dinner at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. The free dinner is back in person again this year at the Community Center on Thursday, Nov. 24.
Derek Maiolo/Steamboat Pilot & Today archive

The Routt County United Way’s Thanksgiving dinner is making a triumphant return on Thursday, Nov. 24. 

The United Way has been serving the community with the volunteer-led meal for about 25 years, but hasn’t done so in person since 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The last two years have seen people drive through to pick up their food rather than sit down to eat a meal.

The free dinner will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Steamboat Springs Community Center and allow attendees to sit elbow to elbow and enjoy the companionship that makes Thanksgiving special. 

With the full dinner returning, so does the need for more than 100 volunteers. Executive Director Kate Nowak said most positions have been filled, but the United Way is still looking for a few more people to sign up at

Nowak said she enjoys the range of people that volunteer to run the dinner. 

“They can do anything from greet people to serving the actual food to cleaning up to serving beverages,” Nowak said. “The kids love to put whipped cream on the pies for people. It’s a lot of fun.”

Nowak said attendees are equally diverse, coming from all walks of life. 

“We get locals that don’t want to cook, we get people in need, we get Horizon’s clients, we get tourists,” Nowak said. “There is a nice, nice mix and it’s all about community.”

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Anywhere from 500 to 800 people have taken advantage of the dinner in years passed. In order to ensure as many people can enjoy the meal as possible, the United Way partnered with Storm Mountain Express to offer free rides to and from the dinner. 

Perspective feasters can call the service between 1 and 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving to ask for a ride within the city limits of Steamboat Springs.

“I think we’ll have some live music happening there,” Nowak also added. “And it’s just a real, festive time.”

South Routt, Hayden dinners

In South Routt, Oak Creek Tavern is hosting a community potluck on Thanksgiving. People can sign up at the bar to bring a dish. 

The dinner will take place at 5 p.m., but the tavern will be open starting at noon. 

Hayden has two community dinner options on Sunday, Nov. 20. The Hayden Congregational United Church of Christ will host a community dinner at 11:30 a.m. after services. 

Additionally, the Central Baptist Church will host a Thanksgiving Feast around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, as well.

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