Junior Cielle Collins arrived at 4 p.m. just to be first in line for last night’s Thanksgiving dinner. Her sister also drove over an hour and a half to enjoy the meal with her. 

This year’s dinner is a week early to account for the late Thanksgiving this year—though the holiday is usually the second week of November, this year’s date falls only a few weeks before the pre-winter break holiday meal.

“If you really enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, it’s nice to have a little time between your big meals,” said Cardone. 

Cardone says it’s not unusual to have the dining halls full of people waiting in line for the food.

“That’s what’s great about it. It’s tradition,” said Adam Eichenwald ’14. “We always have our friend group. We email. We have a set time, we come out and we’re here for Thanksgiving.”

“I think it really brings the school together and brings people together, as stupid as that may sound,” said Caroline Logan ’14, echoing Eichenwald’s thoughts.

“Every year we usually go around and say one thing we’re thankful for and I think it’s just a great vibe in the dining hall,” said Logan. “It’s great that Thorne can provide that kind of environment.”

First years who experienced their first Bowdoin Thanksgiving dinner also gave glowing reviews of the much loved tradition.

“It’s a great way to bring part of home to college with you. It’s sort of like making this your new home,” said Kate Powers ’17. “You get to have a new tradition.”

Students raved about the options and the traditional dishes. The biggest crowd pleaser was certainly the stuffing. Powers stated, “The stuffing is unreal.”

“There’s a plethora of veggies and I’m digging it,” said Ella Driscoll ’17.

“They’ve really outdone themselves this year,” Logan said about Dining’s performance on the dinner. “It looks great, the way that they’ve organized everything has gone really smoothly. They blew it out of the park.”

Cardone attributed this to the level of preparation Dining does for the meal. In order to be prepared for the meal, there are certain items, like pumpkin, that need to be processed as early as Fall Break.

Cardone said they used about 575 pounds of butternut squash and made between 38 and 40 gallons of gravy between Moulton and Thorne. In order to make sure everything is made on time and processed correctly, they have to plan up to six weeks before.

Associate Director of Dining Services and Executive Chef Ken Cardone said the annual campus dinner is without a doubt “the best attended meal” of the year.