BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - It began as a restaurant owner wanting to give-back to the community. Thirty-one years later, it has grown into a popular Thanksgiving Day tradition in Bay St. Louis.
The Kelly family hosts one of the largest celebrations around. Dozens of family members, along with countless volunteers, come together each Thanksgiving Day for a labor of love.
Assigned to cranberry sauce, Jerry Bennett was assisted by four teens from St. Stanislaus.
"We don't do a family type thing, so we just make this part of our family and do what we can," said Bennett.
Engaged couple Matthew and Maeghan worked the peach cobbler station.
"I just like doing it. It makes me feel good to help people out for Thanksgiving," said Maeghan.
Amy Holliday is among the first-time volunteers.
"It's just something I've always wanted to do. I ended up with no kids at home this Thanksgiving and decided it was the perfect opportunity to come out and help," Holliday said.
Back in the kitchen, Jerry Bosarge and his crew kept things moving.
"They love it and we love doing it," said Bosarge, "This is 31 years of doing this."
Jeremy Bosarge is the one with seemingly endless energy. He's worked this event for several years now.
"I believe like since I was young, I don't really know. I'm 13 now, so, I can work in the kitchen."
As the meal delivery operation continued, the doors opened at 11 a.m. Family matriarch Sally Kelly could once again welcome all to her amazing open house.
"I just like all the people coming. I always worry about not enough people coming. I love the people to come, they're always so happy," Sally said.
Kelly had no idea the event would grow so large over the years.
"I never even thought about it. Just take it one year to the next. But at least we know now, a little bit better than in the beginning, how to do it."