Sheriff Marlin Gusman and OPSO serve up 45th annual Thanksgiving Day Celebration

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NEW ORLEANS --  The cooking was underway early at one location on Thanksgiving morning while the preparations for the party began at another.

For the 45th year, the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office hosted its Thanksgiving Day Celebration for anyone who needed a place to enjoy a holiday meal.

The food preparation was handled at the sheriff's office kitchen warehouse at the parish jail.  The food was then taken to the Morial Convention Center to be served to the masses.

The party also included live music performances from Irma Thomas, Leo Nocentelli, Rockin' Doopsie, James Andrews, Earl Smith and others.

The fest brought all the Thanksgiving favorites of turkey, dressing, and pumpkin and pecan pie to the table.

"We have some assisted living center. We have some elderly. We have some people from the universities who can't make it home," Sheriff Marlin Gusman said.  "It's just a whole swath of the community that has come out here to celebrate Thanksgiving."

According to Sheriff Marlin Gusman, planning for the event begins in July.  He says it takes 1,000 pounds of turkey and 1,000 pounds of trimmings to feed the nearly 2,000 people expected every year.

"It's great to come out on Thanksgiving, be here with other people, listen to music, eat some good food," guest Vern Parker said.  "Instead of being home by myself or something.

The event ran from 10:00 to 1:00 today.

"There's so much that we have to be thankful for.  This is just our way of sharing and being thankful," Gusman said.  "So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, and all the things we've come through this year, we're happy.  We're blessed."

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