‘Turkey enthusiasts’ set up camp outside Servo over a week ahead of Servo Thanksgiving

(Photo Jamie Welch/The Gettysburgian)

(Photo Jamie Welch/The Gettysburgian)

By Jamie Welch, Editor-in-Chief


It’s still over a week until Servo Thanksgiving, but a group of five self-described “turkey enthusiasts” has already begun to line up outside of Servo in hopes of being the first to get a taste of turkey and mashed potatoes come Nov. 14.

The dedicated Thanksgiving fanatics have set up three large tents outside of Servo over a week ahead of the annual tradition in which groups of 12 eat a roasted turkey, bowls of cranberry sauce, corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, all served at the table by faculty, administrators and support staff at Gettysburg College.

Lines are notoriously long for the Servo Thanksgiving event, a fact that senior Brent Robinson said ruined his first year experiencing the tradition.

“My first year at Gettysburg, I arrived for Servo Thanksgiving at 5pm thinking I would be able to just waltz inside like on any other day,” Robinson said. “I was wrong about that – the line stretched all the way back to Glatfelter Lodge!”

Robinson said that every year since that horrible experience he has camped out outside of Servo in order to be the first to enjoy the delectable turkey and what he describes as “tart-yet-sweet cranberry goodness.”

“My buddies and I take shifts so we can take showers and go to class, but for the most part I am out here in line at all times,” Robinson said.

Sophomore Jake Freedman says that he didn’t mind waiting at the end of the line last year, but that a rumored turkey shortage prompted him to join the camp out this year.

“I’m not going to wait in line for three hours like the rest of the poor schmucks only to be told that they’re out of turkey, that there were limited turkey quantities and that there are no rain checks,” Freedman said.

Junior Marci Redman echoed Freedman’s concerns.

“I used to make fun of the people lined up outside of Servo two weeks early, but now I realize how wrong I was,” Redman said. “I’m going to be the first to get some of that succulent turkey and there’s nothing any of you can do about it.”

Servo supervisor Joseph “Servo Joe” Wheeler commented that this is the earliest he’s ever seen people camped outside the dining center for Servo Thanksgiving.

“We look forward to the lines for Servo Thanksgiving every year,” Wheeler said. “We organize a line-up party on CUB Drive with music and free apple cider. But this is the ‘Turkey enthusiasts’ set up camp outside Servo soonest the lines have started in my history here at Gettysburg College.”

Several of the students camped outside of the dining center expressed displeasure with a sweepstakes recently run by the Communications and Marketing Office that offered two students (and each of their 11 friends) that attended a workshop the opportunity to bypass the line at Servo Thanksgiving.

“The annual Thanksgiving Dinner is right around the corner and we are offering two students (and their friends!) reserved seating at this annual tradition. That’s right, no standing in line! But to be in the running, we need your help,” the college’s ad read in part.

Robinson said that he felt betrayed by college administration.

“I wait out here for a week and have to play second fiddle to some losers that had their name drawn out of a hat? I don’t think so,” Robinson said.

While The Gettysburgian was interviewing the campers, senior Fred Phillips walked down Lincoln Avenue and shouted, “You’re crazy! Servo Thanksgiving is still a week away!”

Redman replied, “Maybe we are and maybe we aren’t…but waiting in line for hours to get into Servo Thanksgiving? Now that’s really crazy.”

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Author: Jamie Welch

Jamie Welch '18 served as editor-in-chief of The Gettysburgian from May 2016 to May 2018. Jamie also served as the webmaster and as a staff writer for the features and news sections. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a minor in Business. Follow him on Twitter @welchjamesk.

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