Happy Thanksgiving Weekend! I'm grateful for our listeners/readers at RIPR, my excellent colleagues in the local media, the staffers and spokespeople on the beat, and of course, Rhode Island politics -- the gift that keeps giving. With that in mind, feel free to drop me a tip or comment via email and to follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

This month we bring you a special, Thanksgiving Rhode Island  Artscape. We take look at the art and the history of the Thanksgiving menu, and how it’s changed

John Bender / RIPR

As families across the state prepare to put their Thanksgiving turkeys in the oven for a long roasting, some may wonder, just where that fowl came from. Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender visited one poultry farm in West Greenwich to find out more about raising these traditional birds. 

Tis the season of shopping, socializing and celebrating. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says commercialism has over shadowed the holiday season. (Advance copy of weekly commentary).

Thanksgiving is that wonderful holiday dedicated to feasting, family and giving thanks for what we have. The next day, Black Friday, is the day many  people speed to the mall in the pre-dawn darkness to line up under the wary eyes of security cops,  jostle each other and buy more stuff.

T.F. Green Airport Security Gate
Catherine Welch / RIPR

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel periods of the year. T.F. Green Airport officials expect a rush through Sunday. But they’ve planned ahead to help travelers unwind.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

For her first Thanksgiving as governor, Gina Raimondo says she’ll be with family at her mother’s home in Greeneville. Raimondo says the menu for 20 will include some typical dishes.

“And we’ll have all the regular fixings plus...a lot of macaroni," said Raimondo. "Of course we’ll have the turkey and the stuffing, but in our house it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving if you don’t also have the pasta.”

Raimondo says she wishes all Rhode Islanders a Happy Thanksgiving. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and like most of us, the men at the maximum-security prison in Cranston will sit down to a Thanksgiving meal. Their turkey and stuffing will be seasoned with herbs harvested from their prison garden. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

While some people shopped early on Black Friday at the Providence Place Mall, others combed coat racks across the street on the Statehouse lawn. The 18th annual “Buy Nothing Winter Coat Exchange” collected hundreds of coats across 11 different sites for people in need.

It was a busy intersection on the Statehouse lawn, as people lined up with their cars to drop off bags of coats. Joyce Melton of Warwick was one of those coat donors.

Wikimedia Commons

Thousands of bridge players are skipping the turkey and shuffling their cards Thursday. More than 5,000 thousand bridge players are in Providence competing in the North American Bridge Championships.

John Bender / RIPR

When you sit down at Thanksgiving table today, you might not give much thought to where the turkey comes from. But an interest in buying local is helping area farms.

Amos House, a social service center in Providence, hosts the largest regular soup kitchen in the state. On Wednesday, the center's meal will serve turkey and all the trimmings to between 500 and 700. 

It’s a tradition at Amos House, to serve the turkey, potatoes, cranberry all on the day before the holiday.  That’s because, other places will offer the Thanksgiving meal on the actual day, so Amos House decided why not give the needy a nutritious meal the day before?

Thanksgiving travelers are in for a messy drive Wednesday.  A winter storm advisory has been issued for the state, as a storm moving up from the south is expected to dump snow and rain on the Ocean State.  National Weather service meteorologist Alan Dunham said if you can hit the road today, you’ll be better off. The entire state will see rain and snow, about 1-2 inches, but the northern region will see even more.

In late August, the power was shut off at the River United Methodist Church. The church, in the heart of downtown Woonsocket, was about a thousand bucks in arrears on its electric bill.  The guy from National Grid apologized for doing what he had to do.

Church members, who specialize in doing a whole lot with very little, scrambled to do what they always do.   They took food from freezers and refrigerators and headed to a nearby park to feed hungry people. 

Aaron Read / RIPR

The Indian Summer season dwindles, the afternoon light fades into darkness and a coating of frost covers the morning pumpkins. The evening chills sends us back into the closets for the heavier coats we will soon be wearing.

The coming of a New England winter reminds once again that poor Rhode Islanders face a tougher time that the better-off. So once again it is time for us to search those closets for old winter coats to donate to the annual Rhode Island Buy Nothing Day Winter Coat Exchange.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Five hundred Pawtucket families are enjoying a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner Thursday thanks to the generosity of their neighbors.

On Tuesday, food baskets were delivered to needy families under the auspices of the Pawtucket Holiday Baskets Drive. Its chair, Laureen Grebien, the city’s first lady, said the typical recipient is a family that has fallen on hard times.

"It’s probably a family of two or three kids and somebody that, you know, is struggling with whether they got laid off or they just somehow can’t seem to make ends meet," said Grebien.