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HUNTINGTON — West Tenampa Mexican Restaurant is offering a free Thanksgiving meal to anyone who stops in beginning around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, and the owner said he is hopeful and excited to see some familiar faces.

“I am happy to have people at the restaurant again,” said West Tenampa owner Jose Lupe Valencia. “Last year it was different, but this year I am hoping everyone comes out and enjoys the food and has a good time.”

West Tenampa is located at 1360 Madison Ave. in Huntington.

The restaurant will allow people to sit inside this year, an option that was not available last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but those who come for a meal are encouraged to take social distancing guidelines into account when deciding to eat food at the restaurant or taking food home with them, Valencia said. To-go boxes will also be available for people who want to build a plate and leave.

In addition to a traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey, stuffing, potatoes and more, Valencia said he plans to make a Mexican dish for community members to try out — pozole. Pozole is a traditional Mexican hominy soup made with meat, which Valencia said will be made with turkey this time, cabbage, peppers, onion, garlic and more.

Valencia said he is excited to test out the new dish and see how the community responds to it.

Tinia Creamer, the main cook for the Thanksgiving Day feast at the restaurant, said she is excited to welcome the community back to West Tenampa, and her only hope is to have enough food.

“Every year I am just hopeful that I have enough food to feed everyone,” she said. “I just want anyone who wants or needs a meal to be able to come in and get one, so I hope we can serve everyone that comes.”

Creamer said because of limited supplies they often run out of food within 90 minutes of starting to serve.

West Tenampa Mexican Restaurant has been serving free Thanksgiving for six years now, Creamer said, and each year allows more and more people to spend time with their community instead of possibly celebrating the day alone.

Sarah Ingram is a reporter for HD Media, covering Wayne County. Follow her on Twitter @IngramWCn.

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