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Hundreds attend Christmas dinner

Lukas Kitchen (right) ran around serving pumpkin and apple pies at the annual Community Christmas Dinner Thursday. (Riham Feshir / Enterprise)

The streets of Park Rapids stayed quiet on Christmas day, but the American Legion Club gathered hundreds of community members for the 20th annual Community Christmas Dinner.

Some couldn't be with family on the holiday, but were able to celebrate with friends and the rest of the community.

"I think it's great that they do this," said Judy Strange, who celebrated Christmas with family a week early because they couldn't be with her on Christmas Day.

"It's nice for all the people around here that can't be with family," she said.

More than 70 meals were delivered, 150 were take-outs and about 300 were served at the Legion.

The meals were free, but donations were collected and will go toward the Salvation Army.

Last year, about $3,200 was donated and organizers of the event hope to collect the same amount or more this year.

In addition to the meals, children were able to go home with toys that were also donated.

The event was convenient for travelers who didn't have the time to cook a traditional holiday meal.

"We're hitting the road right after we're done eating," said Sue Dahl, who traveled from Sioux Falls to visit her mother Katherine Foss, of Park Rapids.

The two had a 200-mile drive ahead of them; they were going to visit relatives in Hallock.

"This is a wonderful meal," Foss said.