John Tice of John’s Drive In in Kitty Hawk, along with a bunch of his crew, will spend Thanksgiving on Ocracoke Island, giving our storm-weary neighbors to the south a holiday to remember.
Tice teamed up with Liberty Christian Fellowship to help organize the Ocracoke Community Thanksgiving at the Berkley Barn, with residents invited to come together for a day of food and fellowship. The celebration comes four days before Ocracoke reopens to visitors for the first time since Hurricane Dorian.
“Despite our struggle, we have been so blessed with generosity, kindness, community, and friendship in the face of adversity; it is time to set aside our hardships and give thanks for what we still have, if only for a day,” event organizers said in a Facebook post.
Tice and team will be cooking 14 or 16 turkeys, 10 hams and six pork butts, as well as roasting oysters and making up huge batches of sweet potatoes and collards.
Tice, whose parents opened the popular eatery on Beach Road in Kitty Hawk 44 years ago, said his regular suppliers were generous with donations for Ocracoke, right down to chocolate milk for the kids.
Fellow Outer Banks restaurants Black Pelican and Sugar Creek donated the turkeys, and even regular customers offered Tice donations to help cover costs.
For Ocracoke, Tice said, it’s “one of those times you realize, maybe the governments and officials aren’t thinking about you. But we are. We take care of each other.”