Snowmass marks Thanksgiving with annual John Bemis Community Potluck |

Snowmass marks Thanksgiving with annual John Bemis Community Potluck

Jill Beathard
Snowmass Sun
An estimated 475 people attended the John Bemis Thanksgiving Community Potluck on Nov. 22 at the Westin Snowmass.
Adam Gilbert/Courtesy photo |

Snowmass Village has once again celebrated the John Bemis Thanksgiving Community Potluck, an annual Thanksgiving dinner for residents and employees of the town that this year drew over 450 people on Nov. 22.

Now in its 26th year, the dinner has always drawn people of all walks of life — from brand-new ski industry employees to 30- or 40-year residents. It was renamed a few years ago in memory of John Bemis, a longtime resident who kept the event alive by moving it to the Snowmass Conference Center after it outgrew its former home at the chapel.

“Anybody that lives in Snowmass Village or works in Snowmass comes to this,” said Alison Campbell, conference service and catering manager at the Westin.

When Campbell began working with Bemis, she said she offered to set up tables for nonprofits to advertise or raise funds at the event, but Bemis told her no way.

“He said, ‘I want people to come and to enjoy with no agenda,’” she said. And today, the event continues in that same spirit.

Snowmass Rotary and the Snowmass Chapel pay for the turkey, hams and other food items that the Westin prepares, and guests are asked to bring sides, salads and desserts. The Westin donates the conference center space and kitchen labor and provides the entrées at cost to the nonprofits.