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The Lead Nov. 24, 2022: Happy Thanksgiving; the Kroc is ready for its big day with a new chef

Kerrville's Alissa Mitchell is in charge this year and she's bringing some seasoning to the job.

Good morning!

It's turkey day! It looks like we're waking up to foggy, drizzly and cool this morning. We can expect that trend to continue into Friday. Highs in the upper 60s today, with an overnight low in the 40s. The National Weather Service forecasts a rainy Friday, with partly sunny conditions for Saturday. So, if you're playing your annual Turkey Bowl game, expect it to be slippery and muddy — perfect football conditions.

On today's The Lead Live!

We're streaming this morning at The Kerrville Salvation Army Kroc Center for their annual Thanksgiving Day dinner. This is the second year we've hosted a live show, and we can expect a wide range of guests and a live shot from the kitchen. Join us at 9 a.m.

Today's events


  • Community Thanksgiving — The Kerrville Kroc Center, 11 a.m. Information: Jeannette Santiago-Garcia at (830) 315-5758 The details: Families and individuals can enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner by dining in, take-out, or delivery. Travelers passing through Interstate-10 can stop at the rest stops before and after the Kerrville exits to receive a free Thanksgiving meal.

Restaurants open for Thanksgiving

  • Branding Iron at the Y.O. Ranch Hotel, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The details: Dinner is $34 for adults, $16 for children 6-10.
  • Cracker Barrel Restaurant, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • El Bracero de Jalisco, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • IHOP,open 24 hours
  • Mo-Ranch, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Reservations required, (830) 238-4455.
  • Pinnacle Grill at Comanche Trace, Reservations required, (830) 895-8505
  • Rails Cafe, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Reservations required, (830) 257-3877
  • The Boat Oyster Bar and Grill, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • The Inn of the Hills, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Reservations required, (830) 257-8282

Church Services

Performing arts

  • Cirque Italia: Aquatic Spectacular — Hill Country Youth Event Center, 7:30 p.m. through Nov. 27. Information: The details: Cirque Italia presents "Aquatic Spectacular." The name reflects a unique attribute under the tent, as the show features a custom-designed water stage that travels from city to city. The stage holds 35,000 gallons of water that performers dazzle over while thrilling the audience with every move. With this "unique feature" under the tent, guests will be surprised, for it's a show of its own. Started in 2012, Cirque Italia is an Italian entertainment company that brings a performance of European style. It is described as a "vivid, dramatic, and moving experience under a customized traveling tent."

It's a football bonanza today!

There's nothing quite like a day of watching Thanksgiving football, and there's a terrific NFL tripleheader today, including the Dallas Cowboys in a huge divisional matchup. Here's the schedule:

Buffalo Bills (7-3) at Detroit Lions (4-6), 11:30 a.m. CBS

  • The details: After a 1-6 start, the Detroit Lions are looking for a fourth consecutive victory, but the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills are in town — again. The Bills had to play their home game last week at Detroit's Ford Field because snow buried their Orchard Park stadium. The Bills beat Cleveland 31-23 but needed six field goals from Tyler Bass to overcome the Browns. This is the Bills' third Thanksgiving-day appearance in the last four years, but this is the first game against the Lions since 1994.

New York Giants (7-3) at Dallas Cowboys (7-3), 3:30 p.m. FOX

  • The details: After losing at struggling Green Bay, the Cowboys handed the Minnesota Vikings the closest thing to an NFL-mercy rule game — the network left the game early — with a 40-3 whipping. After a 6-1 start, the Giants have lost two of their last three games. However, this game has significant playoff implications, with both teams trailing the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles by two games.

New England Patriots (6-4) at Minnesota Vikings (8-2), 7:20 p.m. NBC

  • The details: Two weeks ago, there was emerging chatter that the Vikings might be Super Bowl material, and then they got obliterated by the Cowboys. New England is still in the hunt in the AFC East but is suddenly hot again after winning three straight.

The Kroc is ready for the Thanksgiving delivery

Alissa Mitchell is the new executive chef at the Kroc Center.

Alissa Mitchell was feeling good about her first Thanksgiving dinner at the Kerrville Salvation Army Kroc Center.

The turkeys are ready, the pies baked, and 120 volunteers are ready to serve, deliver and greet people coming to the center's annual Thanksgiving Day meal — the Kroc's biggest day.

"I may get out of here by 4," said the 22-year-old Mitchell, a little over a year removed from culinary school. And the 4 is p.m., rather than a.m. Standing next to Mitchell was Salvation Army Capt. Jeremiah Romack, who cast a broad smile at the assertion Mitchell was leaving early.

"It's done," she said. "It's ready."

Mitchell is in her first year as the Kroc's executive chef, but her enthusiasm and confidence is hard to dismiss considering the scale of the Salvation Army's annual dinner. An estimated 1,000 people will receive dine-in service and deliveries around Kerr County. Volunteers staff Interstate 10 rest areas just east of Kerrville for wary motorists and truckers, who are often surprised by the warm food.

"We've had so many volunteers and so much help," said Mitchell, who served as the Kroc's volunteer coordinator last year. "We are already completely prepped. I'm probably going to be out of here by 3 or 4 today. It's been absolutely amazing."

Capt. Romack, who oversees the Kroc with his wife, Maj. Missy Romack, is confident in Mitchell's assertions.

"We expect to serve 1,200 people," Capt. Romack said.

And to pull that off smoothly, he's counting on Mitchell and her team. The reality is that Kroc's effort is weeks in the making. Mitchell's special contribution is a secret brine mix for the turkeys.

"It's a lot of standard (fare), but the turkeys are a lot of my own," Mitchell said. "We had a staff member help us smoke a third of the turkey. Those came out amazing."

Well, when they come to have lunch — starting at 11 a.m. — the greetings will be food, warmth and some community spirit. And hopefully, they will get a chance to meet Mitchell to get a sense of her enthusiasm for Kerrville and cooking.

Some reminders about The Lead's upcoming events!

Our search for The Holiday Treats of the year!

We've discovered we've got some great home bakers here in Kerr County, and nothing says Christmas like cookies, candy and other treats. So, we're challenging our home bakers and candy makers to enter our first-ever contest. There will be a $25 entry fee, but all that we ask is that you RSVP first. This event will be streamed live on Dec. 15 at Pint and Plow. We've got some simple categories

  • Cookies
  • Pies and Cakes
  • Candy
  • Gluten-Free

Register here:

Pay your entry here:

The 12 Days of Giftmas

We're dubbing it the 12 Days of Gibson's, but why should they have all the fun? We're not saying Kerrville's general store isn't fun, because if you can't find it at Gibson's it probably doesn't exist. However, we know plenty of other businesses or nonprofits can use some exposure heading into Christmas. So, we're expanding it to the 12 Days Of Giftmas! Here's what you need to know:

  • The promotion runs from Dec. 1-16 (Monday-Friday).
  • If you do all 12 days, you have to bring the exact number of gift ideas for that corresponding day. Dec. 1 is Day 1, meaning you bring just one gift.
  • You have to be on the show for about 5 minutes! That means we're doing it live!
  • You need to RSVP by emailing
  • The shows are from 9-10 a.m., except on Wednesdays when it's 10-11 a.m.
  • It's free.

It works like this:

Dec. 1 – 1 item

Dec. 2 — 2 items

Dec. 5 — 3 items

Dec. 6 — 4 items

Dec. 7 — 5 items (10-11 a.m.)

Dec. 8 — 6 items

Dec. 9 — 7 items

Dec. 12 — 8 items

Dec. 13 — 9 items

Dec. 14 — 10 items (10-11 a.m.)

Dec. 15 — 11 items

Dec. 16 — 12 items

You can keep adding to your original gift. For instance, you may bring a flashlight on Dec. 1, but on Dec. 2 you bring back the flashlight and a spark plug. Or just bring new stuff.

All suggestions

24 more suggestions


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