Category Archives: Seasonal

History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of America’s favorite holidays to celebrate. But do you really know the history of the first Thanksgiving?

Many people know that the first Thanksgiving involved Pilgrims and Native Americans. As it turns out, there is an elaborate story that involves the unity of the two groups.

Thanksgiving - Bill Walsh Toyota - Ottawa, IL

In September 1620, the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, and landed in Massachusetts, where the Pilgrims onboard established a village that they called Plymouth.

Unfortunately, the New England winter was rough on the Pilgrims, especially for those who stayed on the ship. Only about half of the Pilgrims survived through March, by which time the survivors had moved ashore.

During the month of March, an Abenaki Indian paid the settlers a visit, greeting them in English. He returned just a few days later with Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had escaped slavery and found his way back to his tribe.

Despite Squanto’s horrible experience with Englishmen, he helped the Pilgrims by teaching them how to cultivate corn, extract sap, and catch fish. Not only did Squanto teach them how to sustain life in their new land, he also helped them make an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe.

By the time November of 1621 came, the Pilgrims had their first corn harvest (thanks to Squanto). The Pilgrims celebrated the harvest alongside their Native American allies. This is what is known as the “First Thanksgiving.”

We at Bill Walsh Toyota wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Things to Do: Fall Events in Ottawa, IL

Looking for fall events in Ottawa, Illinois? There’s tons to do in the area, from family fun nights to educational programs. Simply hop in your new Toyota Avalon or Camry, and you can start exploring the area today. There’s truly something for everyone in Ottawa this fall.

fall events in Ottawa - Bill Walsh Toyota - Ottawa, IL

According to Pick Us Ottawa, one of the most popular events in the fall is the Old Town Farmers Market. Farmers markets are a great way to get fresh produce and crafts while also supporting local farmers and entrepreneurs. Plus, you can often find great deals. The Ottawa Old Town Farmers Market is held in Washington Square Park from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and the next one is on Sept. 16.

The “parkrun” is also coming up, the world’s largest organized running activity. There’s a free timed 5K, and it’s held at Heritage Harbor at 9 a.m. on Sept. 16. In fact, this event is held every Saturday, and it has run, walk, and jog options for participants. You can register online for the event at www.parkrun.us.

Two fun events for families include family board games and the Loop Group, both of which are at the Reddick Public Library. The family board games event will be held on Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., while the Loop Group—a knit and crochet group—will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Finally, learn Mandarin Chinese at the Reddick Public Library on Sept. 16. This free group is open to teens and adults who would like to learn Mandarin, one of the most popular dialects of Chinese.

These are just some of the many fun things to do in Ottawa that we at Bill Walsh Toyota suggest. Many of these events happen on a weekly basis, so if you can’t go this week, you can still make it the next time.