Hunting hounds receive annual Thanksgiving blessing

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 3:10 PM EST
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KESWICK, Va. (WVIR) - Grace Episcopal Church in Keswick is hosting its 93rd annual Blessing of the Hounds.

The long-running event was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, hundreds of community members were able to show up early Thursday, November 25, to watch.

“Its an old tradition of how we do Thanksgiving,” Grace Episcopal Church Director Miles Smith said. “The Keswick Hunt Club goes out on their Thanksgiving Day hunt, and its quite a spectacle.”

“We love coming and spending part of our Thanksgiving here, because it reminds us what an amazing country we have,” said Blair Cecil.

The family event starts with a sermon, complete with readings and hymns, as the church and community pray for the hounds and hunters on horseback.

After the blessing, they trot out to begin their hunt.

The event also serves as a fundraiser.

“Today it was for the Service Dogs of Virginia, which helps with service dogs with people for disabilities,” Smith said. “And the Keswick Heritage Fund, which is new collaborative effort in Keswick to help African-American students with their education opportunities.”

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