Holiday season is underway across San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Holiday season is underway across San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Thousands of turkey dinners were served to the needy across San Diego County Thursday.

The Salvation Army held its 28th annual Thanksgiving meal at Golden Hall, where hundreds of families began lining up as early as 7 a.m. for turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. More than 300 volunteers helped to feed an expected 2,000 people.

Because of the anemic economy, more low-income seniors than ever are expected to seek free Thanksgiving meals, including people in their 60s, said Denise Scatena, a spokeswoman for the Gary & Mary West Senior Wellness Center on Fourth Avenue in downtown.

Meanwhile, families of needy students at five San Diego Unified School District campuses were treated to a meal at the House of Blues.

Thousands of runners turned out Thursday morning for 5K runs at the Oceanside Civic Center and in Balboa Park. The latter benefits the homeless services at Father Joe Carroll's St. Vincent de Paul Villages and raises about $4 million annually to help the homeless.

Thursday evening, Bertrand at Mister A's in downtown San Diego held a ceremony to light their Christmas decorations.

Also, Thursday evening the "Holiday of Lights" exhibit opened in Del Mar for the holiday season. The exhibit includes more than 400 lighted, animated scenes along a 1.5-mile route.

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