From the first Thanksgiving at Virginia’s Berkeley Hundred plantation in 1619, Virginians have gathered to give thanks and enjoy family, friends and fun during the holiday. Special time together can continue past the last slice of pie with a visit to the Smith Mountain Lake (SML) State Park.

From Nov. 28 through Dec. 1, Virginia State Parks will sponsor Opt Outside and join the national effort to promote healthy lifestyles and encourage people to get outdoors.

A photo contest, with a $500 gift certificate top prize, is an added bonus for the holiday weekend. To qualify, photos must be taken at a Virginia state park between Nov. 28 and Dec. 1. Individuals may submit up to five photos. Visit for contest details and rules.

The 38 award-winning Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

-For more information, see the Nov. 27 edition of the Smith Mountain Eagle-

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