MELVIN’ S MONTHLY MOMENTS
THE BLESSING OF THE HOUNDS
Our Upchurch Family Tradition
Like most families, mine has lots of holiday traditions. We put the Christmas tree in the same spot every year, tear open presents on Christmas Day, shoot off fireworks on the Fourth, and so on. But one of our most cherished traditions is how we celebrate Thanksgiving. Jill’s dad and sister both live in the Southern Pines area of North Carolina. They each own horse farms in an area known for two things: horses and golf. The historic Pinehurst Country Club is known for hosting three U.S. Opens, and a fourth one is scheduled for 2024. We spend every Thanksgiving in this unique part of our country in a community filled with tradition. The whole family arrives in Pinehurst sometime on Wednesday, and that night, we go out for dinner at one of the charming local restaurants. On a typically chilly Thanksgiving morning, we go to The Blessing of the Hounds! “The idea of the blessing dates back to the early medieval days when hunters believed that St. Hubert of Liege, the patron saint of hunters, could protect their hounds and keep them safe during the hunt.” “The Blessing of the Hounds on Thanksgiving morning is an annual tradition that has taken place in Southern Pines for more than 100 years. This is the opening meet of the Moore County Hounds, the oldest fox hunting club in North Carolina. “Riders who are members of the Moore County Hounds will come dressed in formal hunting attire which includes the signature red hunting jackets called ‘pinks,’ white pants, leather riding boots, and hunt caps. Other visiting riders may participate by invitation only. Before the releasing of the hounds for the mock fox hunt, the riders and hounds gather to receive a blessing from a local Episcopal Below is a summary of this special event from MooreAlive.com.
priest. The idea of the blessing dates back to the early
medieval days when hunters believed that St. Hubert of Liege, the patron saint of hunters, could protect their
hounds and keep them safe during the hunt. The hunt takes place on over
4,000 acres owned by the Walthour-Moss Foundation. The Blessing of the Hounds has become a big tailgating event for the thousands of spectators who come to watch the pageantry of this tradition.”
After the hunt, we spend the afternoon playing or watching football and end our day with a buffet dinner at the Pinehurst Country Club. For the rest of the weekend, we enjoy shopping in the quaint little town of Southern Pines. The downtown area is very similar to Homewood: family-owned businesses, a toy store with Santa, coffee and pastry shops, and all kinds of other hidden gems. The golfers among us have their pick of over 40 golf courses in the area. This includes the most famous one of all, Pinehurst No. 2. Jill and I were married in Pinehurst. At the time, we were members of Pinehurst Country Club and had our rehearsal dinner overlooking this historic course. Our Thanksgivings hold many special memories, as I am sure yours do. Our family wishes yours a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!
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