The Bass Road store expects to see around 3,000 shoppers, many of whom will come to experience their Santa Claus wonderland.
MACON, Georgia. On Thanksgiving, many families gathered to share a hot meal, while others headed to the shops ahead of the Black Friday hype.
On such holidays, many shops are closed.
Home Depot, Marshalls, Aldi, Walmart and Bath & Body Works are among the many closed stores.
However, several stores such as Walgreens, Big Lots and Bass Pro Shops still cheered the crowd.
Opening its doors at 9 am, the store did not let the holiday break away from the buyers.
“This is a great place for families to come and shop in preparation for the holidays, especially around Thanksgiving,” said marketing manager Michael O’Brien.
It also didn’t stop visitors from going inside.
“It was very crowded this morning when we opened,” Dawn Cole said.
Cole has been involved in the holiday for 15 years and says that for most it is his tradition.
“I saw the same people over and over again, the same animals,” he said.
O’Brien says it’s because of what they offer.
“One of the great things about Bass Pro is that we are the destination,” he said.
Between the aquarium and Santa’s Wonderland, there’s plenty to do for the whole family.
In Wonderland, people have the opportunity to take pictures with Santa for free. You can also ride the winter carousel and play fun games.
The Lyle family arrived for Thanksgiving from Pike County. They say it’s been an annual tradition since 2010.
They brought their eldest daughter to be photographed with Santa at 6 months old and they continued with their other two children.
“We let them choose a piece every year, depending on the year, and it’s a picture piece. Every Christmas when we decorate the tree, it’s fun to collect them all and we can watch them grow through their Santa ornaments. in a tree,” said mother Rebecca Lyle.
Lyle says he plans to continue the tradition until his death.
“This is something we will do even after they grow up as our family tradition continues,” she said.
Several other families say they had similar traditions, others say they just came out to go shopping.
O’Brien says they expect to see about 3,000 Thanksgiving customers.
Families can visit Santa’s Wonderland and get their free photo before Christmas.