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'Our family tradition continues': Bass Pro Shops welcome guests on Thanksgiving Day

The store on Bass Road expects to see nearly 3,000 shoppers with many coming to experience their Santa Wonderland.

MACON, Ga. — On Thanksgiving Day many families gathered to share a warm meal, while others hit the stores before the Black Friday rush. 

On holidays like this one, lots of stores close their doors.

Home Depot, Marshalls, Aldi, Walmart, and Bath & Body Works, are among the many that weren't open.

However, several stores still welcomed a crowd like Walgreens, Big Lots, and Bass Pro Shops. 

Opening their doors at 9 a.m. the store didn't let the holiday stop from seeing customers.

"This is a great place for families to come by and shop getting ready for the holidays, especially on Thanksgiving," Marketing Manager Michael O'Brien said.

It didn't stop customers from walking in either. 

"It was pretty busy this morning when we opened," Done Cole said.

Cole has been working the holiday for 15 years, and says for most, its tradition.

"I've seen the same people over and over, some of the same animals come in," he said.

O'Brien says that's because of what they offer.

"One of the great things about Bass Pro is we are a destination location," he said.

Between the aquarium and Santa's Wonderland there's a lot for families to do.

In the Wonderland, folks have the opportunity to take a free photo with Santa. You can also ride a winter carousel, and play fun games. 

The Lyle family came out on Thanksgiving all the way from Pike County. They say its been a yearly tradition since 2010. 

They brought their oldest daughter to get a picture with Santa at 6-months-old, and they've continued on with their two other children. 

"We let them pick out an ornament every year, with the year, and it's a picture ornament. Every Christmas when we're decorating the tree its fun to get them all out, and we can watch them grow through their picture ornaments with Santa on the tree," mother, Rebecca Lyle said.

Lyle says she plans to continue to keep the tradition going until she dies. 

"This is what we'll do even after they grow up, as our family tradition continues," she said.

Several other families say they shared similar traditions, others say they just came to get out of the house, and shop.

O'Brien says they expect to see nearly 3,000 customers on Thanksgiving Day. 

Families can visit Santa's Wonderland, and get their free picture until Christmas Day.

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