MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Grocery stores and roadways were bustling in Montgomery Wednesday ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Local gas stations were filled with families from across the U.S. making a pit stop before heading to their Thanksgiving destinations.
“There is lot of cars and a lot of traffic today,” said Daniel Bollard from Atlanta on his way to Pensacola with his family.
For the first time in 12 years, AAA is predicting a drop in Thanksgiving travel numbers as more Americans choose not to travel in fear of spreading COVID-19 to family members around the Thanksgiving table. Those who chose to travel, said they were doing so with caution.
“We’re trying to stay away from everyone and we wear masks when necessary,” Bollard said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging people to limit their number of guests at Thanksgiving this year, as well as, keep the duration of the gathering to a minimum and try to seat people outside at a social distance.
The Griffin family from Andalusia said they are doing just that.
“We’re going to a state park and a campground. We can distance there without any problems,” said Clyde Griffin, pulling his recreational vehicle trailer. “We have the turkey thawed out in the refrigerator now and so we’ll cook all that up and have a regular Thanksgiving dinner but just on a little smaller scale.”
At Renfroe’s Market the socially distanced grocery lines were busy as those who are choosing to stay home this Thanksgiving made sure they had all of their “turkey day” essentials.
“I am doing some last minute Thanksgiving shopping,” said Sylvia Smith, pointing to her grocery cart full of Thanksgiving goodies.
Shoppers said they too are preparing meals for a smaller crowd this year.
“It’s just me, my son and my daughter,” said Renfroe’s shopper Regina Dixon. “I don’t have a big group going on. We used to be a family of 14 and have all of the kids, but we are not doing that this year.”
Despite the pandemic, families said they plan to make the most of their holiday.
“We have so much to be grateful for. God is still good,” Smith said.
Another Thanksgiving tradition for many families is to go shopping after their big Thanksgiving meal. That will also be different this year as many local stores plan to stay closed for the holiday and open early on Black Friday.