Thousands attend Thanksgiving tradition in Neptune Beach | Community Spirit

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Thousands attend Thanksgiving tradition in Neptune Beach

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. -- It's like nothing else in America say the hosts of a Thanksgiving Day street party in Neptune Beach.

Thousands packed First Street in Neptune Beach in front of Pete's Bar by 9:30 in the morning.

It has grown into a huge tradition, starting with just a few friends more than 30 years ago.

"Many many years ago my grandfather and great granddad were running the bar, their friends just came out on Thanksgiving, and it grew and grew into the celebration it is today," said Nancy Campbell, whose mother and two brothers run Pete's Bar.

"For lack of a better term it's organic, patron's of Pete's, the community of Neptune Beach, its really their party, and we just stay open to serve them, but we really really have enjoyed it, it is a family tradition now."

It is tradition to dress in Thanksgiving day themed outfits and hats and no telling what you might see.

"I have beer on my mind so I have to participate," said one who was wearing a hat of a beer mug overflowing.

Jackie Daughenbaugh has lived in Neptune Beach for 25 years and came wearing a turkey hat.

"I love my hat, I searched high and low for it last night," said Daughenbaugh. "I decided it was the perfect hat for me, have a little turkey on my head and turkey on my head later."

Derek McCray goes all out, dressing up as a turkey. The Pennsylvania native, in Florida for 7 years, wouldn't be anywhere else.

"To be honest, the best part is the comradarie," said McCray. "Everyone is having a good time, the spirits are up, it's great to be with your families, and come out and have a great time, friends family, Pete's is the place to be."

"It is just a community feel," said Blake Cline. "We come down here to talk to everybody and hang out, your family away from home before you go back and put on the turkey and dressing and watch football."

Linda McCormick, originally from London, made her second trip from Birmingham, Alabama, to help out her friend Nancy Campbell during the party. She came to the United States 17 years ago.

"It's a lot of fun," said McCormick. "It is something totally different, it's now our family tradition, our family tradition to come down here."

"Nobody has heard of a party like this, it is very special," said Campbell.

Campbell says it is so special people come from as far away as Tampa, Orlando and Atlanta to be a part of it.  She says no one seems to be aware of anything like it on Thanksgiving morning anyway in America.

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