NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – Hundreds of people gathered Thursday at Pete’s Bar in Neptune Beach for a Thanksgiving celebration. The tradition dates back decades, drawing people from all over the city, many of them decked out in their most festive outfits.
A lot of locals come down every year and enjoy the time with the community before they go to their separate celebrations.
Tom Trechel said he had a part in starting the tradition and he never imagined it would grow into such a big one.
“It originally got started when a bunch of us locals got together and we just got there and all just wanted to meet before Thanksgiving. Inside Pete’s, it was just a bunch of locals getting together and it just sort of grew and grew and now it’s a festivity," Trechel said.
James Eddy and his family have been coming to Pete’s annual Thanksgiving celebration for seven years.
"We have a whole group of people that come down here and hanging out with them is really a good thing,” Eddy said.
The street party, which includes road closures for the crowds, dates back decades and seems to get bigger each year.
“It’s kind of like a class reunion for every class there’s ever been at the beach, and it’s gotten big enough now where we actually have people coming from all around the world, so it’s pretty exciting,” Pete’s Bar co-owner Tom said.
The tradition brings folks, like Drew Ridgell, and his friends back year after year.
“It’s just the people,” Ridgell said. “It’s kind of like a Friendsgiving.”