Pete's Bar Thanksgiving party spills into Neptune Beach streets

Annual celebration becomes a tradition for more and more people every year

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – A sea of people filled the streets of Neptune Beach Thursday for Pete's Bar's annual Thanksgiving celebration. 

Turkey hats could be seen bobbing through the huge crowd of partygoers who shut down First Street. 

While the event may not be the typical Thanksgiving dinner at a family member's home, for many people, there's nowhere else they'd rather be than celebrating the holiday with thousands of strangers and plenty of drinks.

PHOTOS: Pete's Bar Thanksgiving Day celebration

"This is awesome. Great atmosphere," Susan Kessler said. "It's just like home." 

"Home" for Kessler and her daughter, Dororthy Whitcomb, who both attended the street party, is New Orleans. They agreed Pete's Thanksgiving Day bash compares to a Mardi Gras parade. 

"So far, so good," Whitcomb said. 

While it may be unorthodox, it's certain that the annual Thanksgiving party becomes a tradition for more and more people every year. 

"I think it just grew. It used to be contained into Pete's here and it just kind of grew from there, kind of like a cult following," one partygoer told News4Jax. "It's local. It's the thing that you do here in the area. I mean, everybody lives in the area and (they're) here having a good time. And we're here, doing just that."

The "cult following" attracts people of all ages, whether they're looking for an escape from the family or a way to spend more time with them.