By Ron Matz

MIDDLE RIVER, Md. (WJZ) ―Early morning football and free pumpkin pies are all part of the Thanksgiving tradition that continued Thursday morning in Baltimore County.

Ron Matz was up early for Thanksgiving in Middle River.

The line formed at 3:30 a.m. Thanksgiving Day at Geresbeck’s Supermarket.

“Happy Thanksgiving, thanks for coming in today,” said one greeter.

There were free pumpkin pies for the first 100 families in line.

“We got here at 3:30 this morning to play football. I go with my boyfriend every year, and I just stand in line and get my pie,” said Amanda Miller, first customer in line.

That’s right, the pie giveaway coincides with the annual Pumpkin Bowl played in the parking lot, while shoppers are inside picking up last-minute items.

There’s always a salute to the troops; it’s all part of the Middle River tradition, started by Geresbeck’s.

“Every Thanksgiving Day we give a free pumpkin pie to the first 100 families that come in. We took care of that first thing at 6 a.m. and it was a lot of fun. The customers and neighbors around here really appreciate it,” said John Stricker, Geresbeck’s general manager. “We like to give back to the community all the time. This is a community store. This store is independently owned. The customers love us, and they come from everywhere. They come from Harford and Carroll counties. They come from Bel Air, Joppatowne, Parkville, not just right in this area.”

Some come for the famous éclairs, others come with gifts.

“Thanksgiving means everything to me. It’s family and you enjoy the family,” said Gary Grinage, customer.

Enjoying the holiday with family and friends is how most people will spend their day.

The pumpkin pie giveaway has been a Geresbeck’s tradition for more than a decade.

(© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)


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