MUNCY TOWNSHIP -- The Lycoming Mall is joining a growing list of stores and malls that plan to close for Thanksgiving Day. It certainly bucks the trend of shoppers who have gotten used to flocking the malls right after turkey dinner.
This year, the Lycoming Mall will open at 5 a.m. on Black Friday. That's a big difference from last year when the mall opened at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, closed at midnight, and reopened at 6 a.m. the following morning.
Mall managers say closing on Thanksgiving gives both workers and shoppers quality time to spend with their families.
The Lycoming Mall near Muncy only had a few shoppers walking through, but many of them had Christmas shopping and Black Friday on their minds.
"The excitement for waking up early," Amanda Wolyniac said.
But in recent years, that excitement has been replaced with stores opening extra early, as in Thanksgiving Day.
Last year the Lycoming Mall opened for six hours on Thanksgiving, closed overnight, and then reopened early on Black Friday. This year, the Lycoming Mall joined other places, such as the Mall of America, and will stay closed on Thanksgiving.
"I think it's great. Enjoy time with your families like you're supposed to," Wolyniac said.
"That way you've got Thanksgiving Day to enjoy, sit and you're not like tick tock tick tock, got to make that deal," Barbara Oliver said.
"People should be allowed to be home with their families during the holiday," Ron Bowling said.
Even though the mall is not opening until 5 a.m. on Black Friday, all of the anchor stores can open up whenever they want.
Mall employees we spoke with feel the same way. Courtney Glass is a manager at Maurices.
"It will be really nice, that way they don't have to stress about coming to work or having to get ready while they're spending that day with their family," Glass said.
Ron Bowling of Williamsport is excited to get back to traditional Black Friday shopping.
"For me, it's like the opening day of trout, it's traditional. You do some Black Friday shopping for sales," Bowling said.
Some other malls in our area are also closing on Thanksgiving this year. Along with the Lycoming Mall, the Stroud Mall near Stroudsburg and The Marketplace at Steamtown in Scranton will not be open. The Viewmont Mall near Scranton and the Susquehanna Valley Mall near Selinsgrove have not yet made a decision.