BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – Many people in Panama City were out finishing up some last-minute Christmas shopping on Thursday.
There are a lot of people sitting at home wrapping gifts that they just bought.
The 23rd Street plaza in Panama City was a “zoo” today with heavy vehicle traffic and pedestrians in shopping areas.
Shopping carts were packed full of food and toys. Many were getting last-minute items, which caused a lot of congestion along 23rd Street.
Instead of hearing Christmas bells jingle, all you can hear through the Walmart parking lot is honking and beeping.
“It’s just crazy, traffic is just backed up everywhere,” Jaythan Givens said.
“When we first pulled in there were literally physically people walking in every direction and cars coming from every direction,” said Louisiana resident Ed Taylor, who is spending Christmas in Florida with his new grandson.
Shoppers told News 13 one of the hardest things to do is find a parking spot. However, once they got inside, finding a cart was the next battle.
“We had to park all the way over there somewhere,” Givens said.
That was before Givens and his family were able to grab groceries for their Christmas trip to Georgia.
“Shelves are wiped clean,” Givens said. “There is barely anything there. Toys are gone. Like food, barely any food. So yeah it’s crazy.”
As for Walmart staff, cart associate Brandon Tucker said it is only his third day on the job. But so far, he has had to deal with holiday traffic ever since he started.
“Very busy, very crowded,” Tucker said.
Tucker said he collected carts across the parking lot as far as ‘Five Guys,’ just to bring them back for shoppers continuously streaming through the door.
“We’ve brought about 50 in at once, and within a couple of minutes, they’ve been gone,” Tucker said.
It does not look like the shopping is going to end any time soon. But if you do need to grab items, be cautious as there are more pedestrians and cars than on a normal shopping day.