Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)
-- It's the day every year to break bread by the big lake.
Duluth's Thanksgiving Buffet brings thousands to the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.
In its 23rd year, an expected record breaking number of people gathered to munch, mingle, and give thanks.
You don't have to twist Ed Gallagher's arm to work the turkey.
"Absolutely! Everybody wants it," he said Thanksgiving morning.
He does after all have a little seniority at the Thanksgiving Buffet.
"I've done it every year since it started, except the first year."
Earning his chance to dish out the bird.
"It was my choice," said Gallagher, dishing out the turkey.
In 2012, Gallagher is serving one of the busiest buffets the DECC has hosted.
"We are happy to see everybody, I mean we're at capacity, it's a great event."
At capacity before noon.
"We contacted a lot of the local farmers, and they got us all of our local vegetables," said Roz Randorf, Senior Chair of the buffet.
Dishing out all of the locally grown Thanksgiving side dishes.
A meal putting smiles on everyone's stuffed face.
"Being I have no family, no relatives being here with all these people, it feels like they're my family."
Theodore Hanson, a veteran of the Vietnam and Gulf Wars, feels at home here every year."
"This is my family here, because they're like me. No relatives, maybe we can't afford it. This makes us feel welcome," Theodore Hanson.
A group of strangers becoming family on this day of thanks, Minnesota nice at it's finest.
The buffet wrapped up around 4 Thursday afternoon.
Officials are predicting record breaking attendance for 2012.