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Last-minute holiday shoppers still out and about despite a rainy first day of winter

WEST HARTFORD – With Christmas only four days away, roads have seen a lot of traffic with people traveling to see family and friends and doing some last-minute shopping.

Friday’s rainy weather did not stop shoppers from being out in the hustle and bustle, especially at Westfarms Mall. Not to mention, the 60-degree weather made for an interesting first day of winter.

Drivers moved at a glacial pace on the highways not because of snow this time but because of rain.

AAA Spokesperson Amy Parmenter is advising drivers to give themselves not enough time to hit the road with the amount of traffic expected.

“Triple A is projecting more than 112 million people are going to be traveling 50 miles or more over the holiday period which begins December 22nd through January 1st,” said Parmenter.

Retail stores at the mall were crowded and the parking lot was filled with cars.

Amanda Sirica with Westfarms said it is usually around this time when the mall is the busiest.

“Historically, we see about a third of our shoppers are procrastinators so they come in at the last minute and they enjoy that rush or that last minute shopping or they just still have people left on their list,” said Sirica.

Several shoppers said they admitted to procrastinating when it comes to buying gifts.

“I just don’t understand what to get people sometimes,” said Brooke DiPietro of Manchester.

“I’m going to look at some toy stores to see what the latest trends are with the toys,” said Wendy Ku of Farmington.

“This place has been packed and I’ve done a lot of holiday shopping. A big Italian family so I have a lot of gifts to buy,” said Antonio Giuliani of Higganum.

Shoppers like Anthony DiPietro said he actually started early but it has led him to buying more gifts.

“The problem is we finished early so we’re getting more gifts,” said DiPietro.

If you still need to start or finish your shopping, Westfarms Mall will be open until 9 p.m. on Saturday and until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Click here for more hours.

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