Christmas Eve shopping craze

Car parking lots have been a little crazy and patience might have been tested but in our shops the mood has still been festive.

Ballarat shoppers packed shops early to stock up on food for Christmas meals with queues in specialty shops often long and snaking through aisles.

Wilsons Fruits and Vegetables opened its doors at 6.20am this morning - 40 minutes ahead of schedule - to cater for those looking for fresh food early.

There was still a bustle about the store by lunch-time but workers kept waiting customers happy with free chocolates and reindeer feed on offer.

Pedestrian traffic in the Bridge Mall was thick with last-minute present shopping.

But it was over at the nearby Ballarat Seafoods where foodies are lining up for more than 45 minutes to collect orders for their Christmas feasts.

Most people have mingled and talked in line, others read newspapers, the bulk of the crowd collecting pre-paid orders.

One customer told The Courier the wait was worthwhile with staff festive and extremely helpful inside - not to mention the good will of finding his trolley, filled with ice and a bottle of cider, still waiting for him when on the footpath when he left the store.

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