HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Even before the Golden Corral in Harlingen opened Thanksgiving morning there was a line to get in.

General Manager Debbie Alonso said that Thanksgiving is her location’s busiest day of the year.

“Everybody comes out to Golden Corral, everybody comes out for a good meal,” she said. “A lot of times they don’t have places to go so they enjoy themselves here. Enjoy good food, family, friends.”

Every year, thousands of winter Texans come down to the Rio Grande Valley to relax, ride out the winter, and spend money. For some of them, going out to eat today was just a chance to do Thanksgiving a little differently.

“I’m from Wisconsin, I’m a winter Texan and I own a home down here in Harlingen,” explained Larry Testburn. “[Golden Corral] is always a fun place to eat and they were open! So we thought we’d do Thanksgiving here at the Golden Corral.”

For other Winter Texans, going out to eat on Thanksgiving was another way to relax.

Rooney Melbrain and Jewel Sutherland, both from Minneapolis, Minnesota, said it was easier to go out to eat. “We simply didn’t want to cook,” Melbrain said. “And besides that, we knew it was good,” Sutherland added about the food at Golden Corral.

It wasn’t only winter Texans that went out to eat. Some locals got in on the action, too.

Princess Calsaba, from Sebastian, Texas, also said it was easier to go out and eat.

“Well it was better than eating at home, and the food was delicious,” she said.

Most people think of Thanksgiving traditions as eating at home, watching football, and arguing about cranberry sauce – but every family is different.

“Well I mean, we usually come here on Thanksgiving, every Thanksgiving, instead of eating at the house,” said Jay Hernandez of Harlingen.