ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Much like Santa's elves, Albany Mall Marketing Director Debra Rowe and other employees have been busy preparing for the holidays.
"It does take a lot of man hours to put up everything that we do put up every year," Rowe said.
Decorations include the Albany Mall's Christmas tree, Santa's Train Depot, and the Holiday Express Train that travels throughout the mall.
As the holidays approach, the Albany Mall expects to see double the shoppers.
"Things do get busy and pick up around Thanksgiving," Rowe mentioned.
This is the fourth year that the mall has opened on Thanksgiving. Many of its stores will open on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. Rowe said they're ready for the influx of shoppers.
"The last week before Christmas is very, very busy," Rowe said.
The Albany Mall has also been gearing up for Santa's arrival.
They'll hold a special celebration on Friday, November 18, 2016, to welcome Santa Claus.
Starting at 6:15 p.m., the mall will pass out hot chocolate and candy canes while playing Christmas carols. There will even be a special sneak peek of Ballet Theatre South's "Nutcracker" performance.
At 7:00 p.m., the crowd will countdown as Santa Claus makes his arrival.
Santa will be available for pictures daily at his train depot located near J.C. Penney.
Kids can have their pictures taken from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays.
The Albany Mall will close on Christmas Eve at 6:00 p.m.