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Press Release for Monday, November 19, 2007

Poll Shows Thanksgiving Travelers Prefer Driving Over Flying

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

A new University of North Florida poll shows that a majority of Jacksonville residents plan to travel long distances this Thanksgiving, with most of them driving instead of taking to the skies to reach their holiday destination.

The poll, conducted between November 9 and November 15, was conducted at the Public Opinion Research Laboratory at UNF and was performed through the use of Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing. The survey includes telephone interviews with 647 Duval County adult residents. Respondent age, gender, race and education were weighted.

Among the findings:

--Seventy-two percent of those planning to travel this Thanksgiving report they will be traveling more than 100 miles to their holiday destination. Almost 76 percent said they will drive as their mode of transportation, while 23.6 percent said they would be flying.

--Of those respondents that are going to travel, some 71 percent said they will be traveling before Thanksgiving Day, while 46 percent will travel to their destination on Wednesday. Sixteen percent report they plan to travel the weekend before Thanksgiving.

--Turkey was reported as the No. 1 item on Thanksgiving dinner plates, while 56.9 percent reported they will serve ham. As to when people will sit down to eat, some 45 percent of respondents state they will eat between the hours of noon and 3 p.m., while 25 percent will eat between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

--About 29 percent of those surveyed reported they will go shopping on Black Friday, with 20.9 percent planning to begin their holiday shopping before 5 a.m. and 29.8 percent between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. Almost 15 percent reported they would begin shopping after 11 a.m.

--Only 5 percent of respondents knew that 1621 was the year of the first Thanksgiving and about 14 percent correctly identified Abraham Lincoln as the U.S. President responsible for establishing the date for our national Thanksgiving holiday. Nearly 68 percent of those polled knew the name of the parade on Thanksgiving in New York City is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and almost 50 percent responded correctly that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in Plymouth Rock, Mass.

For complete survey results or methodology, contact Dr. Paul Harwood at (904) 620-4433 or by e-mail at