Just north of Flagler Street in Little Havana you could see them. Dozens of people sitting Tuesday night in lawn chairs wrapping around Northwest 14th Avenue. Some been here since Nov. 28.
Itll be 8 days, Juanita Alvarez said.
What are they waiting for? A ticket for a food basket from the Latin Chamber of Commerce. Each holiday season, the organization hands out food baskets with rice, bean, spices and other food supplies. But first they give out tickets for them.
They started this tradition of handing out Christmas dinner for families more than two decades ago.
I think they gave away like 4 or 5 bags the very first time around, and this thing has grown to the tune that weve been passing out 3,000 bags per year, the chambers Luis Cuervo said.
In past years, thousands have lined up for the bags. This is the first time though they lined up a week ahead for just a ticket for a bag. One woman, Martiza Garcia, said she had been eating, sleeping and brushing her teeth from the spot where the line started since last week.
And then the line just kept building.
Next thing I knew a few hours later instead of two you had six people. And now the line is all the way to the end wrapping around the block, Beatrice Gardera with the Latin Chamber of Commerce told CBS4s David Sutta.
Which is exactly why the chamber is excited to step up every year with the giveaway.
When you see these really needy people that really, really need these goods that we provide, I think its something that we cherish, Cuervo said.
The chamber expects everyone in line, whether you arrive Wednesday or eight days ago, to get a ticket.
And to the people who say folks are crazy for standing in line for so long?
Well in the end they join us also, Juanita Alvarez responded. If they find a doctor for me I have to find a doctor for them because we all mentally disturbed.
The tickets will start being handed out Wednesday morning. The food baskets wont go out for another two weeks. Those with tickets are guaranteed food.
Still, its expected that people will line up days ahead of time for the baskets.