MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –– Two big events are bringing in big crowds to the Mall of America. Expect a busier than normal weekend at the MOA.

On a Saturday, assistant manager Anna Reichkitzer usually expects to see more customers at her store, the iCandy Sugar Shoppe. But this weekend is different.

“I opened early,” Reichkitzer said. “We had girls breaking down the door and it’s been like this since I opened it.”

The boost in business comes courtesy of two events that draw in specific crowds. About 8,000 fans of the ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy filled the mall’s rotunda Friday for a meet-and-greet with the cast of the upcoming movie.

“It was insane yesterday,” Reichkitzer said.

On Saturday, a centennial celebration for the Girl Scouts brought in an estimated 50,000 young shoppers.

“I think it’s hectic and busy and very fun being in the crowds,” said Devika Narayan, a Girl Scout.

By 9:30 a.m. the rotunda was a sea of green and brown, and the tide soon moved to the surrounding stores.

“It’s a lot of fun going shopping. We’ll go to stores and stuff like that, and have a lot of fun,” said Katie Reutiman, a Girl Scout.

During the average weekend, the mall sees around 100,000 to 120,000 customers. This Friday through Sunday, however, the turnout will far exceed that, and it may even reach the 200,000 mark.

“We’re actually talking that it is possible to have comparable to Black Friday numbers,” said Bridget Jewell, a Mall of America spokesperson.

For stores like iCandy Sugar Shoppe, it makes for a hectic weekend, but it’s also a much needed push after the post-holiday lull.

“This will be really good for our month,” Reichkitzer said.

Sunday is expected to be just as busy. Disney star China Ann McClain will be performing at 10:00 a.m. To help fight traffic congestion, the Mall of America does send updates on traffic back-ups and open parking lots on Twitter (@mallofamerica).


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