By Marielle Mohs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The night before Thanksgiving is typically a popular night for going out with friends, and that certainly held true in Hudson, Wisconsin Wednesday night. Bars along 2nd Street were full of people.

But Main Street was a ghost town in downtown Stillwater, Minnesota. It is a tale of two cities under different COVID-19 restrictions.

Crowds could be found in Minnesota at grocery stores. Last-minute Thanksgiving shoppers filled the aisles inside and the parking lot outside of the Hy-Vee in Robbinsdale.

“Not too bad, everything moving pretty fast,” shopper Ed Northington said.

Jeff Bowback avoided any wait by doing a pre-ordered pick up of Thanksgiving staples.

“We’ll just take it home, warm it up for tomorrow and be good to go,” Bowback said.

The crowd gave Bowback a sense of normalcy during a very unusual year.

“I’ve been stuck inside for a bit, so I like to see the hustle and bustle for a change,” he said.

RELATED: COVID Dial Back Has Minnesotans Flocking To Wisconsin Bars And Restaurants

Tonya Sales is cooking for just her and her daughter, saying it’s tough to scale back the meal this year.

“We said weren’t going to cook big, and we usually do because I’m the baby of 12, and I don’t know how to cook small,” Sales said.

Over at Revival restaurant in St. Paul, employee William Kelsey said they enjoyed their usual holiday rush, but just in a new way.

“For the pre-packed meals, I wanna say we did around 170 at this store and believe over 200 at the Minneapolis location as well,” Kelsey said.

He says circumstances surrounding this year change what he’s grateful for: the people still walking up to their window showing their support.

“I’ve never seen such strength in my own community as I have this year,” he said.

Bars and restaurants are open in Wisconsin, and Minnesotans can go — but the Minnesota Department of Health does not advise it.

Marielle Mohs