12/14/2014 06:08 EST | Updated 02/13/2015 05:59 EST

Honest Ed's turkey giveaway now in its 27th year

When turkeys are being handed out at Honest Ed's, you know that Christmas is close.

The long-running tradition at the discount store located at the corner of Bloor and Bathurst Streets has been going on for more than a quarter-century.

Sunday was the day that people waiting patiently in line were rewarded with a turkey — and an accompanying fruitcake.

"It's a wonderful turnout, the weather is great, people are happy, we're happy," said Russell Lazar, the store's general manager. "It's our 27th year of doing this."

Mariano Cordeiro was the first in line this year. He had to line up on Friday night to make that happen.

"So it's been a couple of days, I'm going to be happy to see my bed tonight, believe me," he told CBC News in an interview.

In any case, Cordeiro said it will be worth the wait.

"I've been coming here for about 24 of the 27 years that it's been around and a couple of years I've donated a turkey. This year, I'm taking it to my mom's and we're going to enjoy it on Christmas Day," said Cordeiro. "For me, it's become a tradition."

Some special guests were on hand to help distribute turkeys, including Toronto police Chief Bill Blair and Mayor John Tory.

Asked why he wanted to take part, Tory said it was because the Mirvish family "have for 27 years done this thing, which is to celebrate the holiday season, to celebrate Christmas and to give a chance to some people who may not have a chance to have a Christmas turkey, others who are just here for the fun, but it's a great thing that the Mirvish family have done and continue to do."