Columbus Day brings more than just gas hikes and traffic jams - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Columbus Day brings more than just gas hikes and traffic jams

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Columbus Day weekend means more people on the roads in Massachusetts.

However, what cost is it to people driving this year?

Just on Friday, the Mass Pike had been backed up 45 miles because of people driving West to watch the trees change.

Traffic is also predicted to be just as bad for people returning home, including DeAnna Skilbred. She traveled all the way from North Pole, AK, to visit New England for one main reason.

"We wanted to do some sightseeing and see the fall colors," Skilbred said.

For Skilbred and other travelers, it isn't just the traffic they have had to battle.

People here in Western Mass and throughout the state will have to dig a little deeper in their pockets than others around the country when refueling.

On average, the price at the pump now sits at $3.88 per gallon in Springfield. That number is 8 cents more than the national average.

However, drivers, do not despair. Gas prices here have dropped by more than 1 cent per gallon in Western Mass this past week.

Despite our area's higher price tag for gas, the price hasn't stopped tourists like Skilbred from traveling to Western Mass and to one of its largest tourist attractions: Yankee Candle.

"We opened our doors at 10:00, and had a line outside, and we'll see this traffic push through until 6:00 tonight," said Wade Bassett, the director of Sales and Operations at Yankee Candle.

"You'll see some Massachusetts folks, but a lot of our guests are coming from surrounding states... New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey...so we're really driving traffic throughout New England," Bassett said.

He also predicts about 25,000 people will have visited Yankee Candle during this Columbus Day weekend.

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