Bargain retailer Honest Ed’s is continuing a decades-old Toronto tradition on Sunday, giving away Christmas turkeys and fruitcake to mark the start of the holiday season.

More than 6,000 kilograms of turkey and cake were handed out after 10 a.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis at Honest Ed’s on Bloor Street West at Bathurst Street.

With demand high and a strict one-turkey-per-family rule in place, some participants nabbed a spot in line outside the store as early as Friday.

As with previous years, those who arrived early were offered seasonal treats such as candy canes and turkey cookbooks. Complimentary coffee was also available.

The tradition of giving away turkey and fruitcake for free was started by the store’s colourful and charismatic founder “Honest” Ed Mirvish in 1987. The custom is now being carried out by his son, theatre producer David Mirvish.

Cast members of the Mirvish production “War Horse,” Toronto police officers and Mirvish family members were expected to don Santa hats as they distributed the freebies.

With files from The Canadian Press