Roanoke no exception to national Build-a-Bear craze

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -- Hundreds of faithful customers lined up Thursday outside the Build-a-Bear Workshop in Roanoke's Valley View Mall, as well as at other locations around the world, for "Pay Your Age" day.

Just like it sounds, any bear in the store could be bought for a price equal to the age of the child getting it. But those who showed up weren't expecting to wait as long as six hours to get their stuffed animal.

"Crazy. Absolutely crazy, but worth it to see the kids' smiles," said customer Debra Stowers, who arrived at 9:30 a.m. and did not get into the store until 5 p.m.

With so many more people showing up than anticipated, some were asked to leave after already waiting for hours.

"Security said that it was an issue with the Fire Marshall, we've heard everything, and we chose to stand our ground, and we're still here and we're not leaving without a bear," Stowers said while waiting in line.

It got so crowded the store had to cut off the line and started offering vouchers for $15 off a future purchase, leaving some on the outside looking in.

But overall, many said that, while it was a long day, it was one they won't soon forget.

"It's been fun, I just wish it was a little more organized. You know, but other than that, we've had fun, we got to know some nice people," Stowers said.