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Gas prices drop in time for Thanksgiving, but remain at all-time holiday high

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Those driving over the holiday may be giving thanks for the downtrend in gas prices, but the national average is still the highest ever for the holiday.

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According to a news release from the fuel price research site GasBuddy.com, the national average will be $3.43 per gallon on Thanksgiving, about 10 cents higher than it was in 2011. In Minnesota, gas prices currently average $3.27 per gallon. Last Thanksgiving, prices averaged $3.21 a gallon.

"Even though consumers are seeing gasoline prices decline in most parts of the country, and we're certainly thankful for that, the national average will remain higher than where it was a year ago," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, in the release.

According to a recent GasBuddy poll of more than 15,000 households, 16 percent said they will not be driving at all for holiday gatherings this year. Fifty-three percent said they would be driving a similar amount compared to last year, while 18 percent said they would be driving less than last year.

Overall, 8 percent of those surveyed said they would be driving slightly or significantly more than last year. The poll indicates that motorists drove more last year, and they are planning similar travels this year because of gas prices trending lower, GasBuddy said in the release.

"Overall, we believe more Americans will be hitting the road for this Thanksgiving Day compared to last year. Gasoline prices have come down over the last month, dramatically in some states, leading motorists to feel better about things -- including driving the car to get to their destinations," said Gregg Laskoski, an analyst with GasBuddy.com.

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