Reginald Nephew stands near the Target exit with his Black Friday purchase. The Altona resident was first in line at Target to get the 46-inch television.
Reginald Nephew arrived at Target in Plattsburgh at 3:15 p.m. Thursday to be the first in line for Black Friday.
“We are leaving here and then going to Walmart, Lowes and Kmart,” said Nephew, of Altona.
Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving and the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, has historically been the year’s busiest shopping day.
Philadelphia birthed the Black Friday name after suffering massive traffic jams. There have been assaults, even deaths around the country as shoppers shove past each as they rush to their desired items.
Stores typically open their doors at 4 a.m., though this year many opened at midnight.
“Target is the place to be this year,” said Amber Averill, also from Altona and second in line.
The pair brought chairs and blankets for warmth and food for energy.
“We both come together every year,” Averill said. “We come prepared.”
They make friends and see many of the same people each year toward the front of the line.
“We got quite a few here we know,” Nephew said.
Some people nearby at Best Buy arrived as early as 8 a.m. The line stretched the length of the building and wound through the parking lot.
By 10 p.m., more than 500 people stood in Best Buy’s line.
“I’m getting a few items for Christmas; a $200 42-inch television and some video games,” said Mike McAdam, who made the trip from Canada with his brother Chris.
The pair stood toward the end of Best Buy’s line.
Down Route 3, Walmart shoppers rushed through the store, the checkout lines swelling to the back of the building. Items nearly fell out of shopping carts filled with toys, movies, computers and televisions.
Walmart held its first event at 10 p.m. and the second one was planned for the same time as Target and Best Buy at midnight.
Walmart shoppers weaved in and out of aisles, bumping shoulders and dodging carts, trying their best not to come to a stop as they raced after deals.
Walmart employees wore bright yellow vests that read, “Event Staff.”
Several people in the store announced that once they were done at Walmart they were hitting Target.
By 11 p.m., the Target line wrapped itself around the building and out into the parking lot. The tail of the line, at the roadway, split often to let exiting vehicles out.
“I’m actually just here to watch people go crazy,” said Hailey Wyand. “But if I find some good deals on Christmas presents I’ll grab them.”
Her first Black Friday experience, Wyand had heard horror stories on the television of past events and worried she might get her hair pulled or kicked in the shin.
Her friend Bailey Wright focused on Kindles.
At 11:58 p.m., Target staff advised waiting customers not to shove or push, and two minutes laters they let people in, 30 at a time.
Averill walked, jogged, then ran, stopped and speed-walked as she entered Target behind Nephew.
By the time half the line was in the store, Nephew stood smiling, pushing his shopping cart out the door with his 46-inch television and receipt.