BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Black Friday has gotten off to a rousing start in the Mahoning Valley.
It actually started shortly after Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday afternoon. Lines were seen at Route 224 stores like Target, Toys ‘R’ Us and Old Navy. The Shops at Boardman Park and Southern Park Mall parking lots were nearly full at 9 p.m. Thursday.
Brisk retail activity continued through the early morning hours, with shopping still active at the malls and larger shopping plazas.
At Target in Boardman, WKBN ran into a group calling themselves “Team Black Friday”. The six women are all related to each other; they have been waking up early on the Friday after Thanksgiving for the last 17 years.
This year, the women wore black t-shirts bearing the group’s name. For the record, “Team Black Friday” members say they will not be shopping on the holiday itself.
At Best Buy in Boardman, WKBN talked to Mike Roby who was at the front of the line for an 8 a.m. Friday opening. He was hoping to buy an X-Box1 TV combo. He arrived at the store at 5 a.m.
At the Eastwood Mall, festivities began at midnight Thanksgiving night with giveaways in the early hours.
Leaving the table didn’t mean leaving the family for some shoppers. Many shoppers say it’s become part of their tradition.
“I used to go with my parents when I was younger, then when they stopped going, I stopped going,” Best Buy Shopper Matthew Perchak said. “Then when I was able to do it by myself, I started going by myself.”
Not all stores opened early Thursday for shoppers, like Dillard’s in the Eastwood Mall. The store didn’t open it’s doors until 8am Friday.
The Eastwood Mall had events going on throughout the night to keep shoppers interested.
“We gave away 1500 bags to the first shoppers in line. And we continued prizes all night long until 2 a.m.,” Eastwood Mall Marketing Director Alyson Moliterno said. “From 12 to 3 we had Tony from Dancing with the Stars, that was a lot of fun. We had line dancing and zumba in center court, and we just had our balloon drop at 6 a.m.”
The balloons in the balloon drop were filled with prizes, like 500 dollar mall gift cards, plane tickets, and restaurant gift cards. And while the early bird prizes are over, the mall is expecting a crazy day Friday.