Valley shoppers nix Thanksgiving dinner to score Black Friday deals

Best Buy opened its doors at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, and JCPenney opened at 3 p.m. to customers waiting in lin

Some families didn't spend their Thanksgiving evening around a table. Instead, they waited in lines to score the best Black Friday deals.

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Some families didn’t spend their Thanksgiving evening around a table. Instead, they waited in lines to score the best Black Friday deals.

Best Buy opened its doors at 5 p.m. Thursday. At 3 p.m., there were around 10 people waiting in line — some with blankets and chairs.

One family said this was the first time they have been Black Friday shopping. They got in line at 1 p.m. and said they were waiting for a television.

“Everyone is home eating their turkey dinner. We’re here. We went to Steak ‘n Shake,” said Sissy Ruppersberger, of Enon Valley.

Ruppersberger said the deals would be worth it for the kids.

Best Buy wasn’t the only store opening early, though.

JCPenney opened even earlier, at 3 p.m.

The first person in line was a mother and daughter from East Palestine.

“We have been waiting out here for an hour and a half, but we’ve been sitting in our car for four hours,” said Kimberly Mingle.

It was not only a long day for shoppers but also employees.

They showed up around 2:30 p.m. at JCPenney and stayed for their shift that ends around midnight.

“I will be here ’til about midnight. We’ll be here overnight, then I’ll be back in early morning. It’s a very long weekend for us and the associates when Monday comes around,” said JCPenney General Manager Kim Carillon.

And for some, even though they took time out of their Thanksgiving to come shopping, they wish holiday deals started at a different time.

“I think it’s too soon,” said Fran Young, of Columbiana.

“I think it’d be better if they pushed it, then people could be home today,” said Sissy Ruppersberger.

At the Eastwood Mall in Niles, Black Friday deals began late Thursday afternoon and continue through Friday morning.

The first 500 people in line at the Food Court door got a free Eastwood Mall tote bag, containing gift cards, coupons and more. A DJ was also on hand to get people in the holiday spirit.

At 8 a.m. Friday, there will be a balloon drop near Dillard’s.

With Black Friday shopping will come Black Friday traffic around the malls.

Ohio State Highway Patrol will be out Friday to make sure things stay moving.

Highway Patrol Sgt. Eric Brown said one of the mistakes that can cause gridlock is trying to make a left turn out of a shopping plaza and getting blocked in.

“Do not block intersections. If you’re sitting at a green light and you know you can’t make it safely across that intersection, don’t do it,”

Instead, Brown encourages drivers leaving shopping plazas to make a right turn and turning around where it’s safe.

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