Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

November 24, 2012

Big crowds hunt big bargains locally

Black Friday shopping starts early Thursday for many

Allexander Barrick warmed his hands in front of a portable heater Thursday night as he entered hour 45 of his camp-out in front of Best Buy.

He, Eric and Teresa McMillan sat in lawn chairs next to their tent. Store advertisements, empty fountain drinks and pizza boxes littered the ground around them.

The trio were first in line for the store’s Black Friday sale, which began at midnight.

They pitched their tent in front of the store at 8 p.m. Tuesday to secure their place at the front.

It didn’t bother them that they missed Thanksgiving to do it.

“We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving,” Teresa McMillan said. “We celebrate Black Friday.”

Just four hours before the store’s midnight opening, though, few people waited in line for deals.

The people who normally crowd the line for Best Buy were busy shopping at stores that started Black Friday much earlier, Teresa McMillan said.

While shoppers still packed area stores Friday morning, many started searching for the holiday’s best deals early Thursday.

Michael Hood’s holiday shopping began at 3 a.m. on Thanksgiving. He said he wanted to be near the front of the line when Kmart opened at 6 a.m.

He and his wife squeezed in Thanksgiving dinner between shopping trips. Hood said he had about an hour to eat and catch up with family members before he had to take off again.

“I hate it,” he said.

He said there really isn’t much of a Thanksgiving anymore with stores opening so early, but he has to follow the deals.

That led him to Target Thursday afternoon.

He got there at 2:05 p.m. and was third in line. Hood was after one of the store’s hot items. He wouldn’t say exactly what, though. It was a gift for a family member, and he wanted it to remain a surprise.

It was worth the nearly seven-hour wait, he said.

Felicia DeWitt stood in line behind Hood. She arrived at Target at about 2:15 p.m., even though she had no real reason to be there.

“I came here on a dare,” she said. “My daughter said I wouldn’t do it.”

Yet there she was, taking her photo in front of the Target sign for proof. She didn’t really need anything from the store, she said. But she’d probably buy something anyway – maybe a DVD for the television she bought Wednesday, she added.

DeWitt was just having fun socializing with the people in line around her, she said. And she knew it would be even more fun once she got inside, she said.

“Once you get in there, it’s like run everywhere, get everything,” she said.

Hood agreed that the shopping was an adrenaline rush he’s come to enjoy.

He said his wife got him involved three years ago.

“Now I’m addicted,” he said.

Hood’s wife wasn’t having as much fun Thursday.

While Hood was waiting at Target, she was fighting the crowds at Walmart for Christmas gifts for their children.

She got knocked to the ground as she went after an item, Hood said. She got what she wanted in the end, though.

“It’s crazy,” Hood said. “I told her not to go there. She insisted.”

Walmart’s entire parking lot was full by 8 p.m., and people were parking across the street at Indiana Wesleyan University’s Kokomo campus.

It was just as busy at Target. A few minutes before the store opened at 9 p.m., Hood looked back at the line.

“I’m glad I got here when I did,” he said.

The line snaked all the way around the building. There were 683 people waiting, and more were joining them.

When the doors finally opened, it took 22 minutes for the whole crowd to make it inside.

According to data gathered by the National Retail Federation, about 147 million people planned to shop at stores across the United States this weekend.

Eric McMillen said it’s one of the biggest weekends of the year, and he wouldn’t miss it for anything.

“I go even if I’m not buying anything,” McMillen said. “It’s a social event.”

His group planned to buy televisions, Blu-Ray players, tablets and laptops this year.

Teresa McMillen said it’s nice knowing they won’t miss out on the big-ticket items since they’re first in line.

“You know you’re getting the best deal,” she said. “You look back at all the other people in line and think, ‘Too bad. So sad.’”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • BK rebuild 04 Peru restaurant B-K West rebuilding after tornado PERU -- B-K West is more than just a drive-in restaurant to its owner, J.D. Hann. It's a piece of his childhood, a historic Peru landmark, and it's his baby. "I grew up with this place," the 57-year-old Peru native said. "We used to walk the tracks o

    April 16, 2014 7 Photos

  • Congresswoman Susan Brooks backs manufacturing training efforts Congresswoman Susan Brooks' own personal manufacturing experience may have been limited to three months in a Kendallville caramel factory as a college student, but in her congressional roles, she's having an impact on the skills debate. In Kokomo Tue

    April 16, 2014

  • Superintendent of Ind Ed 01 State Superintendent Glenda Ritz visits Peru, discusses new standards PERU -- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said Tuesday she is comfortable with the quick pace at which new academic standards are moving from concept to classroom. The Indiana Department of Education released a final draft of new

    April 16, 2014 4 Photos

  • Chrysler CEO will headline Tipton plant opening Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne will preside over the grand opening of the company's fifth north central Indiana plant, the Tipton Transmission Plant, at a ceremony May 13, company officials announced Tuesday. In February 2013, Chrysler announced it w

    April 16, 2014

  • More than 70 businesses participate in annual job fair More than 70 local businesses got a look at the workforce of tomorrow during Tuesday's Kokomo Area Job Fair at the Ivy Tech Kokomo Event & Conference Center. The event, put on as a partnership between Indiana University Kokomo and Ivy Tech Community

    April 16, 2014

  • Kokomo episode of 'My First Home' airs Saturday A cautious cat-lover will search for the perfect house in Kokomo on Saturday's episode of "My First Home" on TLC. The episode airs at noon and features Kokomo real estate agent Gena Martin and first-time homebuyer Steven Underwood. In its description

    April 16, 2014

  • Easter basket workshop Thursday Generous individuals and businesses in town donated enough candy, games and books to fill more than 500 Easter baskets at this year's Tom Carey Easter Basket Workshop. The workshop starts at 10 a.m. Thursday. Any families that are strapped for cash t

    April 16, 2014

  • IUK to give Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne honorary degree Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne will be at Indiana University Kokomo’s May 13 commencement to accept an honorary degree from Indiana University President Michael McRobbie, IUK officials announced. In a statement, McRobbie credited Marchionne with engi

    April 15, 2014

  • Cheryl Marner aims to cross finish line during this year's Boston Marathon Cheryl Marner was a mile from the finish line at last year's Boston Marathon when all of the runners in front of her suddenly stopped. The race had come to a halt, and at the time, she didn't know why. "There was a lot of confusion," she said. "I hea

    April 15, 2014

  • Property taxes to increase Many of the residents in Howard County can expect an increase in their property taxes when bills are mailed out later this week. Tax rate increases, a smaller homestead tax credit collection from the state and a decrease in the county's overall net a

    April 15, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries