Turlock’s nightlife took on a frenzied feel Thursday, as thousands of area residents ended their Thanksgiving celebrations with midnight shopping.
Many local retail stores opened at midnight to begin the Black Friday shopping as early as possible — and bargain hunters took advantage of the late night deals.
The line to get inside the Turlock Target on Countryside Drive stretched around the front of the store and into the back alley by 11:50 p.m.
Amanda Maranta and her family, of Hilmar, arrived at Target at noon on Thursday to be the first people in line for when the store opened 12 hours later.
“We kind of turned (Black Friday shopping) into a Thanksgiving tradition,” Maranta said. “We were the first people here last year and the first to get a TV.
“We’re here this year to get six more inches.”
The six more inches Maranta and her family braved the cold and crazy crowds for was the Westinghouse 46 inch LCD HD TV for $298 — a savings of $250 off the regular price of $549.99. Almost everyone in the front of the Target line was there to purchase the TV — except for Turlocker Cindy Tyson.
Tyson stood in line starting at 4 p.m. Thursday to buy a crock pot. Actually, she said, she would be getting things for her kids for Christmas — and the crock pot for herself.
“I’d never done it before and I thought it’d be fun,” Tyson said of shopping the Black Friday “door buster” deals. I’m hoping to get some action.”
Similar lines were seen in front of Walmart and Kohl’s. At 11:56 p.m. on Thursday, a Kohl’s supervisor counted 600 people standing in line waiting for the doors to open.
While the hundreds of Kohl’s shoppers were waiting for the clock to strike midnight, the dozens of employees inside the store were getting pumped up for the busiest night of the year by store manager Scott Vizenor.
“If you’ve never worked Black Friday before, you’re in for a fun night,” Vizenor told employees minutes before they opened the doors. “Just remember to smile.”
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