Some families eat turkey and pie on Thanksgiving, while others watch a football game with family and friends. But many people around America camp out in front of their favorite stores before the businesses open their doors to Black Friday crowds.
Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and noted as the first day of traditional Christmas shopping. On Black Friday customers crowd businesses and are drawn to many special discounts and sales offered by the retailers.
This year, one Gull Lake senior, Leah Flagg, witnessed Black Friday shopping for the first time in her life.
“It was crazy overwhelming,” Flagg said. “I didn’t expect there to be as many people as there was.”
Flagg showed up at the Crossroads Mall in Portage Friday morning by 6 a.m. and the mall was packed with customers searching for Black Friday deals. Flagg also made her way to Best Buy and Meijer, among other stores, and managed to spend almost $250 on her Black Friday findings. Unlike some others, Flagg was able to handle her shopping experience without getting in any fights or arguments with other shoppers.
“I didn’t see any physical fights like they show on the news after Black Friday,” Flagg said. “I did witness some pretty loud and intense verbal fights though.”
Since 2006, there have been four deaths and 74 injuries on Black Friday from restless crowds, stampedes and fights over high demand items. This past 2013 Black Friday had no reported deaths and only eight people hospitalized from injuries. Among the eight people hospitalized, two of them were police officers who were trying to keep the large number of customers in check so no one would get hurt.
“Black Friday was fun, but not really for me,” Flagg said. “There were just way too many people. Unless I go earlier I know for sure that I won’t be going Black Friday shopping next year.”
By Katie Curtenius