HAGERSTOWN — Black Friday draws hoards of shoppers seeking bargains or enjoying the crowds, while others prefer to avoid the hustle and bustle of one of the top shopping days of the year.
Area residents asked for their opinions this week on the post-Thanksgiving Day tradition had differing opinions about whether shopping on that day is a good idea.
Hagerstown resident Terry Anstee, 21, who was ringing a bell for the Salvation Army at Premium Outlets on Tuesday, said he plans to get up by 6 a.m. Friday and go shopping at Walmart. Anstee said getting up early and dealing with crowds are not problems for him.
“I’m a social person, so seeing a lot of people to me is exciting,” he said. “And I’m up every day between 4 and 6 in the morning anyway.”
Lesley Smith of Hagerstown said she used to go shopping on Black Friday every year, but has stopped that.
“I prefer to shop a day or two earlier now or do it online,” she said. “I shopped on Black Friday for almost 20 years, so I’m past that.”
Larry Roberts of Carlisle, Pa., said he and his family like hitting a variety of outlet malls as Christmas approaches, including on Black Friday.
On that day “we want to be out by 8 a.m., so we can beat the crowd and get better deals, but we’re not going to get up at 4 or 5 in the morning, or be out at midnight,” he said.
Mary-Ann Lusby of Frederick, Md., said she believes the Friday after Thanksgiving should be about something other than shopping.
“Black Friday is amateur hour; everybody is tired when they go in, and the workers are in a bad mood because they have to be up so early,” she said. “To us Black Friday is still part of our Thanksgiving, so we do family things together in that time.”
Priscilla Anthony of Charles Town, W.Va., said she’s not a fan of shopping on Black Friday.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” she said. “The best sales are right after Christmas, and sometimes, just before Christmas. I buy gifts usually in February for the following year.”
Yvonne Barnes, 63, of Baltimore, said she likes to drive to Hagerstown to shop at Premium Outlets, but will not go out on the day after Thanksgiving.
“I don’t understand the rush. I never shop on Black Friday,” she said. “The values aren’t even that great.”
Marty Houghton and Mary Pickell of Montgomery County, Md., were shopping locally on Tuesday, but said they didn’t plan to shop again on Friday.
“It’s too crowded,” said Houghton of Germantown, Md. “I got up at 3 a.m. and did it two years ago. It was fun, but I will not do it again.”