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Black Friday shoppers line up early for bargains

Shopping lines long, but orderly

police report no problems

November 25, 2011|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Pat Morgan, left, and her friend Gerri Hopson began their Black Friday shopping at Walmart at around 4:30 a.m. Morgan said they drove from Prince George's County, Md. to shop in Hagerstown.
By Caleb Calhoun/Mobile Journalist

HAGERSTOWN — Tri-State area residents - and at least a few from outside the area - were out early Friday morning shopping for Black Friday deals in Hagerstown.

Boonsboro resident Marilee Kerns, 48, was at Best Buy on Garland Groh Boulevard around 4:30 a.m. She said she went to the Ravens game in Baltimore Thursday night and began shopping at Premium Outlets at 1 a.m. looking for deals. She had been up since 5 a.m. Thursday.

"The shopping and the deals get you ready for the holidays," she said. "I've bought things at about six or seven stores already, including special gift cards for purchasing stuff there."

Keedysville resident Janine Suffecool, 30, was also at Best Buy at 4:30 a.m. Friday after beginning her shopping at 1 a.m. at Premium Outlets.

"I skip work to go Black Friday shopping," she said. "I do this every year."

Mike Hunsberger, 41, from Hagerstown was working at Best Buy at 4:30 a.m. He had been there since 9 p.m. Thursday. He said that 1,100 people were in line waiting for the store to open at midnight when he arrived.

"It was packed when I got here," he said. "The line stretched all the way around the building to the back road behind Best Buy."

To deal with the amount of people in line, Hunsberger said the store let in only 200 people at a time.

Hunsberger said he enjoys working on Black Friday.

"It's an adrenaline rush," he said. "There's definitely not a boring moment, and the people are really nice."

Next door, a line was forming outside the Five Below store for its opening at 5 a.m.

Tea Smith, 14,  of Greencastle, Pa., was among those in line. She said was the second line she had to wait in since she began her Black Friday shopping.

"I was waiting outside of Walmart from 7:30 p.m. until midnight, when it opened," she said. "This line is nothing compared to how long I had to wait there."

Smith said she was buying laptop accessories and other electronic equipment for relatives at Five Below.

Pat Morgan, 51, said she drove all the way from Upper Marlboro, Md. in Prince George's County with friends for Black Friday shopping in Hagerstown.

"I've been shopping in Hagerstown for six or seven years," she said. "We can go to so many different shopping centers up here."

Morgan and her friends began their shopping at Walmart at 4:30 a.m. She said that they usually stay in Hagerstown until about 6 p.m. on Black Friday looking for places to shop.

"Black Friday is like a girls day out for us," she said. "We always walk through the stores and call each other when we've found what we want."

Before leaving, Morgan said they always stop and eat at Cracker Barrel.

Before 9:30 a.m., Hagerstown Police Capt. Mark Holtzman said lines were long but fairly orderly during Black Friday shopping at retail centers throughout the city.

“There weren’t any incidents that we had at any of the shopping centers,” Holtzman said.

He said Walmart in the Centre at Hagerstown and Best Buy on Garland Groh Boulevard paid the overtime costs of having 13 off-duty police officers provide additional security.

“It helped us out because it let us put officers in other places,” he said.

Maryland State Police and Washington County Emergency Services also reported that things ran smoothly on the eve of Black Friday.

“There was nothing unusual last night,” Maryland State Police Cpl. P.A. Martin said Friday morning. “I saw no signs of any extra accidents.”

Martin said the State Highway Administration put signs at the Premium Outlets exits on Interstate 70 to help motorists find their way.

— Staff Writer Dan Dearth contributed to this story.

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