Shoppers line up outside of Sears at the Country Club Mall in LaVale early Friday morning. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, received its name because it historically was the day when a surge of shoppers helped stores break into profitability — into the black — for the full year.

LAVALE — Getting out of bed long before the sun rises or not even getting to bed at all, shoppers in search of great bargains lined up at area department stores the day after Thanksgiving, better known as Black Friday.

“I was at Kohl’s this morning,” Kathy Hanlin of Westernport said. “I was in and out because I knew what I was getting, a pair of boots for (my daughter). The lady at the register said that she couldn’t believe we stood in line for those boots.”

Her daughter Hayley argued that since they had saved $50 on the boots, the wait in line was worth it, especially as it had been a calm morning when the newest department store in LaVale opened up at 4 a.m.

Mary E. Winters of Ridgeley, W.Va., had yet to have her first experience with Black Friday shopping as she waited outside Sears at the Country Club Mall at 4:30 a.m. She said she had heard enough horror stories as she waited in line that she considered turning back and not buying the camera she was going in to get.

Janet Slayton of Frostburg was in line just ahead of Winters and said she had definitely heard the stories, but hadn’t seen anything too drastic.

She said she had seen people fall down, but the worst she had ever seen was a few years ago. On that Black Friday, she had been at Kmart, where Wal-Mart is now located at the mall, with lines coming from either side toward the main doors. When only one of the front doors opened, she said she saw people rush and squeeze to try to fit inside.

The entire attitude of Black Friday shopping is different than other shopping days, she said, describing watching people pick up and throw television sets like bags of flour into their carts to ensure they got them before they were sold out.

Slayton said people can get aggressive, but Hanlin said that isn’t usually the biggest surprise of Black Friday, more so that it was the change she would see in herself.

“I think it’s amazing how aggressive you are during it all,” Hanlin said.

Still, despite the lines to get in and packed lines at registers to get out, people participated this year. But those going to get the early Friday deals said they noticed a difference this year.

“We’ve done this before,” Al Boor of Short Gap, W.Va., said. “I wouldn’t say every year, but we’ve done it a lot of years. It’s been a lot worse than this year.”

While some noticed fewer people during those early morning hours, Carrie Row of Ridgeley said she still didn’t expect to find much of what she wanted to get at Wal-Mart by the time she got there after shopping at Sears.

“I’m going to go one way (in Sears) and (Winters) is going to go another,” Row said. “Then, I’m going to Wal-Mart to see what’s left.”

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