Black Friday descends on Rowan

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 25, 2011

By Hugh Fisher
SALISBURY — Just as it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, Black Friday gets to some places earlier than others.
The lines at Walmart stretched in all directions, up and down aisles and throughout the store.
People hoped to get bargains on things they’d seen advertised in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
“I’m hoping for Zelda and Batman Lego,” Justin McKnight of Salisbury said.
He said he wanted to find those games for his cousin.
McKnight and his girlfriend, Jessica Ritchie, were among the lucky ones near the front of a line hundreds of people deep.
When a man tried to sneak toward the line, a woman shouted to a nearby police officer, who followed him as he walked away.
“That is so rude!” she shouted. “You do not do that!”
On the stroke of 10 p.m., staff members tore the shrink wrap from stacks of toys, video games and other goods.
The crowd surged forward.
The frenzy began.
It stayed civil for the most part, with numerous Salisbury Police officers keeping a watchful eye as carts and armloads of goods were hauled toward the checkouts.
When it was over, Joshua Edenburn of Salisbury had a stack of 12 video games in his hand, with multiple copies of several titles for the Xbox and Wii systems.
He’d been waiting since 7 p.m.
“I actually got too many,” he said.
Brandy and Courtney Wyrick of Rockwell left the store with a cart loaded down.
Inside were five crock pots, a 20-piece Paula Deen cookware set and a number of other appliances.
Total cost: $70.
They said they’d only waited 40 minutes to get their goodies.
Wanda Wise, Sandy Howell and Wendi Heglar left with bags of toys, a skateboard and a 3-pot crock pot among them.
Wise estimated they spent about $200 total, and that at regular retail they would have spent about twice as much.
Not only was the store full of shoppers, but many came with cameras to watch the fray.
Others just stood and watched.
Sherry Lambert and her niece Ashley Wilhelm decided to come to Walmart during dinner.
Lambert said she wouldn’t mind finding some older movies on DVD, but Wilhelm said she just came out of curiosity.
“Just to watch the crowds,” she said. “I imagined it was going to be crazy.”
Other stores in the area opened at midnight or in the small hours of the morning, with sales continuing throughout the day.
And, this evening, shoppers can support local businesses at Holiday Night Out, from 5 to 9 p.m. in downtown Salisbury.
Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.