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‘Black Friday’ true to color

Sonia McClug, loads the last of her Black Friday haul into her car while MaryAnn Ardoin holds the cart. By 9 a.m. on Black Friday, the ladies made two trips to Wal-Mart.   - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
Sonia McClug, loads the last of her Black Friday haul into her car while MaryAnn Ardoin holds the cart. By 9 a.m. on Black Friday, the ladies made two trips to Wal-Mart.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

Black Friday shoppers brought their “A game” to Oak Harbor’s Wal-Mart just hours after their Thanksgiving feast.

For some, one trip just wouldn’t do. By 9 a.m. Sonia McClung and MaryAnn Ardoin wrapped up their second trip to the store that day.

The team arrived 20 minutes before the store opened at 5 a.m. for their first venture.

“Never again,” said McClung, although she admitted to getting a host of excellent deals on everything from Christmas presents to basic necessities.

Several parking stalls over, Emilia Hynes loaded her car with a mix of everyday items and holiday gifts.

Hynes decided to skip the long line at Wal-Mart, in favor of starting her holiday shopping at the Navy exchange. But there was a line there, too, she said.

In addition to the basics and holiday gifts, many shoppers treated themselves to new television sets, computers and other large electronics, said Daniel Crawford, a Wal-Mart employee, as he wheeled a large TV to a customer in the parking lot.

Cashier Lorna Ruben lost count after 400 people poured into the store, but expects the initial surge of people came close to 500.

“In my seven years this is the best one,” she said of the crowd. “They were lined up even at 4 a.m. when I got to work.”

Stocking Supervisor Al Colon, who worked the Thursday night shift, said die-hard shoppers started lining up around 2:30 in the morning, waiting in line with camping chairs and sleeping bags to stave off the cold.

Although Wal-Mart’s Black Friday sales figures will not be available until Friday night, store manager Verlin Leedy was impressed with the turnout.

“It’s similar to previous years, but a little bit better,” he said.

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