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Black Thursday Shopping Rush

   Target, Kohls, Walmart, Kmart and a long list of other stores opened early for 'Black Thursday.'
   In a year when Thanksgiving arrives late in the month, many of the big box retailers set out to get a jump on holiday shopping to boost profits. 
   While a long line of close to 250 shivering shoppers calmly walked into the Cedar Rapids Best Buy when the doors opened at 6PM, several commented that it wasnt the crazy scene theyve witnessed in the past. 
   Josh Penley brought his tent, complete with a propane heater and two arm chairs, but he only spent about five hours inside it.  Penley says when he came to the same store two years ago for Black Friday deals he camped out for 16 hours and the line eventually stretched around the building and nearly to the front door of Sears.  This year he sat in his car until 1PM and then claimed his spot second in line. 
   By 3PM there were still only a dozen people in line, but Josh says it was definitely worth the wait to claim his prize. Im here for the 55 inch TV they have for half off and then a 39 inch for about half off and some other Christmas presents," said Penley.
   Most in line at Best Buy knew their mission and listened as store managers walked down the line yelling out tickets for the items they wanted most. Jill Rowe  is wrapped  in a blanket so thick it looks like carpeting.  This is my Black Friday blanket, it only comes out one day a year for Black Friday, said Rowe.   A Kindle Fire is at the top of her list.
   Further down the line Aaron VanHook is waiting to grab an iPad.  With a wool hat pulled down over his ears, he says its all about cold cash. 
   "I hope its worth it .. I should be saving 100 dollars," said VanHook.      
   Others like Ashley Coyle say they just came for the fun.  Standing out in the crowd with a fuzzy monkey hat on her head she says she doesnt have a list, shes just here freezing with her family and maybe feeling it a little more than they do; she just came in from Arizona.  Its so cold here I will take anything I can get to stay warm and I have heat pads all over myself .. look ..  I have little heaters in my gloves and shirt," said Coyle.
   While many shoppers admit they feel bad for the many store employees working Black Thursday, Brenda Cronin says she is friends with some of the Best Buy team and she knows they enjoy their jobs.  She says with the atmosphere being much more laid back she hopes this becomes the new tradition.  I heard a lot of people not liking it because its Thanksgiving and you should spend time with your family, but se had time to spend with our family and were still here and having fun," said Cronin. 
    The entire line outside Best Buy makes it inside the store in a little less than 10 minutes.  As  smiling shoppers begin wheeling out big screen televisions and other electronics some comment that this is just the beginning of their evening.  Round two starts in just a few hours as Home Depot opens at 5AM .. Menards opens at 6AM and Von Maur opens a little later at 9AM. 
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