Shoppers swarm for Black Friday bargains

Lights streak up and down the aisles of the Jefferson City Kohl’s parking lot as early bird Black Friday bargain hunters search for parking spots more than an hour after the store’s midnight opening on Thursday night.

Lights streak up and down the aisles of the Jefferson City Kohl’s parking lot as early bird Black Friday bargain hunters search for parking spots more than an hour after the store’s midnight opening on Thursday night. Photo by Kris Wilson.

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Best Buy employee Joseph Hopkins passes out store maps to hundreds of Black Friday shoppers as they brave the cold while waiting for the store’s midnight opening on Thursday night.

While most Americans gathered around dining room tables to share a feast of turkey and a day of thanksgiving, some Mid-Missourians cut short or gave up counting their blessings around a table, hoping to count the bargains from Black Friday sales.

Before 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving, lines had formed outside of Best Buy, Target, Kohl’s, Menards, Old Navy and others. The deals, many said, were too good to pass up.

The streets to and from the stores were as busy as one might see on a typical mid-morning, only it was midnight.

The onslaught of shoppers was too much for most stores’ parking lots, which overflowed with cars. Target shoppers had filled its parking lot late Thursday night. The spillover went into nearby grocery store Moser’s, and then across Stadium Boulevard into nearby lots, leaving pedestrians to cross Stadium Boulevard to get to the store.

After shopping at Target, one early morning shopper could be seen wheeling a flat-screen television across busy Stadium Boulevard to her car.

Michelle Bernskoetter, her sister Melissa Starke and friends got in line at Target at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, waiting for the store’s midnight opening. Bernskoetter was after a large-screen television, and said she stood in line last year and got one as well.

The sisters said the Black Friday shopping is a tradition that dates back to their childhood.

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Jefferson City Best Buy employees cheer as hundreds of customers begin to pour in through the doors during the store’s midnight Black Friday opening on Thursday night.

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