Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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November 23, 2012

Some Goshen shoppers didn't wait for Black Friday

GOSHEN — While some families were still carving their turkey, local shoppers lined up Thursday to get deals on Black Friday sales.

Though, can you still call it Black Friday when stores open Thursday evening?

Brothers Zack and Jake Stauffer, both from Elkhart, arrived in line at Target off Elkhart Road around 1 p.m. Thursday, after eating a Thanksgiving meal with their family.

“We’re going for anything,” Zack Stauffer said.

The brothers hoped to find some of the latest video games and electronics that were on sale at Target and other big stores.

“Our parents said we can do it, but they didn’t want any part in it,” Jake Stauffer said, laughing.

Amy Helmuth, Topeka, said last year she went unprepared to Target six and a half hours early. This year, she arrived seven hours ahead of the store’s opening, but brought plenty to keep her warm, entertained and fed.

“I’m going for an iPod for my daughter,” Helmuth said. “I like the sales — I’m a competitive person, and I like the competitive nature of trying to get the best sales.”

Helmuth said last year she bought stuffing to sit on from Michael’s Arts and Crafts Store to sit on. This year, she brought her husband, who left to brew coffee for the pair.

“I’ll also be going to Meijer and Kohl’s tonight, and possibly Wal-Mart,” Helmuth said. “I will be buying a few things for Christmas, but I have most of my shopping done already. This is the time of year I stock up on things we need for the house.”

Like the Stauffer brothers, Helmuth said she had dinner with her parents-in-law before heading out with her husband.

“Like (the Stauffer’s) parents, our in-laws said to have fun, but they don’t want any part of it,” she said. “They’re watching our kids.”

When she arrived last year, Helmuth said there were around 60 people ahead of her in line, but she was able to get the television deal she was after. On Thursday, she held the third spot in line.

“I’m surprised there are not more people here,” she said while sitting in her camp chair.

Target wasn’t the only store that opened Thursday. Michael’s Arts and Crafts Store opened at 4 p.m. for early shoppers. A line had formed by 3:30 p.m.

Stacey Vance said she was first in line, but hadn’t waited long, only arriving at 3:15 p.m. Though she lives in Fort Wayne, she came to Goshen for a Thanksgiving celebration with family.

“I’m coming mostly for storage stuff and the Christmas trees on sale,” Vance said. “I don’t know what other stores are opening today, but we’re going back to Fort Wayne tonight, so I’m sure we’ll hit some other stores when we get back.”

Vance said she has gone Black Friday shopping for the last four years, and she has seen it grow in popularity.

“I shop for my family that lives out West, and I have to ship their presents early. I come for the pricing,” she said. “It’s about getting good deals, and everyone wants to save money. It’s neat to see what the stores will put on sale to entice people in.”

Standing in line may not sound like fun to some, but Vance said she finds it interesting to spend time with all of the other shoppers.

“The fun about standing in line is meeting people you would never meet otherwise, and hearing about their families and their traditions when it comes to Thanksgiving,” she said. “The interaction with people is fun.”

Mild temperatures may help draw a larger crowd throughout Black Thursday and today, Vance said. She said the temperatures, which were in the ’60s when people began lining up, were much higher than the temperatures for Black Friday in 2011.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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