Steals and deals: Dickinson shoppers find all their items in Walmart, at the mall
In the early morning hours Friday, the car thermometer read 9 degrees in the Prairie Hills Mall parking lot. The lot was nearly empty, indicating that pre-Black Friday shoppers who shopped at retailers open Thanksgiving Day had gone.
But the next wave of shoppers soon descended upon the mall, starting with Dickinson residents Cambyr Whitworth and Andrew Augara.
Whitworth and Augara were spotted rushing to the front doors of Herberger's before dawn Friday, partly to get out of the cold and partly to check out the deals inside Prairie Hills Mall.
They hoped the mall would have all they wanted in Dickinson, Augara said, so the duo could call it a day before noon.
"We've been out here since 4:30 this morning, and we hope not to be out a whole lot longer today," Augara said shortly after 5 a.m., as the temperature dropped to 8 degrees. "This is the first time I've been shopping on Black Friday, probably since I was a kid, and, I must say, there isn't the pushing and shoving I would have expected. It isn't as bad out here as I would have thought, especially now that it's after the big special sales that stores had last night are over."
Augara, who woke up early to nab a good deal on a big-screen TV, got Whitworth to come along for her first time out on Black Friday.
A more eager and experienced Black Friday shopper, Randall Nelson of Dickinson, started bargain hunting Thanksgiving Day and was still going strong by 6 a.m. Friday as he emerged from Walmart, having nabbed every deal he had his eyes on.
"I've been out here shopping all night," Nelson said, after he reached his car with his purchases. "I started out (Thursday) around 5 p.m., then took a break and went back out for more deals around 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. It's been nice that I've been able to do all of my shopping in Dickinson, though."
Nelson's ability to cross everything off his list could be credited to his years of experience navigating the stores on the busiest shopping day of the year.
"I shop on Black Friday every year," he said. "The first year I did it, I spent the night in the Best Buy in Idaho Falls, Idaho, but last year I said I wouldn't go Black Friday shopping again this year.
"But I'm glad I did because I've gotten everything I wanted and it's just 6 a.m. I think I'll go home and sleep for a few hours, before I get up and do it all again at noon when Rock 30 Games in Dickinson opens up with some more deals."