On Friday, the infamous shopping day, “Black Friday,” will arrive.  The day is thought to be a kick-off for the Christmas shopping season.  Shortly after Thanksgiving festivities wind down on Thursday, retail stores across the country open their doors to dedicated shoppers at 12 a.m. or earlier.

Heavily discounted items will be advertised on Thanksgiving, and some are already posted on countless online websites.

One of these websites is BlackFriday.com. The site contains a list of 42 featured retailers including Target, Wal-Mart, Cabela’s and Best Buy.

A free sign-up allows users to create an organized shopping list that includes the discounted prices on selected items.  Some stores, like The Home Depot, have not yet released ads on the site.  Other sites include bradsdeals.com, amazon.com and bfads.net that display all different kinds of specials on the Internet.

There are many theories as to where the name “Black Friday” originated.  One of these examples came from the Philadelphia police department in 1966.  The event was termed “Black Friday” due to the substantial traffic jams and overcrowded sidewalks.

Lacey Johnson is a student at Weber State University who said she doesn’t mind the hustle and bustle of Black Friday shopping. Johnson said she has gone with her family every year since she was five years old.

Johnson, along with her mother, said she usually visits stores in the mall like JC Penney, Kohl’s and Shopko.  She said the game plan is decided the night before by looking through the ads, picking out the best deals and then deciding what stores to hit.

“I like Black Friday because I enjoy the crowds of people and seeing people shopping,” Johnson said.  “It gets me in the mood for the Christmas holiday. It prepares me and gets me ready.”

Johnson said it also allows her to spend quality time with her family.

“It’s a day when we get to go out together. It is some good bonding time for me and my mom,” Johnson said. “It’s been a fun tradition and family thing.”

JanaRae Rollins is another student at WSU who has gone shopping on Black Friday, but said she has certain conditions to go and fight the crowds.

“It’s only worth it if you’re really planning on buying some big-price items,” Rollins said.  “If there is a significant difference in the price, then I will go. Other than that, it’s kind of torture to do that to yourself.”

Rollins said she is surprised by is the strict policing that occurs at some of the stores.

“There were guards at Target that yelled, ‘If you step out of line, you cannot get back in,’” Rollins said. “Is this what Black Friday is turning into? It felt like more of a prison line than a checkout line.”

Whether shopping in-store, online or just staying in, the sales and the crowds will be there on Friday.

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