Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, marks one of the most intense shopping days of the year .

In Aiken, larger crowds than usual could be seen at stores like Academy Sports + Outdoors and Target, and even some local businesses that participate in the holiday.

Tricia McKellen said she likes shopping on Black Friday in Aiken because it's "less crazy" than in larger cities like Columbia, where she is from originally.

"It's not nearly as bad," McKellen said. "Like, you can get stuff still, but it also feels a lot safer, which I'm really grateful for."

Aside from getting doorbusters at stores like Belk and Walmart, some people decided to use the holiday to support local businesses. 

Amanda Hamm shopped at Vikki's A Unique Boutique on Whiskey Road, where she said she's been "several times."

"I wanted to go out last night, but I didn't," Hamm said. "I was feeling lazy."

Hamm said she was looking for Christmas gifts for other people.

Rachel Holt was also looking for Christmas gifts – especially name-brand doorbusters.

"It's the shoes I'm after," Holt said. "I need new shoes, so that's why I'm here."

Black Friday will be followed by Small Business Saturday, in which local businesses will have a variety of sales, and Cyber Monday for online shoppers.

Kristina Rackley is a general assignment reporter with the Aiken Standard.