By Thursday evening, many store parking lots in Aiken were full of cars from top to bottom.
Their drivers and passengers were either waiting at the doors or making their way inside of them to be the first to redeem coupons and grab all of the holiday deals they could.
However, large groups of people from across the county were still out at stores inside of Hitchcock Plaza and in Aiken Mall, as well as places like Wal-Mart and Target by Friday morning.
While bringing their coupons and lists, shoppers on Black Friday found they had to stay fueled in between trips to the car, which was especially true for Brook Garrett and Mickey Key.
The two had to make a pit stop for breakfast after a shopping trip at Target before they headed out for round two early Friday.
Cameron Logan, from Jackson, was at the store later in the morning when the excitement had died down a bit. He was loading his truck with only a few toys after he realized he missed out on the electronics.
“I actually came for a TV,” Logan said. “It was in stock online but they didn’t have it here, so I figured I’d get my niece and nephew some stuff.”
In the bags were dolls, board games and stuffed animals — including a special one for his nephew.
“He’s into ‘PAW Patrol,’” he said holding the small stuffed dog.
Logan said every other year, his aunt used to take him and his brother shopping during Black Friday. He remembers it being much colder and a little less crowded then, and he admits he doesn’t often go out for the retail holiday anymore. He said he usually shops online, but he’ll head out when he needs to.
“I usually buy on Amazon, to be honest, if I can find a good deal on there,” he said. “The only thing about buying online is that you can’t see the product before you buy it. It’s just pictures.”
Linda Mock has made a tradition out of the shopping with her sisters and was headed to Dillard’s and Wal-Mart with one of them Friday. The women said they don’t wake up early anymore, but get out when they can.
“I don’t mind paying a few dollars extra rather than fight all of those crazy people,” Mock said with a laugh.
And there’s no strategy to it for them, they said. Black Friday just means shopping with and for family.
“We have a list. We just try to take care of the list. That’s about it,” she said.
Christina Cleveland is a general assignment reporter.