Shopping frenzy

You have heard the saying “calm after the storm” and that is what quietly happened around Dunkirk Friday afternoon in the literal sense.

The snow that hit the region Thursday morning didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits about “Black Friday Madness” – shoppers rushed out with their same Black Friday enthusiasm.

It was a year of firsts.

JC Penney Store Manager Kevin Gavin said they opened for the first time Thanksgiving night.

“We opened at 8 p.m. and people were waiting in the snow for at least a half an hour before that,” he said. “At 4 a.m. we gave away Disney snow globes to the first few customers who came in.”

Gavin said the staff all received a nice meal for coming in on Thanksgiving and a goody bag.

“It was a fun day, we are all tired, but it was fun and everyone kept safe.” he said.

First time Black Friday shopper Kristen Bunge said she “was scared to do Black Friday shopping because of rumors of chaos.”

“I came in looking for sweaters or jackets, just something to stay warm,” she said. “My friend works here so that is why I came to JC Penney first.”

Bunge left the store with two sweaters.

Peebles Store Manager Lynda Saez said they opened at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving and “had at least 30 people waiting to get inside.”

“The customers are awesome and ready to shop,” Saez said. “We had fun, it was busy, but a good busy.”

Working on Black Friday for the first time, Kelly Bates said she thought “things got really hectic” when she came to work Friday.

There was a three-hour rush Friday afternoon and she came right at the start of it.

“People were getting really impatient at the cash register,” Bates said. “I worked non-stop until the rush died down.”

“I have never done Black Friday shopping myself,” Bates said.

As the sun peaked out and melted away the storm, holiday shoppers strolled back to their cars, bags in hand, and seemed happy with the overall calm after the storm.

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