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For Cole Feeser, Black Friday began Wednesday night.

The Hanover resident and his niece Alayna Bixler made their way over to Best Buy in the York Town Center at 8:30 p.m., nearly a full 24 hours before the store would reopen for local bargain hunters at 5 p.m.

"I've been doing this for 10 years, and we've got a strategy," Feeser said.

Feeser and his niece looked around the store Wednesday to scope out the merchandise and then set up their lawn chairs just outside the door as the first in line.

They weren't looking for any one thing though; the pair had decided they would get an assortment of goodies ranging from laptops to tablets.

Kym Meng, however, who showed up around 3:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, had his eye on one prize: a 49-inch Toshiba flat screen television for $149.99.

"It's a really big TV," Meng said. "A really, really big TV for not too much at all."

Black Friday has become notorious for crowds and famous for exceptional deals. Every year thousands of shoppers across the country are drawn out in the early hours of the morning — for some, the later hours of the night — to line up to guarantee themselves the best deals. In recent years, stores have been opening earlier and earlier, many now the day before on Thanksgiving.

The line

: "People started showing up pretty slowly at first," Feeser said, adding that after Meng, the next group showed up around 6:30 a.m. or so.

"Most of the people really started showing up as soon as it was light out," he said.

The first grouping of 10 or so —all of whom had shown up before the sun had completely risen — agreed before too many more showed up that during the colder hours they would respect each others' places in line.

"When it started to get cold we camped out in our car for a bit," Feeser said. "We all agreed that there was no sense in all of us waiting in the cold."

By 3 p.m., the line to enter the electronics store wrapped around the building, and it still wasn't scheduled to open for another two hours.

Other stores: Lines were also starting to form outside of the Old Navy and hhgregg off of Loucks Road in the early Thanksgiving afternoon, but the only line that rivaled Best Buy's was the one forming outside of Toys R Us on Kenneth Road.

Denisse Carmen from North York, who had been outside the store for a few hours, held her place in the middle of the growing line. She had her eye on "Frozen" dolls, proving the sensation following the film, which premiered in 2013, was still alive and well.

"I also want to get a LEGO set and some Hot Wheels for my nephews," Carmen said, pulling a crumpled list out of her pocket. "I'm also looking for anything Star Wars or Dr. Who related."

But not the most recent Dr. Who, who is portrayed by actor Peter Capaldi in the eponymous BBC television series, she said of the character, whose face changes every few seasons, but rather the one played by Matt Smith who ended his reign as The Doctor in 2014.

"I'm just keeping my eyes open," Carmen said.

On Thanksgiving: Feeser said his family didn't mind that he and Bixler were missing out the Thanksgiving festivities.

"I'm picking up some stuff for my family, so they're actually grateful," he said. "We're actually helping them out."

Carmen said her family had a Thanksgiving lunch instead of dinner so that the family could disperse and bargain hunt without letting the family-based holiday pass them by.

"We all love shopping every other day of the year so why would today be an exception?" she said with a laugh. "We just moved things around, so I actually got to see everyone I was shopping for before I came out here; I got some last minute gift ideas too."

Feeser said the promise of leftovers was definitely something to look forward to.

"We're gonna eat some as soon as we get home after this," Feeser said.

And then its back out to the stores first thing tomorrow morning.

— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at jschladebeck@yorkdispatch.com.

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