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Season of spending begins
Thanksgiving fuels holiday shopping
2 Black Friday pic1
Sigrid Serpico, Elizabeth Reynolds and Bonnie Reynolds load a shopping cart full of gifts they bought while outlet shopping on Black Friday. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

By noon, the women of Sugar Valley Country Club had already stocked up on the early morning, after-Thanksgiving bargains at North Georgia Premium Outlets and were hoping some leftover turkey and veggies would give them the blast of energy needed to continue their Black Friday shopping tradition.

"We brought our own lunches. This is how we do it every year," said Tina Ferguson of Cartersville. "We pack up the leftovers from Thanksgiving and bring our own picnic lunch."

An annual tradition for as long as any of them can remember, the group of about a dozen ladies rent a van each year and head out for what they call an "epic" shopping experience.

"Even before some of us were born, my mother said the women of the family, even 60 years ago, would get together to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving," Ferguson said. "Now we even get shirts made that we all wear."

Like the women of Sugar Valley, Black Friday has also grown into an anticipated shopping tradition for many friends and families, including Jennifer Walbrun of Cumming.

"We all got together for Thanksgiving, and every year, we always do our Black Friday shopping," she said. "We start at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and we go the whole day."

The Walbrun women, who call themselves Jingle, Jangle and Ingle, were attempting on Friday to break their previous Black Friday shopping record of 32 hours.

"We average 24-27 hours of shopping. We have not slept yet," she said and admitted that sleep deprivation makes the experience so much more fun.

"Our tips are to eat chocolate and eat continuously throughout the day."

Rose McBrayer and her husband Jerry avoided the "craziness" and instead the Dawsonville couple opted for what they described as a calm and peaceful shopping date Friday morning.

"It was nice, really nice, and I feel like I got some good prices on what I bought. A lot of the sale prices were still going on," she said.

While many were on wvthe lookout for the best deals, others were getting into the holiday spirit with a special trip to see Santa Claus.

"Really, our top priority goal is to come out and see Santa," said Tracey McDaniel, who first took her daughter our on Black Friday at the age of two weeks old to start a new family tradition. "We come out so she can talk to Santa and get her picture made. Then we can go out and do our shopping."