UPDATE 11/23/12 @ 11:40 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Sales, bargains and deals – that’s Black Friday in a nutshell.
"The deals, there are such great deals -- and you get ready for Christmas and all the spirit and cheer --love it," said Black Friday shopper Taylor Ingram.
At the Charleston Town Center Mall late Thursday night, they opened the doors earlier than scheduled because of the growing crowds gathering outside.
"So we let the thousands in and the party started. This was the best Black Friday start we've had in over a decade," said Lisa McCracken, marketing director for Charleston Town Center.
But all of this is not just about getting the best bang for your buck, it’s the adventure.
"Come out for this crazy experience, it's all an adrenaline rush, I'm really tired and I'm ready to get back to bed," said Ingram.
Others simply like going to the store.
"We enjoy shopping, we're not after any particular thing, we just enjoy it," said Black Friday shopper Sabrina Provenzano.
Not everyone, however, shares that enthusiasm.
"I'm here basically for moral support of my wife -- carry bags, just to be out here late at night and early morning for her," said Dewey Conn, who was at the mall patiently waiting for his wife and family.
For six overnight and pre-dawn hours, Dewey Conn sat a table with a drink and book in hand to help pass the time.
"My wife says I enjoy it but I have yet to see anything I've enjoyed about it," said Conn with a laugh.
In the end, the sales, bargains and deals win out every Black Friday.
At the Huntington Mall in Barboursville, people started lining up as early as Monday evening.
One of those shoppers was David Merritt and he said it was about more than getting the good deals, "We do it for fun mainly. Getting a few good deals is usually a perk, but we really do enjoy just getting away and camping and goofing off with a few friends."
Black Friday accounts for nearly 30% of retail sales for the holiday season.
Several stores in the area including WalMart, K-Mart, Toys-R-Us,Sears and the Huntington Mall and the Charleston Town Center Mall had early and late night deals for their shoppers.
Lines were wrapped around many stores, for several hours starting Thursday night.
At the Huntington Mall, they made a party of Black Friday with the Rock the Mall Midnight Ball. Doors opened at 9 p.m. with music, snacks, cocoa and gift bags for the first 1000 shoppers. Those shoppers also got special offers and got to take part in the Reindeer Games, receiving prizes throughout the night and into the morning.
The Huntington Mall even went to Twitter for their event. Special elves were tweeting from @HuntingtonSBB with sales, contests and winners.
We spoke with a few shoppers overnight who changed their Thanksgiving plans to hit the stores. Patrick Stanley said, "I was expecting to have a late Thanksgiving day dinner, but with the Black Friday the day after ruined it for me. But the deals are worth it, really worth it in the long run."
Stacey Meadows' family also did some rearranging so they could get in line early, "We still had dinner, we got out of dinner, we left right after dinner. We had dinner, we had family time, and now we're here."
The National Retail Foundation predicts more than a 4% increase in holiday spending this year compared to last year.
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