Tri-Citians storm the halls for Thanksgiving sales

Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldNovember 28, 2013 

thanksgiving black friday shopping

Danielle Turner, left, of West Richland, compares shoe choices with her daughters Victoria, 18, and Brianne, 13, on Thursday shortly after Kohl's in Richland opened at 8 p.m. Danielle says the experience was more under control than her past shopping trips on Black Friday, but had mixed feelings about stores opening on Thanksgiving for the first time this year. "After dinner's over, that's OK," she said. "These employees need to have a chance to be with their families and have dinner."

KAI-HUEI YAU — Tri-City Herald Buy Photo

There are those who complain that putting Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving is just wrong.

But many others didn't hesitate to start shopping for Christmas even before their turkey dinner got cold.

Michaels craft store on Canal Drive in Kennewick opened its doors at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving, hoping to take the edge off the Black Friday rush, said employees.

"I worked this morning at my other job at Grocery Outlet and here tonight," said clerk Michelle Holesworth. "I don't mind working on Thanksgiving at all. The people have been great tonight. Besides, my family and I plan to have our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow night when I'm not working."

Michaels, Best Buy, Shopko, Kohl's, Target and a slew of other retailers opened their doors a day early. Many had lines waiting for the doors to open.

Many restaurants around town also were open. And the packed parking lots proved shopping makes a body hungry, Melanie James, 33, of Pasco, said on her way into Granny's Buffet for a bite to eat during a break shopping for bargains.

The longest line outside was Best Buy in Kennewick where more than 100 waited for the store to open Thursday night. Some had camped out in front of the store since Tuesday.

Though extreme bargains bring most people out into the freezing temperatures during the holidays, for Laura and Dwight Krahn of Kennewick it was a simple case of needing a new Christmas tree.

"We won't shop on Black Friday but we were excited to see Michaels open today," Laura Krahn said. "I really wanted a new tree this year that would be easier for me to put up and decorate."

And though the Krahns don't put their Christmas decorations up until after Thanksgiving, they appreciate all the people who do.

"It gets me in the spirit when I see all the lights go up even earlier than Thanksgiving," Dwight Krahn said.

Steven Evans, 40, spends most nights playing music with his rock band Choice Fatal, who play Friday night at Ray's Golden Lion.

Though he had Thursday night off, his lab technician wife, Laura, had to work at Kadlec Regional Medical Center.

With his 4-year-old daughter Iris in tow, Evans ended up looking for a bargain.

"I would never shop on Black Friday," he said. "When I saw Michaels was open today I thought I'd run out and get a tree before my wife gets home."

The stores were busy Thursday but nothing like the usual frenzy that happens the day after Thanksgiving, said some who were working Thanksgiving.

Jeff Coss, 25, said he loves to work in the chaos.

"It's been busy tonight but I'm sure Friday will be busier," he said. "But I love to stay busy so working through the holidays is fun for me. The days whiz by because there's no down time. I'm always busy helping customers."

Coss went to work at Michaels in 2011 after his tour with the Marines ended in 2010.

"I meet so many different kinds of people in this job so its never boring, especially when its busy," he said. "It's absolutely a blast working here."

-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @dorioneal

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