Black Friday shopping is a ritual for many people that is not to be taken lightly; it’s so serious that it often begins Thursday — Thanksgiving Day.

Many shops around Auburn opened for their Black Friday deals on Thursday, as did the larger retail chains like Target, Best Buy and Kohls, whose sales started at 5 p.m. Walmart started an hour later.

One family showed up to Tiger Town at 3 p.m., just to be the first in line for Target’s deals. Not only were the Sorrells the first in line, but they were decked in matching T-shirts as well.

Leanne Sorrells said her favorite part of Black Friday shopping is the rush.

“You get there first, it’s even more exciting,” she said. “Cause you’re like ‘Oh, I did it, and you didn’t’. No, I’m just kidding, (but) that’s really it … There’s only a certain amount (of stuff), so you know you have to be here to get it or you’re not going to get it.”

It was the same case around other shops and boutiques as well — families prepared for the day together, with family members having specific assignments on what to search for. For the Sorrells, the targets included an Olaf toy and a Chromebook.

Black Friday, though it began Thursday, did take a little break. For chains like Target, many closed again at midnight or 1 a.m. Others, such as Walmart or Kohls didn’t take breaks at all and stayed open from Thursday afternoon.

“I come for the experience more than anything,” said Cori Grantham, who was in line at Ulta. “It’s the rush of, kinda like jumping off a mountain — that rush.”

Grantham said her main goal was to grab mascara and a hairdryer. She and her crowd had arrived at 3:37 p.m. thinking that Ulta opened at 4 p.m. The store opened at 5 p.m. so they managed to grab a spot at the front of the line.

Not only do shoppers have to prepare for the sales. Ulta employees let themselves in and out of the glass door as shoppers looked on right before 5 p.m.

Target workers watched as a line grew down the side of the store, walking up and down it in safety vests. Once the doors opened and the line filtered in, Target employees gathered in a semi-circle clapping and cheering for the bargain hunters.

Auburn and Opelika also will prepare for their own shopping rituals in their downtown areas. Downtown Auburn celebrates what it calls “Blue Friday” each year.

The deals in downtown Auburn will begin at 8 a.m.

Opelika prefers to celebrate “Small Business Saturday” the day after Black Friday. While some of the shops will have savings, except normal business hours.

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