HIGHLAND | Retailers open earlier every year at Thanksgiving to satisfy shoppers on the hunt for the best deal on everything from boots to computers.
Thursday was no different.
The term Black Friday, given to the traditional day-after-Thanksgiving shopping boost for businesses, has become a misnomer.
Many stores, including Target, Walmart, Sears and Toys R Us, opened Thursday night, some as early as 8 p.m.
The h.h. gregg store in Highland opened at 10 p.m., but the line outside the door formed six hours earlier.
Sisters Melani Henson and Jessica Bohn, both of Griffith, were first. Black Friday shopping is a family tradition since they were babies, they said.
"I get a rush," Bohn said. "I love it."
Henson was surprised there was no line when she pulled into the lot Thursday afternoon.
"I was, like, jumping for joy when I saw no one was here," she said.
A 73-inch TV, at half price for $800, was at the top of her shopping list.
Outside Target at the opposite end of the plaza, camaraderie was strong among the shoppers.
Shawn Weston, of Hammond, made a coffee run and refused to accept reimbursement.
"Happy Thanksgiving," he said, waving off the money.
Cathy and Randy Campbell, of Portage, arrived about 1:15 p.m. Thursday. They were first in line, 12 spaces better than last year. For them, early shopping is a tradition.
It is for Crete resident Linda Edwards-Boysaw, who has been Black Friday shopping more than 15 years.
"You always went at 12 o'clock," she said.
With the earlier starts, she told her family they would have to change their plans for the usual Thanksgiving Day dinner.
At nearby Best Buy, it was a family affair. Sixteen-year-old Munster resident Christian Rangel was second in line. His mother and sister bounced tennis balls off the side of the building to kill time.
Christian Rangle said he arrived at Best Buy right after school, about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, sleeping overnight in an orange tent. All for a deal on a 40-inch TV.