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Black Friday Tradition Trumps Fear of Spending in Westchester

Black Friday crowds an auspicious start to 2011 Holiday Season.

  • Correction: The Galleria opened at 4 a.m.

For some who were camped outside White Plains' Walmart at 3:45 a.m., Black Friday shopping is just as entrenched in the Thanksgiving holiday tradition as turkey, mashed potatoes and football games.

"We come every year," said Joe Lanoc, from Riverside Conn.

"It's definitely worth it for the sales," Lanoc's daughter Joy added.

Stores opened especially early this year—some as soon as 10 p.m. or midnight on Thursday, even before customers' Thanksgiving dinners had fully digested.

"We opened at 4 a.m. this morning, and the response has really been tremendous," said Galleria Mall Manager Ryan Hidalgo. "A lot of our retailers are running great specials that are only taking place in the early morning hours."

For others, Black Friday was an altogether new experience—something more of a spectacle than a necesity.

"We thought it would be a fun experience for the kids, coming out in the middle of the night to see all the crazy shoppers out," said Susan Sheerin, of Rye, who—at 4 a.m.—was perusing the selection of scarves at Old Navy with her teenage daughter Emma.

Gesticulating animatedly, Emma added: "There was this lady with 12 bags just running through Macy's."

But even though they came out for the show, the Sheerins didn't leave the mall empty handed.

"My husband's putting our bags in the car," Susan Sheerin said. "I brought my coupons and we were looking for good deals. I try to be practical."

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