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Cold doesn't deter bargain hunters on Thursday, Black Friday

Shoppers descended on Jamestown stores and malls Thursday and continued shopping through the night and into Black Friday. Most retailers saw it as a good start to the 2012 holiday shopping season.

Even before the sun was rising on Friday morning some shoppers were getting ready to wrap up a retail marathon.

"I started last night and was at it all night," said Natasha Harr of Jamestown. "Started with Walmart, then to Kmart, now here (Radio Shack) and then to JCPenney next."

Harr was standing in line with about 20 others waiting for Radio Shack to open at 6 a.m. She said her shopping had been successful.

"I'm finding what I was looking for and more," she said. "Great prices and I'm getting my shopping done in Jamestown."

Harr's overnight shopping sprint seemed to be common among Jamestown Black Friday shoppers, according to Joni Dalke, store manager at Kmart.

"Thursday was very busy with large crowds in the morning and evening," she said. "Friday was quieter. I think the majority of people were out last night."

Dalke said the volume of customers and their purchases indicated the holiday shopping season was off to a good start.

"Electronics, toys and home appliances were big items like we expected," she said.

Law enforcement officials said the stores were crowded but didn't report any incidents.

"We had officers in and out of the stores that were open," said Lt. Bruce Judd, Jamestown Police Department shift supervisor. "The foot patrols just showed we were present. There were no incidents."

Judd said it is standard for officers to do foot patrols through any store or public place where large numbers of people gathered any time of year.

Stores that did not open Thanksgiving Day or early Friday also reported brisk sales.

"It's been good," said Gary Docktor, co-owner of Gun and Reel Sports. "We didn't know what to expect but it was what we were hoping for."

Gun and Reel Sports opened for its regular hours Friday. Mac's Hardware opened an hour earlier than usual at 8 a.m. Friday.

"Steady traffic all day," said Randy Borowicz, Jamestown Mac's manager. "The ag community supported us well."

Even shoppers with no Black Friday experience said they enjoyed the adventure.

"This was my first Black Friday and it started at 4:30 a.m. Friday," said Dion Briss of Jamestown. "We weren't at the head of the line for a TV so we didn't get that but it was still worth getting up. Breakfast will taste really good."

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at