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Black Friday calmer because of Thanksgiving night shopping

It was a Black Friday unlike many others in recent years.  The early start of the shopping season on Thanksgiving night meant crowds were more manageable Friday.

Many of the "big box" retailers opened to long lines of customers on Thanksgiving night.  The Walden Galleria officially opened for Black Friday at midnight.  So, by the time the mid-day hours rolled along Friday, some shoppers said the atmosphere at malls and shopping centers was rather calm.  At the same time, many of the electronic items advertised for sale at deep discounts were long gone. 

Now, it's Shop Local Saturday -- a rather recent promotion at the start of the holiday shopping season designed to push locally-owned retailers.  Many local businesses will be offering discounts today to attract shoppers. 

Even the Parkside  Community Association is getting into the act of promoting gifts such as jewelry, soaps, candles and more, produced by local artisans.  Its 5th annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair runs from 10am to 5pm Saturday at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd on Jewett Parkway.