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Some came prepared with lists and others were just out to find the best bargains; masses of deal-seeking shoppers made their way to various Carroll retailers Friday, leading to lines that swept throughout the stores and long waits for parking spaces.

Although it's commonplace for shoppers to hit the pavement bright and early on Black Friday, some prefer to avoid the crowds and wait to shop until a little later in the day, even though stores were still crowded hours into the biggest retail day of the year.

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"We didn't get an early start today," said Eldersburg resident Trish Alpaugh, who was shopping with her daughter at the Westminster Kohl's around 11 a.m. "We don't get out with the wild people."

The pair decided to take their time instead of hurrying from store to store. The line that wrapped from the registers to almost the back of the store didn't seem to bother them.

"We're pretty patient. We're not in any rush," Alpaugh said. "We're just seeing whatever we can find for everybody, trying to use whatever coupons we have."

Emmitsburg resident Dawn Stryjewski was among the horde of shoppers that piled into Kohl's.

"I didn't want to go out on Thanksgiving. I'm against that," Stryjewski said.

She decided to begin her shopping on Friday instead.

In search of toys, clothes and other Christmas gifts, her stops included PetSmart, Kohl's, Home Depot, Lowe's and Dick's Sporting Goods.

"I'm just making my rounds," she said. "I'm going to try to get a good bit of shopping done today."

The TownMall of Westminster was another popular stop for those in search of Christmas gifts and holiday sales.

Jessica Zentz, of Westminster, was there shopping around midday for her son and daughter, but she started her shopping before Thanksgiving even ended.

"We did the whole family thing in the afternoon. I was out last night from 8 p.m. to 2 in the morning," she said. "It wasn't as bad as I thought."

Zentz said she got the last Xbox One that Target had in stock, and came to GameStop to purchase "Minecraft" and "Call of Duty."

" 'Minecraft' has been sold out at all the Wal-Marts I went to, so I'm glad I found one," she said.

After visiting Target, GameStop and three Wal-Mart stores, Zentz said her holiday shopping was complete.

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"I've never been done Christmas shopping this early, so I'm excited," she said. "I might start doing this more often."

Finksburg resident Terry Freed started shopping at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

"I was cooking and cleaning all day yesterday but my daughter went out shopping after dinner," she said.

Freed hit the mall to visit Dick's Sporting Good's and Boscov's, but first she stopped at Sears to purchase a big gift — a new refrigerator.

"It was our Christmas gift for me and my husband," she said. "It was a deal we couldn't refuse."

Nate Speight preferred to stick with tradition and do his Black Friday shopping during the early-morning hours.

Speight drove from his home in Towson to Westminster because he wanted to travel to do his shopping. He started at 7 a.m. and visited Kohl's and Belk.

"I stayed home and took it easy last night. I watched football, like most guys did," Speight said. "I did decide to get up early today to catch early-bird specials, which is very important. You get better sales and less crowds."

Reach Sarah Hainesworth at 410-857-7873 or email sahainesworth@tribune.com.

What you are saying on Facebook

We asked our Facebook followers: Did you go Black Friday shopping? If so, what did you buy and where, and how were the crowds? Here are some of the unedited responses.

Shannon Pilley: Bought an iPad mini at Hampstead Walmart last night. It really wasn't that bad. Was in and out within 30 mins. Walmart def had their stuff together and ready.

Alicia Marcum-Cage: I use to go Black Friday shopping (well at least the past 2 yrs I did, since my daughter was born), but I found that you can get the same deals throughout the holiday season, online, or during off season times, so last year I decided I was going to skip it this year & I decided to Xmas shop throughout the year instead, as I saw stuff go on sale...I was mostly finished right around Halloween, but bought the last item I needed right before Thanksgiving, so we're completely done our Xmas shopping already. Now I can spend more time doing holiday things w/the fam instead of running myself ragged trying to get everything in, in less then a month. I did kind of miss it though, it puts that kick into the start of your holiday season.

Kim Cook: 9:45pm-6:30 am Hampstead walmart, westmister old navy, dicks, kohls, target, owings mills toys r us and homedepot no traffic no lines and no crowds

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