Most people refer to the day after Thanksgiving as Black Friday for the start of the Christmas shopping season, but since 2008, it has also marked the National Day of Listening. StoryCorps, a nonprofit oral history organization, started the Day of Listening as an opportunity to preserve records of various life experiences.
The third annual Lineboro 4-H Holiday Bazaar will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26 at the Lineboro Fire Hall. Begin, or continue, your holiday shopping with the approximately 40 crafters and vendors that will be attending the event.
It has evolved into the biggest single day for sales in the holiday season for some independent businesses, and one of the biggest days for others. Increased shopper traffic – much of it generated by publicity from the giant credit card issuer and by community and business associations -- pays off in other ways too. It attracts new customers who otherwise wouldn't think to patronize smaller shops and reminds residents about locally owned shops in their own backyards.
This year's Black Friday, I got a late start and didn't get to Best Buy until 5:58 a.m. I expected to see a line that stretched halfway to Cleveland but instead found two police cars in front of the store with no aspiring shoppers in sight. My first thought was that someone was killed in a stampede.
Downtown Bel Air was bustling with holiday shoppers Saturday as people took advantage of post-Thanksgiving deals and made an effort to patronize independently-owned businesses for Small Business Saturday.
A local bike shop and a national outdoor gear chain proudly and defiantly closed their doors on one of the year's busiest shopping days, gambling that consumers have grown weary of Black Friday and would embrace a new tradition involving hiking, biking and "civility."
Businesses were working hard to get customers to their stores, at a time when Black Friday gets diluted by online shopping, new "holidays" like Small Business Saturday and more scattered opening times.
Black Friday isn't what it once was. The day after Thanksgiving, once considered the champion of shopping days, is no longer the first day of holiday buying or always the biggest. And it's far from the only time to pounce on rock-bottom deals. Discounts now start earlier. The biggest chains open on Thanksgiving. Shoppers have learned they can count on last-minute price cuts. And online shopping has made the day less relevant.
A holiday centered on one of the year's biggest home-cooked meals has a lot of professional chefs in overdrive. While Mother's Day remains the busiest day out there for many restaurants, Thanksgiving, for a growing number, is coming in a close second or third.
During the next week, millions of Americans will begin that trip over the hills and through the woods to grandmother's house to celebrate Thanksgiving. Instead of the horse-drawn sleigh in the popular holiday song, it's planes, trains and automobiles that are taking people all across the country to see loved ones.
More Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving than have since 2007, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. That includes about 1 million Marylanders, the agency said. For many Carroll residents, that means finalizing their travel plans this week.
After a lackluster Black Friday weekend — spending fell 11 percent from Thanksgiving through Sunday, according to the National Retail Federation — some big retailers were under more pressure to have a sales blowout.
Early holiday promotions and rising online shopping took a toll on in-store U.S. sales during the Thanksgiving weekend as shoppers on average spent 6.4 percent less than they did a year earlier, according to data released Sunday by an industry group.
Many shoppers out in Harford County on Friday, typically the biggest shopping day of the year, said Black Friday seems a little more laid-back as more stores push back their openings to Thanksgiving night or even afternoon.