Black Friday Blasts Off In the Midnight Hour

By Peter Ambrose

November 25, 2011 Updated Nov 25, 2011 at 11:31 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Black Friday, that annual mad dash to start the Christmas shopping season, is well underway this morning following early starts across the area.

Many stores opened at Midnight, some even earlier during Thanksgiving, instead of at 5AM as in years past. They offered big sales to try and draw in more customers and thus more revenue.

And people responded. Thousands of people packed the Northcrest shopping center for the midnight opening at Best Buy. Sources say the line stretched from the store's door down to Kohl's and to the back of the building. Another source said the line was so long and so deep, Kohl's workers complained the entrances to their store was blocked.

Despite that, there were few problems overnight. Business was brisk at stores in the area through the morning.

If you plan to shop today, should expect to encounter heavy traffic around Fort Wayne's main retail areas - the Coldwater/Coliseum intersection and along W. Jefferson Blvd. & Illinois Road. Parking lots will also be packed.

Shoppers should also remember basic safety tips. Keep track of your belongings so they don't get lost or stolen, be familiar with your surroundings and consider traveling in groups.

Also, be patient and have fun.

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