Oceanside CA— Over thirty people were lined up near the door at the BestBuy in Oceanside, Thanksgiving morning. By 4:30 Thanksgiving afternoon, the line was over 100 yards long stretching past the Sports Authority store.
First in line was Michael Paagan and his mother Mimi. Michael arrived to stake out his spot around 6:30 Wednesday morning. “Michael has been doing this for the last five Thanksgivings” said Mimi “It began when he wanted to get a laptop for his sister, before she started college, and the Black Friday sale was the only way he could afford it.”
Michael had a tent with an air mattress and a sleeping bag inside to make the wait more comfortable. Mimi took over for Michael after she participated in the O’side Turkey Trot, on Thanksgiving morning, so he could go home and take a quick shower. “He is at his most giving this time of year so I like to help him out.” explained Mimi.
Joe Drake and Kristine Bancells were next in line. They didn’t arrive until 10 hours after Michael, at 4:30 Wednesday afternoon. Both were there for the 50″ Panasonic HDTV BestBuy was offering for $199.00. “It’s not the worst camping we’ve ever done” said Joe. “We camp in Mexico a lot” added Kristine. It was the first time either of them had camped out for a Black Friday sale.
While most of the people were in line early for the TV deal, Edgar Fernandez was there for the deal on a Play Station 4. ” I hope to get backpack and maybe a thumbdrive as well.”Edgar said. It was his fourth time camping out for the Black Friday deals and this year he had two friends with him. Dotoreo and Daniel Arango were there for the TV deal. The three were passing the time watching the NFL Thanksgiving games on a smart phone and playing cards.
While most of the people in line were local residents, some traveled the extra mile for the TV deal. Lavona Cargill and some of her family members made the trip to Oceanside from Belize. They have made the Black Friday pilgrimage several times and this year they hoped they were far enough in front of the line to get several of the 50″ widescreens. “199.00, you can’t beat that” said Lavona. “We should be close enough but you never know” continued Lavona “Hopefully they still have some and we will ship them home.”
BestBuy had barricades set up along with a porta potty for the customers waiting in line.
Employees of BestBuy attached tight-fitting wristbands on the people who were in line just after midnight, Thanksgiving morning. Mimi Paagan said the wristband system took a little bit of the worry of line crashers swooping in right before the doors opened at 5:00pm Thanksgiving afternoon.