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Cottage Grove, Woodbury-area shoppers find Black Friday bargains and buddies

Shoppers enter Target in Cottage Grove when the store opened Thanksgiving night. Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner

Cody Becker drove to the Woodbury-area Best Buy on Wednesday, Nov. 21, from Hastings expecting to find unbeatable deals on electronics.

What he didn't expect to do was make a few friends along the way. Becker, along with Cottage Grove resident Mark Scherr and St. Paul man Andrew Summy, were first in line at the Oakdale Best Buy awaiting Black Friday deals. The three were strangers, but said they had reached buddy status by Thanksgiving Day.

So maybe it's not all about the deals, Becker said.

"It's about the camaraderie," he said. "Where else can you go and walk into a group of strange guys and become best friends?"

Shoppers around south Washington County were out in force for "Black Friday" deals. At Woodbury's Super Target, the first die-hard deal-getter was spotted setting up camp at about 6 p.m. Wednesday. At the Cottage Grove Target, the line of deal-seekers snaked down the sidewalk of the strip mall next to the store.

Back at the Oakdale Best Buy, Scherr, of Cottage Grove, had been outside the store since 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, with his sights set on a 40-inch TV for his aunt, the same deal Becker was after. He was also getting himself a $40 car stereo and a $190 laptop for his dad.

Along the way, Scherr was treated to a few favors for his efforts. He said a man driving a truck pulled up Wednesday asking the early shoppers if they wanted something to eat. Before Scherr knew it, the truck was back with a delivery of bacon cheeseburgers from nearby Five Guys Burgers.

Appropriately, a turkey delivery was expected for Thanksgiving Day.

"There's been a lot of good going around," Scherr said, adding that the Best Buy manager bought pizzas Wednesday night for the camped-out shoppers.

Among the approximately 15 shoppers lined up Thursday outside Best Buy were brothers Bobby and Will Gordon. The Woodbury residents had burgers cooking on the grill while they waited for the stroke of 12 a.m. when they planned to head for the 40-inch TVs for $180.

Though temperatures were relatively mild at the start of the day, things turned worse for shoppers-in-waiting. Temperatures in the mid 50s plunged throughout the day into the 20s and were accompanied by sleet that turned into snow well before midnight.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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