Shoppers waited for the doors to open at 6 a.m. "We saw a lot of people here with bags in their hands and everything seemed very festive and fun, so it was a really exciting way to start the holiday year", says Tamara Krizman, the Marketing Director for Mesa Mall.
Woodfield Mall is open until 10 p.m. Friday night.
"And it's going to get better", he said: 800 tickets had been sold for Friday night's performance by Moriah Formica, the teen musician fresh off a strong run on "The Voice."
"It's just fun to bum around the stores and pick stuff out and make a day of it", said another woman shopping with her mother.
For the past two yeas, Valley View Mall, Tanglewood Mall and New River Valley Mall were all closed Thanksgiving Day, but opened before dawn on Friday.
The origin of Black Friday is shrouded in rumor and myth.
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"We just love the Friday, the anticipation looking at all the fliers and coming down", said Lucia Collarelli, a Montgomery resident.
More browsing than buying seemed to be underway in the region's largest mall by early afternoon, as the last few parking spots disappeared.
J.C. Penney, which was open at 2 p.m.at Midway, had a steady stream of customers in an orderly line for at least the first hour. Coles, who was born and raised in Roanoke, is home visiting family for the holidays and said they go shopping as a group every year because the trips are always getting better. Marketing Director, Molly Mitchell, says they keep the deals to Black Friday in order to let families and employees spend time together on Thanksgiving.
"Because you get to shop", said Kennedy, a teenage shopper who was up since 5 a.m.in the morning, explaining why she enjoys shopping on Black Friday.
"I stand back", she said with a laugh.
It projected a turnout of 115 million on Black Friday, and said 164 million would shop during the holiday weekend and Cyber Monday.