Thousands of shoppers head to Tukwila for Black Friday shopping: See the slide show

For Marylyn Bjorn, it was the excitement of fast-paced shopping. "I had to have the experience," the Auburn woman said, as she and her mother-in-law Arlie Bjorn pushed their cartful of gifts out of Toys 'R Us just before midnight Thursday in Tukwila.

Marylyn Bjorn

For Marylyn Bjorn, it was the excitement of fast-paced shopping.

“I had to have the experience,” the Auburn woman said, as she and her mother-in-law Arlie Bjorn pushed their cartful of gifts out of Toys ‘R Us just before midnight Thursday in Tukwila.

Arlie had spent Thanksgiving day with family at Marylyn’s house. Then, after the kids had been put to bed, the two women set out on a first-time adventure: Black Friday shopping.

“It was the adrenalin rush,” said Marylyn, who waited in line with more than 1,000 people for Toys ‘R Us to open their doors Thursday night, then were let into the store in small groups of 50.

“Then you’re done within five minutes.”

The Bjorn women were just part of a population of thousands who braved the elements, traffic and sleep deprivation to open the nation’s biggest shopping day of the year.

Known as Black Friday, the event has been gaining momentum over the years, as businesses offer bigger and bigger deals for those who want to wake up earlier and earlier to camp out on the sidewalk. Or not sleep at all.

Cheryl Newell of Black Diamond was seen bundled up outside of Toys ‘R Us, phoning in advice to her boyfriend, who was picking up good deals for them inside.

Newell, who tried Black Friday shopping for the first time last year, seemed excited about the challenge of getting to the cash register first.

“Last year, we went to Target and Old Navy, and somehow we got lucky and beat all the lines,” she said, a grin lighting up her features.

Toys ‘R Us was just one stop for the couple, in their Black Friday mission to get good deals on gifts.

All over Tukwila, stores were opening up at break-of-dawn hours: Westfield Southcenter at 3:30 a.m. so customers could hang out inside, with most of its stores opening at 5 a.m.

Shoppers were actually erecting tents and eating off portable stoves at some stores.

The Tukwila Reporter will update this story as more information becomes available about just how well Tukwila fared in the first rush of the retail holiday season.

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