It was a chilly Thanksgiving in the Bay Area but the weather didn’t deter thousands of shoppers from flocking to local malls and shopping centers.
Many, admittedly aware that the same deals were available online, got in line anyway for the Black Friday experience.
At Union Square in San Francisco, Coco Rosa, who was out shopping with her family, said, "Our tradition is really just about being here as a family. But, definitely, we want to go shopping and pick up some deals."
Her son, Ethan Rosa, chimed in: "I would like a video game but my mom shot me down on that one."
It was the same scene elsewhere too – people pulling on door handles, waiting anxiously for their favorite shops to let them in.
"We do buy some high-end stuff that could be too expensive in Europe," said Lorna Holderied, who was visiting from Ireland.
As 6 p.m. Thursday approached, a long line snaked in front of Macy’s in Union Square.
Alan and Teresa Bertrand were first in that line with their eyes set on a "piece of furniture" that wasn’t available elsewhere in the United States.
But Teresa, a self-proclaimed Black Friday veteran, chuckled at the people filing in behind them.
"I feel bad for them," she said. "That's why I got here early."
Meanwhile, in Walnut Creek, some families ditched Thanksgiving meals and opted for a new tradition — camping out in a Best Buy parking lot.
"I come from St Petersburg – it's much colder in St Petersburg," Rimma Aiyar quipped. "I'm grateful for America. I'm glad I can come here and buy a TV cheaper than any store."