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Shoppers brave the cold to be the first to Thanksgiving, Black Friday deals

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Hardy Twin Cities shoppers braved the frigid cold to be the first to get their hands on Thanksgiving sales bargains.

Continuing the trend of launching their Black Friday sales early on Thanksgiving evening, Minneapolis-based Best Buy and Target proved some of the biggest draws in the city.

The Star Tribune reported that queues were noticeably smaller than last year as temperatures plunged to a teeth-chattering 9 degrees, with many of those visiting Target in Roseville turning up just a few minutes before its 6 p.m. opening, two hours earlier than last year.

There were also queues outside Best Buys across the city as customers looked to get a piece of the multiple in-store Black Friday deals at an earlier-than-usual opening time of 5 p.m., chief among them a 50-inch Panasonic HD television on sale for just $199. The Pioneer Press also noted smaller queues outside Best Buy in Roseville.

WCCO spoke to one eager bargain hunter, Joe Geary, who had been camped outside Best Buy in Richfield since Monday. Each year he picks a different cause to camp out for.

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"I got three heaters in my tent. You walk into my tent and it’s like 40 or 50 degree. I got a little kitchenette food, dinning room. Bacon and eggs in the morning," he told the station.

Another big draw for shoppers was, naturally, the Mall of America, as many of the megamall's stores decided to open on Thanksgiving evening, with visitors able to take advantage of a promotion giving them $10 entry to the Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park.

There was also plenty of response to the mall's first ever Twizzard – an indoor blizzard that starts in response to people using a Twitter hashtag.

Tonight could just be the calm before the storm of Black Friday as bigger crowds make their way to malls, with stores such as Nordstrom not launching their Black Friday deals until the morning.

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