Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Black Friday officially kicks off the holiday shopping season. News 18 caught up with the crowds Friday and spoke with some shoppers searching for good deals and others looking for ways to support our community.
Like many stores, the Target in Eau Claire was packed on Friday full of people hoping to get a jump start on their holiday shopping.
"Most of my shopping I get done today. Then a few extra things along the way," Rachale Kohlhepp told News 18. She was out with her mom and sisters, something they do every year.
Though many don't mind the Black Friday hustle and bustle, others will do whatever it takes to dodge the crowds.
"The whole point is to avoid the big box everything," Eau Claire native Nate Nelson said.
That's why many in Eau Claire are looking to support small, local businesses this holiday season.
"Sometimes buying local can be a little more expensive, but it goes back to the community and you're supporting people within your community versus something -- a corporate chain, or something being made outside of the United States," Elissa Shaw said. "I just like to give back to people in our community."
"Shopping local has a huge impact on the whole community. Spending a small amount of money here versus a small amount of money at a big box store just has an enormous impact overall on the whole community," Lindsey Quinnes, the store manager at The Local Store, told News 18.
"So just to kinda go out and support your neighbors, support the local makers, support other small businesses, it's a really, really important thing to do for the community that you're a part of and a great way to contribute and help and just kind of be a part of it all," she said.
If you weren't able to shop local for Black Friday, just wait 24 hours for Small Business Saturday.
Quinnes said Small Business Saturday is The Local Store's busiest day of the year and they're offering some pretty good deals to get people in the door. Like, if you spend $40 you get 20% off your whole purchase. If you spend $50 or more, you get a $10 gift card.
"It's just such a community focused day and event so just kind of feeling to be a part of that and included and with people in the community, that's what's most fun for me," Quinnes said.