Valarie Dumont, left, of Auburn, Katie Thibodeau, center, of Lewiston, Kristina Thibodeau, right, of Lewiston and Judy Mitchell, back, of Eastport wait in line around 11 p.m. Thursday for Walmart to open at midnight in Auburn. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

AUBURN — Outside Walmart in the freeze-your-face-off wind, huddled one mom and three daughters with a plan: As soon as those doors opened at midnight, two would beeline to lawn and garden, one to automotive and one back to the car with the blankets.

“We did it,” hollered Amanda Dodge, front left, of Buckfield, Becky Horr of Sabattus, Tim Carro, back left, of Buckfield, and John Iadarola of Lewiston, as an employee of JCPenney approached the front door just before midnight in Auburn on Thursday. Coupons worth up to $500 were handed out to people as they walked in the door at midnight. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

They arrived around 5:30 p.m., surprised to find themselves first.

“We thought we were going to be thirty-third,” said Stacy Lahr of Lewiston.

They credited beginner’s luck, four thick blankets, hot chocolate and hand warmers.

“I think I lost my toes along the way,” quipped daughter Maggie Sidelinger.

The bitter cold kept the lines forming late on Thursday as Twin City shoppers geared up for Black Friday savings at the ceremonial start to the holiday shopping season.

The hot buys were worth the wait, they said: TVs, electronics, iPads and gaming systems.

Carry Gosselin, left, and her sister, Tracy Hood, both of Lewiston, pick up a 50-inch smart television in a windy Walmart parking lot in Auburn just after midnight Friday morning. The siblings waited in line from 8 p.m. to midnight to be able to grab a deal on the television and another TV for their parents. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Amanda Dodge of Buckfield arrived at the Auburn Mall around 8 p.m. and watched the JCPenney door for an hour from her truck with her husband.

“If somebody pulls in, I’m like, ‘I’m running out to the line and then bring my other sweater!’ I don’t play around, a deal’s a deal,” said Dodge.

While Dodge is a Black Friday regular, it was Becky Horr’s first time. The Sabattus woman, second in line outside JCPenney, retired from Walmart last year.

“It’s cold!” she said. “Now I appreciate the people that are outside at Walmart because I was inside. Shoe’s on the other foot now.”

Lisa and Norma Williams from Minot stood first in line out in front of Kohl’s, a mother and daughter who’ve been Black Friday’ing since Norma was 13.

She was home from college to continue the tradition.

They wore multiple layers topped with blankets they’d bought at Kohl’s last Black Friday.

Emily Ouellette of Auburn tries to keep warm while waiting in line around 11 p.m. Thursday for Walmart to open at midnight in Auburn. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“We do it mostly for the experience,” said Norma Williams. “I would just say it’s a mom-daughter thing. This is a silly thing to do, considering we could do so many other nice things other than standing in this cold.”

“It’s a tradition,” said Lisa Williams.

Norma Williams of Minot tries to keep warm while waiting in line around 11:30 p.m. Thursday for Kohl’s to open at midnight in Auburn. Williams, 21, said shopping with her mother, Lisa Williams, on Black Friday has been a tradition since she was 13-years-old. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Behind them, Pat Baril of Auburn stood with her oldest grandson, Gage Brousseau, hoping to get a bunch of Christmas shopping done in one night, a tradition she’d kept up for almost 40 years.

“I started when Bradlees was open,” Baril said. “They would give me an extra 20% off all my purchases and I used to be able to buy all (her kids’) gifts at Black Friday.”

Jonathan Carsley of Lewiston set his camping chair in front of GameStop at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, determined to stick it out and grab a bundle deal on a Nintendo Switch for his daughter.

“She said, ‘You’re pretty dedicated, Dad’ — it is nice to hear that,” Carsley said. “I’m just here, I’m not brave enough to do Walmart. I heard that Walmart is really hardcore.”

When he first sat down, Carsley said, the winter air “was actually pretty refreshing.”

By hour three, less so.

“I’m going to go home and have a hot chocolate to warm myself up a bit and maybe a turkey sandwich,” he said.

Lennessa Binette, left, and Maggie Sidelinger, both of Lewiston, were the first two customers to enter the Auburn Walmart when the doors opened at midnight Friday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

People wait in line late Thursday outside the Auburn Walmart for the store to open at midnight. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Dave Mackenzie of Minot and his son, DJ, leave Walmart with a 50-inch smart television just after midnight in Auburn on Friday morning. The $148 deal was worth the trouble, said Mackenzie. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

A Walmart Santa tends to customers on Black Friday inside the Auburn store. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

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