The three elves of Port Orchard bring cheer to Black Friday shoppers

Black Friday shoppers strike before dawn

People in search of bargains swarm the Fred Meyer on South 19th Street on Friday morning.
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People in search of bargains swarm the Fred Meyer on South 19th Street on Friday morning.

As they have for the past 27 years, the three elves of Port Orchard brightened the predawn hours of Black Friday.

“We like talking to the people in line,” Stacy Alexander said.

“We make people laugh,” Raeann Roark added.

Along with sister Debbie Boehme they were wearing matching Christmas-themed outfits and elf hats with tassels that flipped back and forth at the touch of a button.

Black Friday is a family tradition for the sisters from Port Orchard. They spent about 30 minutes waiting for Fred Meyer on South 19th Street in Tacoma to open at 5 a.m. Friday morning.

“We dress up in a different outfit every year and have fun,” said Alexander.

“We’ve dressed up as Santa, other types of elves, the Grinch, snowmen,” Roark said.

The sisters shun Thanksgiving Day shopping.

“We don’t like going out on Thanksgiving,” Alexander said. “It’s family time.”

But they miss out on Thanksgiving sales, often finding many shelves picked over.

“Not at Freddy’s,” Roark said.

“Freddy’s is awesome,” Alexander added.

“And we never tell our husbands the truth of what we spend,” Roark said.

The sisters started their day at 3 a.m. in Port Orchard.

Fellow Fred Meyer shopper Caryl Fielding never even went to bed.

An ill child kept Fielding up in the wee hours after a long day of festivities and shopping. By the time 2 a.m. rolled around she figured she might as well go shopping some more, heading first to Target.

“Pajamas and socks,” Fielding said as she pushed a cart around Fred Meyer. “That’s as far as I’ve gotten so far.”

The single mom from Fircrest figured that she had saved $500 shopping both on Thursday and Friday.

“It’s worth taking a nap later for,” she said.

At Target, Fielding said many of the store’s big doorbuster items were still in stock.

“It seems like people are going for the smaller items this year,” Fielding said. “I saw a lot of video games, iPads, hand-held devices. The TVs were all still there.”

Fred Meyer was down at least one TV on Friday.

Linda and John Bradley of Tacoma were loading a new 65-inch Vizio TV in their Toyota truck at about 5:30 a.m. The $699 TV nearly filled the entire bed.

“If it wasn’t for Black Friday, we wouldn’t be getting this TV,” John said. “We live on Social Security and a little bit of retirement. We saved.”

The Bradleys rose at 4:30 a.m. Friday and headed to the Fred Meyer on 72nd Street only to find the TV they were looking for sold out.

This would not be the couple’s last visit to Fred Meyer on Black Friday.

“We’re going to come back to the sock sale,” Linda said. It’s a tradition for the couple. “We stock up.”

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541, @crsailor