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Missoulians packed the parking lots and aisles of stores across the city the day after Thanksgiving, filling their carts with the discounted goods of this year's Black Friday sales.

Emily Stafford and her husband Mike got up early on Friday and wanted to do a loop of some of the stores along Brooks Street.

"We figured Reserve Street would be the most crazy, and didn't want to get caught up in all of that," Emily said.

The couple left Bob Ward's Sports & Outdoor Friday morning without buying anything, but thinking they might come back after a trip to Cabela's to compare prices.

"He's hoping to find a sale on a new rifle for next hunting season. I'm kind of just along for the ride," Emily said, gesturing to her husband.

At Southgate Mall, Jonathan Carter and his son Cody — who said they left Kalispell around 5:30 a.m. to come down for the day — left an exit and headed toward their car carrying bags from Eddie Bauer. Carter said his wife and daughter were still inside.

"We decided to do new winter coats all around, and felt we would have more choices coming down here for the day," Carter said. "Although with all of the rain yesterday, maybe we should do rain jackets as well."

The busy shopping weekend will likely continue into Saturday with the eighth annual Small Business Saturday. The event was originally started by American Express as a counterpart to Black Friday that encourages shoppers to purchase goods at locally owned stores rather than big box retailers.

According to American Express, local store owners around the country generated $15.4 billion in revenue during last year's Small Business Saturday, and more than 112 million people took part in the event.

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Law and Justice Reporter

Crime reporter for the Missoulian.