For the first time ever the Valdosta Mall opened at midnight for Black Friday shopping. The Valdosta Police were out in full force as thousands of shoppers from all over south Georgia came out for the deals.
Shoppers took full advantage of Black Friday sales at the Valdosta Mall. With an extra few hours to shop, mall officials say opening at midnight was a huge success.
"Being the first year we've ever done it we didn't really know what to expect, but you know we planned and we looked at what other malls had done and we prepared for it and it exceeded what I think we were all expecting," said Enid Sanatana with the Valdosta Mall.
On a day when tensions have been to know to flare, safety is a top concern. And Valdosta Police utilized it's Mobile Command Center which has a camera system known as the "eye in the sky."
The surveillance camera can view up to 500 yards. Police are looking for purse snatchers, people breaking into cars, any suspicious activity while people are shopping.
"You have a lot of money being exchanged, goods being exchanged, you have a lot of traffic issues out here so it just makes good sense to have more police presence," said Captain Bobbi McGraw, VPD.
And people traveled from all over south Georgia to get the big sales in Valdosta.
"More deals, yeah more deals. We decided we wanted to do a little clothes shopping. Baxley's got a lot of nice things but it's still a small town. So Valdosta's got all the big clothes, the nice brands," said shopper, Justin Nugent.
But Black Friday isn't just all about the sales.
"We don't get to spend a lot of time together since we live an hour and a half away from each other, so this is our mommy and daughter time," said shopper Lisa Fennell.
If you didn't hit the stores today, there will be plenty of more deals throughout the weekend with many stores offering buy one get one half off deals and slashed prices.
And Valdosta Police's command center will be parked outside of the mall for the rest of the holiday shopping season.