By MARIE L MONYAK
November 26, 2005
Ketchikan, Alaska - Retailers have dubbed the busiest shopping
day of the year as Black Friday. You would think they could
have selected a more cheerful, uplifting moniker considering
that they'll be counting their profits well into the wee hours.
Black Friday sounds like a stock market crash, a funeral, the
end of the world, or a war; however, it is a postive day for
retail businesses as reportedly many will make 40% of their profits
between now and the end of the year.
Of course for some, it was
a black day. Outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan a woman
fell to the floor of a WalMart as shoppers pushed their way in
at 5:00am. She was trampled and sustained minor injuries.
In Orlando Florida, a man allegedly cut in line to purchase
a computer and was wrestled to the ground. There was a
report from Texas where shoppers were maced as a form of crowd
control when they became unruly in an electronics department.
Winter Arts Faire.
The booth in the foreground is Faith Duncan's.
Her wares are Traditional and Nouveau Russian arts, crafts and
Photograph by Marie L. Monyak
If anyone is still compiling a list of things to be grateful
for this Thanksgiving weekend, they may want to add, living in
Ketchikan. There were no overnight campers in sleeping
bags waiting to get into WalMart. No one lined up outside
of Tongass Dock Store at 4:00 am. Not one person was maced
at the Plaza Mall. Black Friday was just a busy shopping
day in Ketchikan. At worst, parking lots were crowded,
lines were long, items were sold out.
It's not that we're lacking
in shopping incentive, or unwilling to tackle someone over the
last Xbox, or run a foot race to the DVD players, it's that we
know we have to face our neighbors tomorrow and the next day
and the next. One days bad behavior can follow you for a
long time, in a town as small as Ketchikan.
On this day of days, Ketchikan shoppers had a variety of merchants
to choose from, only too happy to relieve them of their hard
The long awaited Annual Winter Arts Faire at the Ted Ferry Civic
Center attracted a steady crowd from opening to closing time.
Crafters and artists displayed their creations ranging from rag
rugs to jewelry, t-shirts, jelly, lamps, pottery, glassware,
coffee and artwork. The creativity and artistry of these
venders was apparent just by the shopper's ooohs and aaahs. There
was no end to the treasures to be found. No reports of
trampling there. Just a lot of local folks, shopping,
socializing with old friends, and enjoying a sweet treat from
Winter Arts Faire 2005
Photo by Chris Wilhelm ©2005
Most shoppers have their favorite place in town to shop for that
perfect gift. Be it KetchiCandies, Trinkets, My Sister's
Place, Silver Basin, Parnassus, Crazy Wolf Studios, Julie's,
or any number of other stores. One may have to drive
from one to the next, but there are plenty of offerings out there
for the discriminate shopper.
It has come to this writers attention that the majority of shoppers
in Ketchikan on this Black Friday were female, be they young
or old or forever twenty-seven. If living the life of Ozzie
and Harriet, the alpha female has risen early to embark upon
her shopping excursion, with running shoes on, and credit card
in hand. The alpha male has also risen early, only to resettle
in front of the television to watch hours upon hours of football,
rising only to forage through the jungle of leftovers in the
By days end, the alpha female will return with bags and boxes,
ready to drop, exhausted from the most athletic shopping she
has ever experienced. The alpha male, knowing there are
gifts in the pile for him, will listen patiently to her story
of Ketchikan's very own Black Friday war zone and promise to
hang the Christmas lights... tomorrow.
Can life be any better?
On the Web:
Winter Arts Faire Photo
Gallery Photos by Lisa Thompson
Marie L. Monyak is
a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
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