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Black Friday shoppers brave the cold in Saugus

A sizeable crowd gathers in the bitter cold at the Best Buy at Square One Mall as they wait for Black Friday to start. (Spenser R. Hasak)

SAUGUS — Shoppers braved the bitter cold to get in on Best Buy’s Black Friday doorbusters.

Laptops for $99 and 43-inch televisions for $129 had people wrapped up in blankets and holding on to each other for warmth at Square One Mall on Thursday night. Some of them waited in the frigid weather — 16 degrees, according to the National Weather Service — for six hours.

“I got brain freeze,” said Carol DeMaria of Everett. “I’ll never do this again. I was going back and forth to my car trying to get the feeling in my toes back.”

DeMaria and her family got to the doors shortly before 7 p.m., she said. The Everett resident spent the last few Black Fridays as a retail worker, and this was her first as a shopper. She said it was a last-minute decision after her laptop broke and she saw the Black Friday deals.

Brandon Ebeh, of Lynn, waited outside of the store for his shift to begin at Best Buy. He weathered the cold until he was allowed to go inside at 12:30 a.m. This was his second Black Friday shift and he was prepared for the store’s doors to open at 1 a.m.

Also out in the cold, Revere residents Vanessa Chicas, Owen Forte, Borina Forte, and Dan Forte waited almost two hours to score some TVs. Chicas, 19, said it was freezing but a brand new 43-inch TV was going to be worth it.

Jacqueline Silva and Rafael Filho, both 21-year-old residents of Lynn, had a blanket wrapped around them as they hugged for warmth. They were in line for three hours, eager to snag a 43-inch T.V.

“I can’t believe how cold it is,” said Silva.

Black Friday has become the unofficial kickoff of the holiday shopping season. Stores lure shoppers to their doors with deep discounts on products in limited supply.

Shoppers can also expect to find deals from mom-and-pop operations on Small Business Saturday, and online deals on Cyber Monday. They can also contribute to nonprofits and charities, with cash or by volunteering, on Giving Tuesday.

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