GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It's the warm up to Black Friday, but Thanksgiving Day is holding its own as a big-time shopping day for the holidays.
Tony Ortega is a veteran of the holiday's shopping lines.
"Got to get those sales. It's the only way to get them is by waiting in line. It's the victory, it's being able to buy things you need."
But, does he ever get to celebrate the traditional way?
"I celebrate with a nice feast afterward. I get the leftovers," said Ortega.
At Gulfport Premium Outlets, the cars were lined up for parking as the crowds were lined up for shopping. Ashley Rainey hit the purse sales at Coach for her sister-in-law.
But, she was first for a strategic reason.
"I tried to plan it because I don't like traffic. It makes me extremely nervous," said Rainey.
Retail experts say Thanksgiving weekend shopping will be better than last year, and local results should mirror national trends.
"The weather's great, so after you eat Thanksgiving dinner, you want to get out and do something," said Rhonda Roberts, with Gulfport Premium Outlets. "So, what better way to get off and kick off your holiday shopping."
For Carol Greene of Picayune, Thanksgiving Day is her Black Friday and it's become a 10-year family tradition.
"It's great. I something we look forward to every year and we plan our Thanksgiving meal around the times the stores are open. So, the earlier the stores are open, the earlier we have Thanksgiving dinner."