After turkey dinner, many wing it to stores

Tribune Chronicle / Emily Earnhart Shoppers waited in a line as long as the mall’s main corridor Thursday evening to pick up a giveaway bag of coupons and prizes at the Eastwood Mall’s “Rock the Mall” event.

NILES — Undaunted by lines, Eastwood Mall shoppers were patiently waiting Thursday evening for stores’ doors to open.

Some said they were planning to stay through the night and into the wee hours of this morning.

“I waited from 3 to 5 p.m. outside and then about another hour inside,” Diane Morrell of Boardman said.

Morrell and her husband, Bob, were taking a break following a trip to see Bob’s mom for Thanksgiving. They met at the mall to find a few items on their shopping lists.

The wait also was not a problem for the Lawrence- Roman family, who celebrated a traditional yearly “mom-get-away,” they said.

“We have been doing this for 10 years, at least,” Andrea Roman of Niles said.

According to Roman, the first stop on the list called for her mother, sister-in-law, Randi, and herself  to make a stop at the car before returning for more shopping, only one hour into the evening.

Shopping was not the only fun to be had, however, as giveaway bags and chances to win prizes were not lost on the group.

“We expect to return tomorrow,” mother, Carol, said. “We’d like to see the 8 a.m. Dillards balloon drop.”

Still others, like the King family — dad Chris, mom Emyjo, Gage, 7, and Emma, 3 months — were shopping as a “Plan B” after “Plan A” flopped, Emyjo King said. Reversing the order of the usual tradition was a way to make sure the dinner with grandparents on Saturday was not interrupted.

Gage, 7, found pizza in the food court to be the perfect dinner, he said.

“I’m picky,” he said, as mom and dad nodded in agreement.

The family found it fun to choose from several options for Thanksgiving dinner and enjoyed just being together, they said.

Not far away, three teenage shoppers took a break from their planned “all-night spree” to tackle some Asian Chow before heading out for sports apparel gifts and makeup for themselves. Still others were spending time or waiting for other family and friends near the e-quarium, the giant Christmas tree or taking selfies at a free booth near center court.

Matt Boarts, property manager at the Eastwood Mall, said the mall would remain open throughout today.

“Some of the stores chose to remain open, while others closed for about a four-hour period, in the early hours, 1 to 5 a.m. Friday morning,” Boarts said.

The mall began to fill quickly around 5:30 p.m. Thursday and was set to open at 6 a.m. today and remain open until 10 p.m. Extended hours Saturday, with doors open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., was expected to attract more shoppers, Boarts said.

Based on Thursday’s crowd, he estimated approximately 100,000 people would visit the Eastwood Mall by the time the weekend is over.