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Great deals, door busters, large crowds and long lines are just some of the things that characterize the annual Black Friday shopping rush that hits each fall.

But it was more like “Black Thursday” this year instead. For the first time ever, some major retailers opened their doors even earlier: Thanksgiving Day.

Stores like Wal-Mart welcomed shoppers and offered up hot ticket items beginning at 10:00 p.m. on Thursday.  Eager shoppers formed lines before their turkey even had a chance to digest, hoping to snag anything from $5 DVDs to $12 scooters. K-Mart and Big Lots also opened on Thanksgiving Day, but Target and Best Buy held out until midnight.

Some dedicated shoppers pulled all-nighters, lining up at malls and department stores in order to score free goodies and register for fun prizes. Cars filled the parking lot at Grapevine Mills Mall as early as 12:00 a.m. on Friday.  The retail outlet mall gave away things like tickets to the Sea Life Grapevine Aquarium, an autographed seatback from the Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop, a weekend stay at the DFW Hilton Lakes and more to some lucky winners.

Shoppers got to pace themselves a bit more over in Southlake at the Town Square shopping center.  Store openings were more staggered at the open-air mall. American Eagle and Aeropostale opened at midnight, with others following between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. Special events included an autograph session by Trish Biddle, who designs holiday ornaments, from 3 to 6 p.m.

For those who didn’t feel up to braving the “Black Thursday” and Friday rush, many stores will continue their great sales through Saturday. And if not, there’s always Cyber Monday in the near future.