Black Friday shoppers already camped out in Lee County

Author: carolyn Brewster
Published: Updated:

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- It may sound crazy, but two weeks before Black Friday people are already camping out! They say it’s not about the deals, it’s about the party.

“I see him standing there and I said ‘are you waiting for Black Friday?’ He says ‘yes’ and I say ‘are you crazy?'” said Mary Ann Petrullo.

That was the reaction at Best Buy when shoppers saw a tent already set up outside.

“It’s a little bit much I think,” said Petrullo.

“You guys are crazy… God bless you… I couldn’t do that… Is it really worth it? Get a job… We’ve heard everything,” said Derek Dearmond, Black Friday camper.

This is Dearmond’s third year camping outside of Best Buy. His goal is to be first in line for that 50 inch TV for $199.

It may sound crazy but he says it’s not actually about the deals.

“We need this adrenaline rush of coming out here and being the first in line and just have a good time,” said Dearmond.

Derek does have a job so they use the “buddy system.”

“When I need to go to work, he stays here,” he said.

He says he is well taken care of while parked outside of Best Buy. Places like Moe’s and Dunkin Donuts make sure he has a full belly.

“People will bring us food, they see us on TV and they go ‘those guys look hungry, lets bring them some food,'” he said.

But how Derek feels when he finally gets his prize is not what you’d think.

“Once they give you the tickets the party’s over. You have to go home. To your real home. Not here. So that’s a let down. But then you look at you only have 56 weeks left to go so next year maybe we’ll do three weeks.”

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.