Long lines form as Huntsville shoppers hunt for deals on Thanksgiving Day

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Despite some retail stores deciding to stay closed on Thanksgiving Day, the stores that did open saw major foot traffic. Just before 4 p.m. Thursday, there were hundreds of people in line at Belk at Parkway Place Mall.

At Best Buy on University Drive, the line stretched the length of the shopping center. Big deals and the latest electronics brought out a variety of different kinds of shoppers.

“I’ve been in line since 5 a.m. this morning," says Danny Diaz.

For people like Diaz, Thanksgiving Day is circled on his calendar for months.  “I’m looking to buy a Toshiba 4K TV," says Diaz.

He skipped the turkey, missed out on the dressing, said no to the Derby Pie, just for being first in line - ok sure, and the discount too.  “$280 off," says Diaz.

There was no mad dash, no stampede, no fighting over gaming systems. “Normally on this day, people are bad and they didn’t do that," says Tobias Thomas.

Huntsville Police let in waves of customers at a time, and urged everyone to be civil in the face of retail chaos. “It was kinda cool how they handled that. The Police Officers outside did a nice job," says Thomas.

For many of the hundreds that packed the store, it was for the thrill of the chase. “I’m here to get a 45-inch Toshiba," says Nvine Attabay.

But for Tobias Thomas and his wife, they weaved they weaved through the maze of checkout lines for a much different reason. “We’re replacing our stuff," says Thomas. “Our house burned down about 5 months ago, so we’re replacing everything. We just decided and wait until today.”

He says it was an accidental kitchen fire, and insurance covered the vast majority of expenses.

“They took care of everything," he says.

So before you judge those die-hard Thanksgiving Day Shoppers, keep in mind, this day might be circled on their calendar for something you'd never expect.

“Our house is being rebuilt now. It’ll be done in January," says Thomas.