"It's tradition": Group camps out at Delafield Best Buy for 10th straight year

“It’s tradition“: Group camps out at Delafield Best Buy for 10th straight year


As the sun sets on the Delafield Best Buy off Highway 83, the hum of a generator rolls through the empty parking lot.

It's become a familiar noise here in the week leading up to Thanksgiving, as a group of devoted shoppers turns this into their temporary home. 

    "For years, it's been a tradition," says Michael Franke. "We're first in line for our 10th straight year." 

It's a tradition that actually started 11 years ago, when a group of 10 strangers showed up on Thanksgiving day to grab a good deal. 

    "By the time we got to the door, everything was gone. So the next year, we decided to come out a little earlier." 

By "a little earlier", Franke means an entire week. 

     "Every year after that, we've been out here a week early, and we've always gotten what we want." 

This year, the temperatures are mild, but it hasn't always been that way.

    "It was 15 below one night, I mean it was brutal," says Franke.

    "I didn't think we were going to survive it," says Debra Janczak with a laugh. 

Franke estimates he saves about $1,000 a year by buying items at this, and other Black Friday sales. 

Over the years, the group has dwindled from 10, to 6, and now to 4. 

    "Life happens, people couldn't make it this year," he says. 

Also new this year, nobody else showed up to challenge their top spot.

    "I think they've given up," jokes Franke. 

The group only had to camp out for one night this year. 

    "We came out yesterday to set up, and there was nobody here, so we said let's just wait another night," he says.  

He says it's no different than spending a week in the woods hunting. The only difference, he knows what he'll walk away with.

    "At least we know we're getting something," he says.  

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