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      Heartland retailers prepare for Black Friday crowds

      Black Friday seems to get bigger and bigger each year, and one local retailer is prepared for long lines and big crowds to come out in force.

      Last year, Menards saw lines wrapping around the building before opening time. This year, things are looking to get even bigger and management said they won't be surprised to see people starting to line up outside around 2:30 a.m.

      Patrick Plaehn, General Manager of Ottumwa's Menards, said the store tends to run out of hot items quickly on Black Friday, so they are stocking up this year to prevent shortages. And that's not all they have in store, shoppers who turn out early will be treated to a little ambiance as well.

      "We're going to have a radio remote with a radio station out front playing Christmas music, we'll have hot chocolate, they're even going to bring a snow machine, we'll be the only place in Ottumwa that has snow on Friday," Plaehn said. "So it's going to be a ton of fun. We open up very early, previous years, we opened at 6, this year, we're open at 5. I would expect the lines to be pretty impressive, it should be a huge turnout and an absolutely great event."

      Plaehn said this year the most sought-after items include kayaks and infrared heaters.