Above, shoppers make their way through the parking lot of Wal-Mart Thursday evening, their buggies laden with merchandise. Many Artesians, along with millions of others throughout the country, took advantage of Black Friday deals that hit shelves before the turkey was even cold, signaling the start of the holiday shopping season. Below, Kathy Kolt poses for a photo after winning both a $100 gift package and a $50 gift certificate from Bennie’s Western Wear during Shop Small Saturday in downtown Artesia. The promotions were part of a day of deals from merchants including Bennie’s, Sagebrush Annie’s, Gracie’s, Simply Bello, Kouros & Kore, the Artesia Public Library, Martha’s Fabric Shop and Boutique, Z Bar X Two Sisters Gallery, and the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center, all designed to encourage Artesians to shop local. Businesses are continuing to offer sales and discounts, along with hometown service, throughout the holiday shopping season.