PITTSBURG — After eating their traditional turkey dinner, many families will head to malls and box stores to take advantage of holiday deals on Black Friday.

Black Friday has served as the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season in the U.S. since 1952. Local big box stores, such as Wal-Mart and J.C. Penney will take part with special sales throughout the day.

“When Wal-Mart and J.C. Penney offer sales, it sends a lot of people to those stores here,” Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce President Blake Benson said.

Traditionally, stores would open at 6 a.m. on Black Friday, but in the late 2000s that time began to move earlier and earlier. Wal-Mart and other stores began opening at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving in 2012, and now many stores open even earlier.

Locally, Wal-Mart will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and be open all night. J.C. Penney at Meadowbrook Mall will be open from 2 p.m. to midnight on Thanksgiving, and reopen 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday.

Following the festivities Friday, shoppers will get an opportunity to see what smaller stores in Pittsburg have to offer through Small Business Saturday. The day encourages shoppers to shop local, and many downtown stores will participate in sales and promotions.

“Small Business Saturday is well received, as shoppers tend to frequent the larger stores on Black Friday,” Benson said. “Saturday really gives shoppers a full experience with multiple options and unique service.”

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.