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Camping out for todays big sales started Tuesday
pic target-campers1
From left, Joseph Alejandro and Isiah Leon are the first campers in line for Black Thursday at the Manteca Target Store. Alejandro and Leon set up camp on Tuesday. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

Joseph Alejandro is no stranger to camping out for the big sales.

He once spent seven days in line at a San Jose store for a chance to snatch up the new PlayStation 3.

“I’ve done this plenty of times,” said Alejandro, who was joined by young Isiah Leon.

They rode their bikes from the area of North Main Street and Louise Avenue to the Manteca Target Store on Spreckels Avenue on Tuesday just to be the first in line for the Black Thursday sale specials. The sale starts at 9 o’clock tonight.

He had his sights set on the 50-inch Westinghouse HDTV for $349, available while supplies last.

Alejandro, 24, and Leon initially braved the elements – cold and some rain – on Wednesday until a Good Samaritan known only as ‘Melisse’ spared them her old dome tent.

“She just gave it to us,” said Alejandro, who is looking forward to using the tent on his next overnight shopping camp out.

Last year, he was seventh in line at Best Buy in Manteca for Black Friday.

The two were also saving the prime spot in line for another shopper. At the same time, they were anxiously awaiting to be joined by other campers.

“Where is everyone?” asked Alejandro, who played hacky-sack basketball with Leon to while away the time.

They’ve lived on a fast-food diet consisting of uncooked and out-of-the-package Ramen coupled with two-liter bottles of soda.

Meanwhile, another Good Samaritan donated tacos purchased from nearby Del Taco. “We went to McDonald’s earlier,” said Alejandro, who is employed at a local pizza parlor and was fortunate to have a few days off.

He and Leon are expecting more people to join them inside the barricade for the awaiting overnight Target shoppers prior to Thanksgiving.

“It’s always more fun camping out when there’s a crowd,” said Alejandro, who witnessed his fair share of gawkers on Wednesday.