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Mall Of America Decks The Halls For Black Friday

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) — Mall of America is getting ready for the big rush of shoppers. The plan is to have all the decorations set for Black Friday.

Extra help is hired to put up all the tinsel and lights. The work started right after Halloween, and is still going on.

To give you an example of what that Mall of America is willing to do to impress, extra workers are hired simply to fluff the more than 150 holiday trees throughout the mall.

And that’s just the beginning. To impress those holiday shoppers you have to go big.

In the rotunda, you can’t miss the pair of holiday trees that tower more than 40 feet.

“They’re a favorite. We have guests ask for them every single year. They’re an ideal place to take a holiday photo for families,” Mall of America representative Dan Jasper said.

It takes two days just to put together the trees’ frames; each is then lit with 10,000 LED lights.

And then there are the LED lights throughout MOA.  If you lined them up end to end, they would stretch more than 30 miles.

“We don’t sleep a lot in November and December, I’ll tell you that,” said Jasper.

To finish in time, crews work day and night for nearly a month.

New this year is the HGTV Holiday House, where stars from the cable network will be leading workshops for shoppers throughout the holiday season. It is set to be finished by Black Friday.

“What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with a giant gingerbread house?  I mean that really sets the mood for everything,” Jasper said.

It all adds to the mall’s reputation of going above and beyond to entice those shoppers to spend.

“I start thinking about Christmas, and buying presents for everyone,” one shopper said. “It makes me want to buy a lot more than I usually do.”

When it comes to holiday decorations at MOA, the goal is to outdo the previous year. The holiday shopping season officially kicks off there on Thursday at midnight. In all, 180 stores plan to open then for Black Friday.

The single-day attendance record was set last year with 219,000 shoppers. The mall is hoping to break that record this Friday.

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