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Briefs: Cocoa and carols; Thanksgiving trivia

Monday, November 19, 2012 - 12:01 am

Cocoa and carols

Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies as you listen to holiday carols sung by the award-winning Voices of Unity youth choir 6:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the rotunda of the Allen County Courthouse, Main and Clinton streets.

The event organized by the Allen County Courthouse Preservation Trust coincides with Night of Lights activities downtown that evening. Unlike most other days at the courthouse, however, you are welcome to bring in camera. For information, call 449-4246.

Table talk

Here are some Thanksgiving tidbits from the U.S. Bureau of the Census:

•46 million: The estimate of turkeys Minnesota expects to raise in 2012. The Gopher State was tops in turkey production, followed by North Carolina, 36 million; Arkansas, 29 million; Missouri, 18 million; Indiana (who knew?), 17 million; and Virginia, 17 million. These six states together account for about two-thirds of U.S. turkeys produced in 2012.

•254 million: The number of turkeys expected to be raised in the United States in 2012. That is up 2 percent from 2011.

•768 million pounds: The forecast for U.S. cranberry production in 2012. Wisconsin is estimated to lead all states in the production with 450 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (estimated at 210 million). New Jersey, Oregon and Washington are also estimated to have substantial harvests ranging from 14 to 54 million pounds.

•1.1 billion pounds: Total production of pumpkins in the major pumpkin-producing states in 2011. Illinois leads with an estimated 520 million pounds. Pumpkin patches in California, Pennsylvania and Ohio also produced at least 100 million pounds per state.

Black Friday myths

Richard Feinberg, a Purdue University professor of consumer science and retailing, says these are among many Black Friday shopping myths:

•Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year. It's not. It's in the top five, but the busiest almost always is the Saturday before Christmas.

•You can get the best bargains on Black Friday. No and yes. Stores will offer a few really great bargains that you cannot get any other time. But these are designed to get people into the store and are in limited supply.

You can get great bargains throughout the Christmas buying season, and if you wait, you can get some of the best bargains after the New Year.

•Everything is on sale on Black Friday. No. Prices will be lowest for different merchandise at different times before and after Christmas.

•Most people do not like Black Friday shopping. Not true. While some surely aren't enamored of it, many people love it. Feinberg says people like to recount their tales of conquest for years afterward, and it becomes part of family mythology.

•People shop on Black Friday just to get the best deals. It's one reason, but not the only one. Consumers are susceptible to “social normative behavior” — we see what others are doing and want to do it, too.

•The deals are so good you should set up a tent early in the week to be first in line. “All first in line guarantees is that you will be pushed into the store. That's it,” he says.