Numerous businesses reported record sales Nov. 29, as Black Friday came off without a hitch in Apalachicola this year.



Record crowds sidestepped the malls and hit the downtown shopping district. With near-perfect weather, the restaurants were thronged and several reported running out of food.



Santa arrived right on time aboard the “Buddy’s Boys” shrimp boat, sporting an abbreviated goatee. The kiddies didn’t mind.



Pam Nobles and her dance studio students welcomed the man in red with energetic dance routines accompanied by traditional favorites like “Silver Bells” and “Jingle Bell Rock” and some newer numbers like “Reindeer Pokey” and “Be My Star.”



Veterans of Black Fridays past observed fewer youngsters in line to see the jolly old elf than in previous years, but downtown retailers said there was no shortage of grown-up shoppers.



The halls of the Raney House were decked with trees themed to depict music, breast cancer awareness and a woodland winter. Members of the Apalachicola Area Historical Society served mulled wine, cocoa and cookies in the carriage house.



Aisha Ivey provided fiddle music at Downtown Books and carolers roamed the streets beguiling shoppers.



The evening ended with the lighting of the luminaries on behalf of Big Bend Hospice, bathing the streets in pale white light.



Local eateries said business fell off sharply Saturday; a fact some attributed to the numerous important football games on Saturday afternoon and evening. 



With Black Friday behind them, several Apalachicola restaurants will close for yearly deep cleaning and renovations between now and Christmas.