PINELLAS PARK, FL (CBS) - It may sound crazy, but two weeks before Black Friday, people were already camping out at stores.
But the shoppers say it's not about the deals, but the party.
"I see him standing there and I said, 'Are you waiting for Black Friday?' He said yes and I say, 'You are crazy!'" shopper Mary Ann Petrullo said.
That was the reaction from some shoppers at a Pinellas Park, Fla. Best Buy when they saw a tent already set up outside, two weeks before the traditional start of Christmas shopping season.
"It's a little bit much, I think," Petrullo said.
"'You guys are crazy.' 'God bless you.' 'I couldn't do that.' 'Is it really worth it?' 'Get a job!' We've heard everything," Black Friday camper Derek Dearmond says.
This is Dearmond's third year camping outside Best Buy. His goal: to be first in line for that 50-inch television set for $199. Even so, he says it's not actually about the deals.
"We need this adrenaline rush of coming out here and being the first in line and just have a good time," Dearmond says.
And yes, Dearmond does have a job. He uses the "buddy system."
"It's the memories. It's the experience, that and just the excitement of being out here. It's party central," he says.
Dearmond and his friends share the responsibility of staking out their spot.
"When I need to go to work," Dearmond says, "he or his wife is here, and when we are not at work, well, we are both here."
Dearmond adds that he's well taken care of while parked outside Best Buy. Places like Moe's and Dunkin' Donuts make sure he has a full belly.
"People will bring us food, they see us on TV and they go, 'Those guys look hungry, let's bring them some food,'" he says.
But when Dearmond finally gets his prize, his reaction may not be what you're expecting.
"Once they give you the tickets, the party's over. You gotta go home," he says. "To your real home, not here. So that's a letdown. But then you only have 56 weeks left to go so next year maybe we'll do three weeks," Dearmond says.
Dearmond is also known as the "Mayor of Fenway," because for the last 12 years, he has been first in line for Red Sox tickets.