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Santa arrives at mall during Black Friday; Photographer and security say shopping has been steady and better than last year

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Santa makes his debut at the Roswell Mall with Breanna Pearce, Kathy Cook and Julie Martinez as his holiday helpers on Black Friday. (Alison Penn Photo)

A full parking lot and a steady stream of customers could be seen at the Roswell Mall during Black Friday. Santa, the VIP of the season, arrived at the mall at 11 a.m. with an escort from Allstate Security LLC, which is a family owned company. Santa will be present at the mall on the weekends now through Dec. 24.

Kathy Cook, owner of Ed and Kathy Cook Photography, facilitated the traditional photographing of locals with Santa and his winter wonderland display.

“Black Friday has been great, very steady. The photos as well, we’ve only had two crying ones.” Cook laughed.

Cook estimated 30 to 50 people had been photographed today, including many from out of town.

“I am thrilled by the number of people here. Everybody seems to be having a really good day. I wish the mall was this busy year around,” Cook said.

“The mall is currently very empty, and better stores like Old Navy or Burlington Coat factory would help the mall.”

Every store was filled with at least 20 to 30 people, with the large chains having the most customers present.

Locals from Roswell and on-duty security officers from Allstate Security, Capt. Angela Romero and Lt. Danny Murillo, were excited about the benefit from Black Friday for the mall.

“Today has been low-key with no issues and better than last year. And I got to escort Santa in this morning,“ Romero said.

“Black Friday gives the money to local vendors and also lets the money stay in town,” said Murillo.

Murillo also encouraged the community to practice safety and awareness, which allows for an easier day for the officers.

“Lock your car doors and photograph your kids before you come, in case they get lost. Seeing what they look like and what they are wearing that day will really help the security guards,” said Murillo.

City reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.