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Black Friday isn't just for shopping anymore. Some in Michigan decide to #optoutside.

Dustin Dwyer
Michigan Radio
A view of Lake Michigan from P.J. Hoffmaster State Park.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources offered free admission to state parks, to entice people outside on Black Friday.

The DNR said the inspiration comes from the #OptOutside movement, which was started by the outdoor equipment store REI.

At P. J. Hoffmaster State Park, along Lake Michigan, there was a steady stream of visitors Friday.

“I’ve never gone shopping on Black Friday,” said Robin Romain. “I just don’t like the crowds. And it’s such a beautiful day, I thought this is place to be – go walk along the beach.”

Romain said she hadn’t heard of the #OptOutside movement. And she wasn’t lured by the free admission. She just wanted to be outside on a nice fall day.

Sheila Gonzalez says she went to Hoffmaster State Park to show off.

“We have family in town, so we just wanted them to see the lake,” Gonzalez said. “They don’t have this where they’re from. We thought this would be a lot better than going shopping.”

Gonzalez and her family then went down to the shore and snapped pictures of the waves.

If you couldn’t make it to a park on Black Friday, you can still get an annual pass to the state parks for $11 when you renew your vehicle license. 

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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