LINCOLN PARK — Saturday is Christmas for record stores and vinyl lovers.
It's even better, said Dave Crain, who runs the cozy independent shop Dave's Records in Lincoln Park.
"It's bigger than Christmas. It's our biggest day of the year by far," 56-year-old Crain said.
Dave bought his namesake shop 12 years ago, but has worked at the record store for 30 years.
On Record Store Day it's all about exclusive releases.
This year Crain has cobbled together more than 400 rare records that will go on sale Saturday morning when he opens his doors at 9:30 a.m., at 2604 N. Clark St.
The list is diverse, stretching the realm of music from metal to pop to electronic to hip-hop ranging from new releases to classic re-issues.
The line typically winds around the block all the way to the Best Buy, according to Crain, and each customer is served personally one at a time because of the tight quarters inside the shop.
The special day has grown by "leaps and bounds," over the years, according to Crain.
Customers are limited to one copy of each release on the master list, but can buy as many of the records as they'd like.
"We crank through people pretty quickly," Crain said. "We have a real small space. You couldn't set it up for people to look through and see what they want — it's too small."
Crain is still finalizing the list and will post it online Friday night around 10 p.m. on Dave's Record's website and Facebook pages.
His advice to customers who see the huge lines is to not be deterred.
There are over 400 releases, and chances are, the ones you want will still be available by the time you reach the door, he said. It's possible that many will be available Sunday as well.
"I'm always surprised. A lot of years you think it's going to be one release that you think is the big one, but then we sell out of the Pink Panther soundtrack and think, how did that happen?" Crain said.
Dave will be passing out Molly's Cupcakes to customers in line while they last and have free candy all day.
"You never know what is going to capture people's imagination. That's what makes Record Store Day so successful," Crain said.
The first 25 customers will get a free Record Store Day poster, and limited edition t-shirts will be available for $15 apiece.
"Records are the best thing in the world, and you can quote me on that," Crain said.
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