185 Camp Out At Forest Hill Chick-fil-A

The business' grand opening is July 26.

The parking lot was packed the day before its Thursday grand opening—not with cars, but with tents.

Linda Garner, Chick-Fil-A marketing team member, said Wednesday afternoon there were about 185 campers and their guests on eatery's parking lot.

"There were a whole bunch of people when we got here at 5:30 this morning," Garner said.

Garner explained this kind of turnout is business as usual for a grand opening. Attendees are given breakfast, lunch and dinner from Chick-Fil-A.

"We do this at every opening Chick-Fil-A has," Garner said.

One surprise came from a local business. A Zumba class from nearby Method MMA joined the party Wednesday, with instructor Nick Lundeen taking his class and his music to the parking lot.

Pat Semanie, age 19, and his friend Ian Carter, age 20, both of Bel Air, were staked out on the sidewalk Wednesday after arriving around 5:30 a.m.

The young men said simply that they were there for the free chicken—and for the experience.

Chick-Fil-A gives away coupons for one year of free meals to the first 100 people at their grand openings.

Semanie said he decided two weeks ago that he wanted to be among the first 100 people at the Forest Hill location.

The parking lot was not only filled with local folks, but also dedicated Chick-Fil-A supporters.

Libby and Jake Knupp, of Gulfport, FL, have travelled around the country for Chick-Fil-A grand openings.

"This is number 91 in five years of grand openings," Libby Knupp said.

She said the owner told her that number was a record.

"We are striving dilligently for 100," Libby Knupp said.

Otto Schmidlap July 27, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Best wishes to Chick-Fil-A.
nick macri July 27, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Where in forest hill is it located
Heather Blackburn July 27, 2012 at 02:53 AM
I didn't go to the grand opening but applaud those who did. I drove by and it looked like fun! Can't wait to do business at the new location, finally one close to home!
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darlene kane July 27, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I love chick-fil-a and appreciate the people that come out and support the grand opening. In this day and age, it's nice to see a company that offers something for free. At least these people are not out doing drugs...shooting people...etc....they are just out there socializing and having a great time not hurting anyone.....why complain about them.....I have never had a desire to camp out like these devoted people do...but I defintely do not have any issue with what they choose to do.it's their life...they can live it the way they want....God Bless them....


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