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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.

Take Responsibility! July 26, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Mmmmm, let's spend our valuable time so we can get free garbage to fatten us and clog our arteries, Fat America is here to stay!
Doug Wood July 26, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Once again folks try to rain on a parade....if these folks want to eat there(by the way, there are some healthy choices there) let them have some fun. At least this food chain actually gives away a substantial amount of freebies to their new community!!
glenn July 26, 2012 at 01:10 PM
i want some waffle fried and a dr. pepper. for free!
Terry July 26, 2012 at 01:30 PM
I can't believe these idiots actually camp out for a free chicken sandwich every week. The place looked like an OWS scene. What a mess!!
M. Sullivan July 26, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Old Libby and Jake Knupp, of Gulfport, FL really need to get a life.
Ellen July 26, 2012 at 04:36 PM
the people who are so insulting need to get a life. leave these people alone they are not hurting anyone. such negative people in this world.
mnm July 26, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Why is everyone so worried about these peoples camping out for free food?! It is their life! Don't be so judgemental!
Mark July 26, 2012 at 06:46 PM
My son is one of those kids and he does not have an ounce of fat on him.
Lady July 26, 2012 at 07:25 PM
It looked like they were having fun camping out. But I must say I am not enjoying the increased traffic! Today a lady slowed down in the 45 mph section to below 10 mph so she could wave to the cow. Geez!
HappieGrannie July 26, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Lady did you think maybe that was her child /grandchild in that cow suit and she was being supportive. Are you so busy a few seconds would kill you
Lady July 26, 2012 at 09:35 PM
@HappieGrannie-sorry her eyes should have been on the road. If it was her child or grandchild she could have stopped and said hello to them. Would those few minutes have killed her? A family member was just in a very serious accident cause of a distracted driver, so yes a few seconds of a distracted driving could kill any of us.
Nick Lundeen July 26, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Look, anyone who seriously has a problem with the events that occurred really needs to get a life. I have never met such wonderful and open people in my life. They were all so supportive of me having my zumba class there and they enjoyed themselves. I don't think winning free chicken was the main idea of this company. They want to show what they can offer their customers and if it mean holding an event like this then so be it. My class was NOT a planned event. i walked in and talked to the person in charge to offer my service and to accept my offer within not even two second to think about it shows me what kind of people they are.
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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