Updated:PALM BAY, Fla. —
Palm Bay's first Chick-Fil-A doesn't open until 6 a.m. Thursday, but close to 150 fans camped out hoping they'll walk away with a year's worth of free chicken.
But it is not all about the free chicken.
Many who camped out told WFTV that they have been to almost 50 grand openings because it is an event. Chick-Fil-A fans began arriving in the parking lot of the new Palm Bay restaurant at around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday to be part of a grand opening day raffle.
Numbers 1 through 100 will be getting coupons for free Chick-Fil-A meals, but that's only if they're at the door when the restaurant opens Thursday.
Many of the people gathered are not from Palm Bay or Brevard County. They've traveled far and wide to be among the first through the restaurant doors.
“We're having a blast. I can't believe this. This is our first event. I’ve met a number of people who've been to 10, 20," said camper Bill Marcacci.
“It's fun. It's just pure fun. I get to be with my daughter and daughter-in-law and friend, and I get free Chick-Fil-A for a year. Who could ask for more?” said camper Andi Singer.
The restaurant on Malabar Road is the first of three restaurants the chain plans to open in central Florida in the next two months, WFTV found out.
The new restaurant is bringing 65 new jobs for Palm Bay.