People Drive Hundreds of Miles to Camp Out for Chick-fil-A Opening

Flagler Park turns into a tent city as people wait for Chick-fil-A to open.
Flagler Park turns into a tent city as people wait for Chick-fil-A to open.
Courtesy of Chick-fil-A

People from all over the Eastern Seaboard are flocking to Miami's Flagler Park neighborhood. Are they seeking refuge from the Snowmageddon that never was? Um, no. They're actually here for the opening of Miami's newest Chick-fil-A location.

Say what?

Oh, yes. When a Chick-fil-A opens its doors, it's big news. Many people travel near and far to camp out in the hopes of being among the first 100 customers to enter the store when it opens, turning the parking lot into an overnight tent city.

Those first 100 each win the "grand prize of one Chick-fil-A meal per week for a year."

That free meal consists of one Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich, medium waffle potato fries, and a medium drink each week and translates to a prize value of about $250, according to the company's corporate website. But, hey, camping out is always fun, as you can see from this footage.

In any event, Chick-fil-A opens at 9301 W. Flagler St. tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. The location is the fourth in Miami-Dade and features a kiddie playground, 100 indoor seats, and outdoor seating for 20.

Store owner Mauricio Leon says he's excited about opening in the neighborhood and proud to have created 72 new jobs in the Flagler Park neighborhood. He also says there's still room for some more, because the 100 spots for free food haven't quite yet been filled.

A media representative for the chicken chain said that "some 50 campers from as far away as Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia" and "others from throughout the state of Florida" have shown up for the all-night camp-out and chicken hootenanny. In fact, one chicken-loving "gentleman from Georgia" is marking his 100th grand opening right here, right now in Miami.

So cozy!
So cozy!
Courtesy of Chick-fil-A

So bring your sleeping bag and come on down. If you do, be sure to bring a few children's books, which will be donated to EWF Stirrup Elementary. In exchange for your troubles, you'll be fed and entertained all day and night as you await the morning's promise of free chicken sammies for a year.

Of course, there are rules for the "First 100" giveaway, so read up at

In addition to the giveaway, the restaurant continues its celebration with a special Zumba class Saturday, January 31, to benefit Make-A-Wish. From 10 to 11 a.m., join the Chick-fil-A cows in a few dance moooo-ves. A minimum donation of $10 per person gets you gift cards for a free Chick-fil-A sandwich and breakfast entrée and entry into a drawing for additional door prizes. For more details, contact 513-292-1685.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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