Thousands Turn Out For IKEA Grand Opening

(WEST CHESTER, OH) -- It was likely the most anticipated grand opening of the year.

IKEA in West Chester opened it's doors Wednesday morning to a huge crowd, and it was more like a party than business.

It was a long cold wait for some IKEA shoppers. Some slept in tents for two nights and then stood in a line with hundreds of people for hours.

And not everyone wanted to shop right away.

"We walked by here and said we are going to sit first and then some people who were with us were like, 'that's a great idea,'" one shopper said.

And instead of heading straight to the shelves, some folks came to IKEA's new restaurant. They were hungry from waiting and they couldn't wait to eat the 99 cent breakfast special.

These shoppers needed fuel to hit the store.

IKEA says it holds 10,000 exclusively designed home furnishings items.

Debbie was the first person to make a purchase - she went for something to keep in the kitchen -- cookies.

"I've been to IKEA in Chicago before and these cookies are awesome," she said.

Outside the store the fun continued. It started in the wee hours of the morning with singing, face painting, Swedish flags and ballons.

Some shoppers traveled far.

"We came from Columbus, Ohio and we left at 2:30 this morning to get here," said Michelle Tingley.

When the sun came up, Michelle and the rest of the die-hard shoppers watched the offical grand opening ceremony, which included sawing a log.

And the cheers continued inside as everyone rode the escalators to started their IKEA experience. Meghan Mongillo

If you didn't make it out there for the grand opening, the festivites continue through Sunday.

There's a drawing to win thousand dollar gift cards. IKEA will be open everyday of the week from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.