ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – If you drive down Hampton Avenue toward Hampton Village today, across from Walgreens, you’ll see tents. Lots of tents.

St. Louis city’s first Chick-fil-A location opens at 6 a.m. Thursday, and dozens were staking out their spots more than 24 hours ahead of time, getting in line to win free chicken for a year.

We talked to a couple students – both named Sam – who had their green tent already set up and sleeping bags inside for the long haul — these fans are serious.

“I had an opportunity to do it in college, and I didn’t, and I always had regrets about that,” one said.

Another man in line, Jeff, and his group of five planned for the chilly temperatures, bringing with them sleeping bags, blankets, a generator and space heater.

The first 100 people in line get free sandwiches for a year — more specifically, 52 No. 1 meals, according to Jeff, who participated in the great wait when the Brentwood location opened.

26854138 10210770601003187 709428940 o Tents Pitched Outside New Chick fil A, Hopefuls Wait to Win 1 Years Worth of Chicken

(Amity Shedd/KMOX)

It’s a real party atmosphere in the parking lot — those in line are fed breakfast, lunch and dinner, and even given milk and cookies at night. Activities are planned throughout the day for those sticking it out in the cold.

The free chicken grand opening tradition dates back more than 14 years.

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