CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Teresa Stone said she had one thought after waiting 27 hours to walk into a Cabela's store for the first time: "I can't wait to get in there!"
Nearly 4,000 people waited in line to enter the new Cabela's store at Southridge in Charleston during the store's grand opening Thursday.
Customers and cars crowded the store's parking lot, which filled up so fast that employees used golf carts to drive customers who'd parked in a field behind the building up to the front doors.
Live music played under a tent while people waiting in line won free hats and T-shirts. Cabela's employees passed out bottles of water and portable hand fans.
Stone, of Charleston, and her friend Sandra Williams, of Cross Lanes, were the first customers in line at 8 a.m. Wednesday -- 27 hours before archer Tom Nelson stood on a ladder at the store's front and shot a clay pigeon with his bow and arrow to "cut the ribbon."
The pair spent a majority of the day hanging out and "parking lot stalking," Williams joked.
The two friends - with about 40 other eager Cabela's customers - dozed off in their lawn chairs Wednesday night in the store's parking lot.
"I just wanted to be the first person through the doors since I've never been in a Cabela's before," Stone said just before the grand opening.
She didn't just wait in line so long to tell her friends about it - the avid hiker also needed some new hiking shoes.
Stone and Williams' dedication didn't go unnoticed. Cabela's Chief Executive Officer Tommy Millner gave the women gift cards and T-shirts.
Millner said the store's grand opening had more people lined up earlier than any crowd at any of the previous 38 Cabela's grand openings. The large crowd waiting to shop inside the 80,000-square-foot store Thursday morning shows how Cabela's is a family to its customers, he said.