Starting Monday morning at 9 a.m., excited consumers will begin camping out in the parking lot under the Red Hook IKEA in anticipation of the new store’s ribbon cutting – or rather, log cutting, which is how Swedes open something according to Curbed. Now why would anyone be crazy enough to camp out for days just to shop at a store that anyone will be able visit to whenever they want? Besides walking away with a great story for the grandkids, there are the fabulous prizes to consider.

  • The first 35 adults to cross the threshold into the 35th IKEA in America will receive a free EKTORP three-seat sofa.
  • The next 100 adults get a free POANG armchair.
  • And the first 2,500 people will be handed a random prize envelope with IKEA Gift Cards ranging from $10 to $250, or vouchers for a free cinnamon bun, hotdog or frozen yogurt.
  • The first 100 children (under 18) will receive a Fanning, a soft toy in the shape of a heart.

But even amidst of all this, um, excitement about the grand opening, some naysayers are still predicting a traffic holocaust when thousands of IKEA-bound drivers clog Red Hook’s quiet little streets. So as an alternative to driving, IKEA has arranged free New York Water Taxi service back and forth from Manhattan, and will deliver any unwieldy purchases for a price.

The beauty of the free Water Taxi is that you can step off of it in Red Hook and walk right past IKEA to enjoy the backyard patio at La Bouillabaisse and Anabelle’s across the street, or get some Latin American grub from the ballfield vendors – whenever they return.