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The Ikea has landed, people. This morning's festivities—a cross between a political rally, a big-top circus and some sort of fanatical cult gathering—are well underway over at 1 Beard Street. The juggling stiltwalker, a person making balloon animals and Marty Markowitz have all just arrived on the scene to entertain the customers waiting in line to enter the furniture store at 9am. The crowd has grown considerably since last night, with the original wristbanded 35 at the fore—it'd be safe to wager that the queue now numbers 500 strong. Many are swaying to the sounds of Conjunto Guantano, an Afro-Cuban jazz band, unaware of the full Ikea indoctrination that is taking place. At present, store managers are giving speeches, and we're all waiting for the log-sawing to begin.
UPDATE 9:00 AM: IKEA RED HOOK IS OPEN.
UPDATE 9:02 AM: Ikea staffers are everywhere, banging their Ikea thunder sticks and chanting, "Brooklyn! Brooklyn! Brooklyn!"
UPDATE 9:18 AM: The line is moving well and no one has been crushed on the way in. Success.
Up next: Photos of the ceremonial cutting of the log, Marty Markowitz's rousing speech, the singing of the Swedish national anthem, the singing of the US national anthem, the singing of America the Beautiful, the crowd, 300-strong, high-fiving staffers as they steam into the store, and the media not knowing what to do next.
FULL COVERAGE ON RACKED: Ikea Red Hook