I'm not sure I can ever recall anything like what happens when there's a grand opening of an all-new Buc-ee's Travel Center.

It's always been exciting when a chain a certain city doesn't yet have arrives to bells, whistles, and eager anticipation. Think about the times your city or town got its first (insert name of store or restaurant) and the celebration that ensued. I did and I still couldn't come up with anything to rival what I experienced Monday, June 24th in Smith's Grove KY.

Texas-based Buc-ee's has been moving in our direction for many years now. I visited the Richmond location back in February on a Sunday morning. It was SLAMMED.

Dave Spencer
Dave Spencer
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Now, I've seen grand openings on YouTube and TikTok, but there really is nothing like experiencing it for yourself. And it was an absolute MADHOUSE. But the good kind of madhouse--not like when half an inch of snow is predicted and grocery stores are bombarded with shoppers looking for French toast ingredients.

No, there was just a TON of excited humans experiencing Buc-ee's. And you could tell when it was someone's first time. That particular look of awe is unmistakable.

What I didn't anticipate and should have was how the number of patrons recording their visits would affect my ability to share MY experience. I tried doing Facebook Live, but to no avail. I wandered back into the store after hitting the upload button, but it paused because of all the signal usage.

I've seldom seen excitement like what I witnessed in Smith's Grove KY at the Buc-ee's grand opening. Full-blown, pure Americana on display. And I loved every minute of it. In fact, I took a WHOLE bunch of pictures. Here you go:

The Brand New Buc-ees in Smith's Grove KY

Gallery Credit: Dave Spencer

10 'Must-Get' Items at Buc-ee's

Most items on the list won't last long, but a couple you can keep in the cupboard for a substantial amount time; break them out for guest: "Oh, yes, we got this at Buc-ee's, right after they opened. Well, it wasn't RIGHT after they opened, that would have been crazy."

Gallery Credit: Dave Jensen

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Buc-ee's always does a great job bringing attention to their business with clever billboard signs, here is a look at some of their very best.

Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins

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