SPRINGFIELD (CBS) – Ron Cross was first in line to get into the sparkling new MGM Springfield casino for its grand opening on Friday.

“I got here about 4:30 in the morning,” said Cross, of Westfield. “This is probably the biggest event in the history of western Massachusetts. I thought it would be kind of neat to be one of the first ones through the door.”

READ MORE: Swayman's 42 Saves Leads Bruins Over Predators 2-0

Door opened at 11 a.m. A procession featuring the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales kicked off the festivities at 10:30 a.m. at State and Main streets.

People wait in line for the opening of the MGM Springfield casino. (WBZ-TV)

“I’m just waiting for the doors to open so I can get in and hit the slots,” said Linda Randomski of Chicopee, laughing. “It’s really exciting.”

Randomski said the new $1 billion casino is “the best thing to ever happen to Springfield.”

“I think it’s going to do good here,” she said. “Rather than going all the way to Connecticut, it’s good because it’s right here in our backyard.”

Albert and Rebecca Lowe live right up the street and have been patiently waiting for the casino opening.

READ MORE: Boston Police Warn About Drinks Being Drugged At Bars

“When we walked in it was like, ‘Wow’. It doesn’t look that big from the outside, but once you get in, it’s all lights and glitter,” Albert Lowe said.

More than 2,500 slots and 120 gaming tables make up Massachusetts’ first full casino resort.

“When you walk in, it seems like a whole different world and I think it’s going to be a great addition to Springfield,” Rebecca Lowe said.

Maria Montoya of Springfield said she came to the grand opening because “I just want to be here.”

“I want to go to the machines,” Montoya said.

Gregory Dill, general manager of Tap, said the most exciting piece of the new casino “is the family friendly side of it.”

“There’s so many different options,” Dill said. “We have so many things planned with the Red Sox playing on the jumbotron for the playoff games.”

MORE NEWS: 9,909 At Massachusetts Schools Test Positive For COVID-19 In Last 2 Weeks

Visitors are encouraged to park for free at The Big E and enjoy the free express shuttle to the property. The buses will run every 5-10 minutes Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday.