Foxwoods celebrates its silver anniversary

In this Nov. 11, 2011 file photo, Foxwoods Resorts Casino and MGM Grand at Foxwoods buildings loom behind a barn in Mashantucket, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (WTNH) — The 375-year history of the Mashantucket Pequots was celebrated along with the casino’s 25th anniversary.

On February 15, 1992 Foxwoods became the first Native American casino and to this day it remains the largest gaming facility in North America. On that first day, hundreds of cars were backed up outside the casino. Even employees had a hard time getting to work.

“It was very overwhelming and a lot of fun and very very exciting,” said Carrie Dull, a casino accounting and operations shift manager at Foxwoods.

She and Linda Bordeleau are day one employees.

“25 years of oh I never realized that 20 years ago and yeah it keeps changing,” says Bordeleau.

The casino has grown quite a bit from the bingo hall and casino with table games only. Slot machines would arrive the next year and that brought big changes.

“Every day thirty forty people would start because that’s how busy we were,” says Bordeleau.

Today, the property is nearly nine million square feet and more than a mile long end to end.

The yearlong celebration of this silver anniversary was topped off with the unveiling of a 25 tier cake. $250,000 in prizes were also given away including a dream wedding for this lucky Colchester couple. Plus, free concerts by Kesha and Smokey Robinson Wednesday night.

“We were way way down the other end before. And you’re making progress? Yes moving right along,” says Hope Sali of Killingly who stood on a very long line for Smokey Robinson tickets.

“This is a great day and I hope in 25 years from today you can wheel me on this stage,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman told the crowd gathered to kick off this celebration.

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