Albert L. Ortega/WireImage
09/15/2006 at 08:00 AM EDT
It took only 15 minutes for fans of the late "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin to snap up the 3,000 free tickets to his memorial service, to be held Wednesday in the "Crocoseum" of his Australia Zoo.
Hundreds of fans camped out overnight at the three sites where tickets were dispensed, and many of those who snagged tickets wept with joy, the Melbourne Herald Sun reports.
"It's indescribable," beauty consultant Melissa Power, who got her tickets in Brisbane, told the newspaper. "I've haven't slept and am so over-emotional. I'm looking so forward to it ... to honor such a great Australian."
Another fan was not so lucky. A visibly upset Joy Pollock also told the paper, "I would have loved to have gone to the memorial. It was unfair that a lot of people in the (line) were handed four tickets and we only wanted two."
Irwin, 44, died Sept. 4 when a stingray's barb stabbed him in the chest during the filming of a documentary.
Though the Australian parliament offered the Irwin family a state funeral, widow Terri Irwin opted for a private family funeral, which took place last week, and this Sept. 20 public service – which is due to be broadcast live around Australia, as well as in the United States and throughout Asia.