Despite the recession, Apple AAPL opened three new retail outlets on Saturday — in Mississauga, Ont., Naperville, Ill., and Reston, Va.  — and its fan base obliged by forming long snaking queues and posting hand-held videos documenting the madness that ensued.

These YouTube videos — complete with T-shirted Apple employees happily making fools of themselves — have become icons of the company’s extraordinary appeal. What other brand, in or out of the computer industry, can command such loyalty or draw such crowds?

The event in Mississauga, outside Toronto, generated the most video — much of it apparently created by prepubescent girls on in-store Macs.

Our favorite moment: when the high-fiving Naperville videographer who calls himself JaxBearsFan turns the camera on himself and declares: “Yes, I am a nerd!”

Below the fold: Three sample videos.

Main Place, Naperville, Ill.

Square One Shopping Centre, Mississauga, Ont.

Reston, Va., Town Center

Thanks for reader Ron in Palo Alto, Calif., for the tip.