Cedar Springs families joined in the fun
Hundreds gathered near Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids on Thursday, March 7, to launch Gilda’s LaughFest, the nation’s only community-wide festival of laughter, by breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people who are wearing false mustaches.
Mustachioed Laugh-Fest enthusiasts started lining up at 5 p.m. and after a few instructions and a little practice, the official attempt to set the world record took place. Officials set the number of people wearing false mustaches record at 1,544 for five minutes, which will need to be certified before the record becomes official. The previous Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people wearing false moustaches was achieved by 648 participants at an event organized by the St. Louis Rams in September 2012.
“This year’s world record attempt was a seriously fun time,” said Leann Arkema, president and CEO, Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids and LaughFest. “It was a great way to kick off the 2013 festival. We thank all of the participants who came out and donned a mustache to help us break the world record.”
Included in that record-breaking number were several participants from Cedar Springs, including Shawn and Katy Austin and their daughters, Livy and Alaina and their friend Spencer Bray; Rachelle and Josh Sova and their kids Grace and Owen and Grace’s friend Olivia Waller; Jacquie Troupe and her kids Taryn, Logan and Cade; Sandra Dymerski and her sons Derek and Cory; and Denise Pickem and her kids Gage and Courtney.
“We wanted to do it because my girls have asked many times how they can break a world record and this was the perfect way to be part of something amazing!” explained Katy.
She said they waited in line to receive their mustaches and then were led to a gated area and told to wait for a bit before putting them on. When 6:30 came, they were instructed to put on their fake mustaches. A hovercraft of some kind was above them counting and filming the event.
“We loved it!” remarked Katy. “It was wonderful to be part of something so awesome and it was for a wonderful cause , Gilda’s Club.”
In addition to this mustache record, LaughFest also holds two other Guinness World Records. Last year, 607 individuals performed the chicken dance and set the Guinness World Record for the greatest number of people wearing animal noses (specifically chicken beaks!) at a single venue. In 2011, 925 rubber chickens were tossed in downtown Grand Rapids, shattering the previous record of 265 set near Boston, Mass.
LaughFest continues through March 17 with more than 200 free and ticketed shows. For a complete list of Gilda’s LaughFest 2013’s performers and events, or to purchase tickets, visit www.laughfestgr.org or call 616-753-HAHA (4242).