Want to be part of Guinness World Records Day (GWR Day) but not sure if you’ve got a special skill? The good news is that you don’t need to be an Olympic athlete or have an olympian appetite to take part.
If your talents lie more in organizing others, then why not rally your friends – or family, scout group, school, employees, or fellow citizens! – and organize a "mass participation" event?
"Mass participation" records are just that: hundreds or even thousands of people coming together for a common cause. The options are limited only by your imagination (and the official guidelines, of course!) You could attempt an enormous dance performance or martial arts demonstration. If that’s too energetic for you, then what about a record based on dressing up? Or creating a giant painting or sculpture? Or recycling?
The key to success when attempting a “mass part” record is planning. While larger attempts with thousands of people will involve plenty of practical considerations, guidelines must always be followed no matter the size of the record attempt.
Luckily, not every attempt has to involve a cast of thousands. The minimum requirement for a mass part attempt is 250 while you can attempt other records in teams of various sizes, so there’s no excuse for having a go! Whatever you choose, these events are a great way to promote a cause, raise money for charity or just have a fun time and make new friends. So, to inspire you to mobilize your mates, here are five mass participation records set in the name of GWR Day:
Largest gathering of people dressed as storybook characters
Back in 2010, Higham Ferrers Junior School in Northants, UK, celebrated GWR Day by dressing up as their favourite storybook characters. A total of 359 pupils, teachers and staff raided the dressing-up box and beat the record of 300, set the previous year in Ireland on GWR Day 2009. Year-six teacher Emily Webb took part dressed as Pocahontas and said: "It was an amazing morning. We're so proud to break the record!"
Since Higham Ferrers made their successful attempt, the record has changed hands a few times. So now, if you’re a fan of illustrated children’s storybooks and want to have a go at this, you’ll need to find more than 1,560 people to take part – that was the number achieved by Tanglin Trust School in Singapore, on 7 March 2014 (pictured above). Good luck!
Largest gathering of ABBA impersonators
To celebrate GWR Day 2011, another school – this one on the other side of the planet – also threw open the dressing-up box for a world record.
At Kew Primary School in Melbourne, Australia, 369 pupils, teacher and parents channelled their inner dancing queens and transformed themselves into ABBA impersonators, pulling on the spandex and wigs to dress up as one of the four singers in the 1970s Swedish pop band. To secure the record, the participants not only had to band together in groups of four to replicate the original band’s line-up of Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Anni-Frid, but also had to belt out the band’s classic hit, "Waterloo" for five minutes.
Largest cheerleading dance
Give me a “G”, give me a “W”, give me an “R”! Dancing was once again on the cards during the 2009 Guinness World Records Day celebrations.
The USA’s University Cheerleaders Association gathered together 297 cheerleaders for a five-minute choreographed routine at the University of Memphis in Tennessee, USA, during the Mid-South Regional Cheerleading Championships.
If you’re keen to have a go at this one for GWR 2018, get your outfit pressed and your pom-poms fluffed – you’ll then just need to find another 1,371 people to join you, as this is how the record currently stands, achieved by Wing Dance Promotion at Maihama Amphitheater in Chiba, Japan, on 30 August 2015.
Fastest time to wrap a person in newspaper (team of 8)
Some people join in the GWR Day fun in order to get their name in print – and Kelly Tong certain got into the newspapers when she and seven colleagues smashed their way into the record books in 2011.
Kelly worked for the children’s publication First News, and to celebrate GWR Day, the staff in their London office rose to the challenge of wrapping someone in newsprint. Kelly was the "victim", and her team – Rachel Henderson, Kelane Henderson, Sam Eads, Kirsty MacDonald, Hayley Taylor, Leanne Pollard and Emma Robson – managed to wrap her from head to toe in a time of 1 minute 31 seconds, beating the previous record of 1 minute 43 seconds.
Largest cream tea party
If this is all sounds too much like a workout, then put the kettle on, grab a seat and take a leaf out the book of The English Cream Tea Company.
For GWR Day 2011, they served up a delicious cream tea to 334 diners at the Parklands Wedding Venue in Quendon, Essex, UK. For those not in the know, a cream tea is a traditional English treat comprising English breakfast tea, a scone, a portion of jam and a generous dollop of clotted cream.
To make this culinary challenge that bit more difficult, Guinness World Records insists that the table is correctly set for the attempt, with a tablecloth and the appropriate crockery and cutlery. With all that jam and cream, it’s no surprise that this has proved to be a popular category – it’s been beaten six times since GWR Day 2011, so the new number to beat is 978!
Join in the celebrations!
If any of the record titles above have inspired you, remember you can still get involved with GWR Day 2018. Here’s how:
We want everyone to celebrate the power of record-breaking with us on Thursday 8 November. So, if you want to plan an Official Attempt, there is still time to schedule it for 8 November.
Our dedicated GWR Day page has all the information you need about applying to attempt a record on 8 November which we'd love to hear about on social media.