Pumpkin carvers at the Oct. 26 Guinness World Record attempt event. Courtesy photo
LOS ALAMOS ARTS COUNCIL NEWS
It was a beautiful, pleasant, and sunny day on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. People, both young and old, from Los Alamos and beyond, came to the cultural heart of Los Alamos: Fuller Lodge. They came to participate in a unique event- an attempt to break a Guinness World Record! As some stated after the fact, “The attempt was not about science, or [plutonium] pits [creation]; the attempt was not about Republicans or Democrats; it was neighbors seeing one another, some who hadn’t seen each other in a long time. The attempt was about people from different walks of life.”
Members from the high school football team set up huge 24.5+ pound pumpkins as they coordinated with skilled local business forklift drivers to lift approximately 32,000 lbs. of pumpkins on Central Ave., from the front of the library down to 15th Street. Girl Scouts created hand cleaning stations; local churches set up carving tables; civic and other organizations helped giving out wristbands for every ticket sold. County counselors and volunteers from many organizations documenting the endeavor. Also, many individuals jumped in and asked, “How can I help?
After the attempt, the question was asked: “Can I help put candles in all these pumpkins?” A “grand display” of all the pumpkins along Central Avenue complemented the annual Pumpkin Glow on Fuller Lodge Lawn. At the end of a very long and memorable day, there were a handful of people who were gracious with their time and energy to go the extra mile. They helped toss 15,240 pounds (7.62 tons) of unclaimed pumpkins into an LA County composting bin. We now have more fertile soils in Los Alamos because of this undertaking!
The World Record attempt was a rich experience, growing from all who came out to carve and provide assistance at the event. Los Alamos is genuinely a fantastic community! As one person noted, “this wasn’t a consumer event that we simply watched; it was a participatory event for the community.”
After the attempt on Oct. 26, Los Alamos Arts Council Staff and Volunteers began working on the completion of the documentation required by Guinness. Documentation was verified to be accurate before submission. A county party verified the remaining ticket stubs and wrist bands. LAAC sold 1156 tickets, more than enough to break the current World Record of 1060.
Guinness World Record received the final documentation upload on Jan. 4, 2020. On Feb. 27, Los Alamos Arts Council received word from Guinness that there was insufficient participation in some sections to qualify for the record. The number of people that could be counted as participants in the event was 1028. Los Alamos Arts Council verified the information sent from Guinness and has accepted the response from the adjudicators.
When reached for comment, Councilors James Robinson and Randall Ryti had responses that beautifully illustrate the event. Councilor Robinson stated “Although disappointing, this event was truly special for our community. … This town was built on trial and error, and I fully expect us to put our minds to it and try again.”
Councilor Ryti: added “Disappointing result, but a lot of fun and something for folks to fondly remember now that such gatherings are prohibited.”
Los Alamos Arts Council continues to celebrate the event. It is the largest pumpkin carving party that LAAC has ever held, and the community came out in huge numbers. LAAC enjoyed the opportunity to work on such a significant event and is encouraged by the support received. LAAC has enjoyed hearing the stories and has loved seeing the photos on Facebook, Instagram, and from the public in general. During this time of physical distancing, LAAC welcomes comments on Facebook and Instagram that celebrate the day, and the stories of joining together as a community to attempt something huge.
The Los Alamos Arts Council is very thankful to the community at large, and to the generous support of the following sponsors who helped make this unique attempt happen:
Aspen Copies and Office Supplies; Bennett’s Fine Jewelry and Gifts; CB Fox; Century Bank; Creative Los Alamos; Daniels Cafe; David’s Old Fashioned Barber Shop; DK and the Affordables; Do It Best Metzger’s Hardware; Don Taylor’s Photography; Exit Realty Advantage NM; Flowers by Gillian; Frank’s Supply Company, Inc.; KRSN; Los Alamos Children’s Dentistry; Los Alamos County Community Services; Los Alamos Daily Post; Los Alamos Eyecare; Los Alamos Home Improvement; Los Alamos Landscaping and More; Los Alamos MainStreet; Los Alamos Monitor; Los Alamos National Laboratory; Los Alamos Reporter; New Mexico Farmer’s Marketing Association; NM State Los Alamos County Extension; Pajarito Brewpub and Grill; Pac 8; Philip J. Dabney, PC. Attorney at Law; Pueblo Fruits and Vegetables, Inc.; Pumpkin Masters; Ruby K’s Bagel Cafe; Smith’s Marketplace; The Karen Wray Gallery; VFW Post 8874. A special thank you to Steve Ness of Ness Farms, who was willing to make sure we had the quality, size, and amount of pumpkins needed for the World Record Attempt!
More Information: See our website at www.losalamosartscouncil.org
Attached: Photos from October 26th, as well as documentation photos
Enjoy these links to review the attempt!
Los Alamos Arts Council Facebook:
Los Alamos County Community Services Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/losalamoscounty/videos/412385103021031/
Los Alamos Monitor: https://www.lamonitor.com/content/la-attempts-world-record-carving-pumpkins