It was a busy day in downtown Portsmouth, as more than 1,450 people gathered to break the world record of most presents wrapped simultaneously.
The long-anticipated event drew out a crowd Saturday at Market Square early with wrappers showing up to get their place under one of the two large tents and be a part of Portsmouth history.
“We were expecting about 900 to 950 people today,” Member of Friends of Portsmouth, Jeremy Burnside said to the crowd. “You guys have really shown up and are supporting Portsmouth and we can confirm we have 1,482 here.”
As festivities kicked off before the official attempt, record-breakers enjoyed and danced to live entertainment by the self-proclaimed world-famous record-breaker band. Residents sang along to hit after hit as the clock ticked down to 3 p.m. when they would officially attempt to break the Guinness World Record.
Spirits ran high throughout the day, even though about 30 minutes before organizers were a little worried.
“Get on your phones and get your friends down here,” the announced over the pa system. “We can do this!”
In a matter of minutes after the announcement, a line began to form down Third Street at the entrance of the marked off area where they were attempting to break the record. Due to long lines at the gate, wrappers were delayed about 15 minutes in starting and were read the official rules of wrapping the present.
For the wrapping to count, wrappers had to place their commemorative ornament in a box and wrap the box entirely with wrapping paper provided by the Hallmark Channel. Record-breakers also had to make and put a red bow on the present as well for it to officially count.
With the representatives of Guinness World Records onstage and a three, two, one countdown wrappers had five minutes to wrap their presents. Due to the number of unexpected wrappers in attendance, once wrappers were finished wrapping their gifts, they moved out of the way so others would have a spot at the table to wrap theirs.
“If your done wrapping hold them in the air and move out of the way,’ Burnside said. “Make sure everyone can wrap their present.”
As the allotted time of five minutes came to an end, wrappers cheered as proctors went around the area and counted the number of presents adequately wrapped.
“We have come every year they have done this,” Katie Frantz said, pointing to a group of fifth-grade girls from Valley Middle School. “They are the basketball team and we are just doing some fun team bonding and hoping to break a world record.”
Frantz shared she thought that the record-breaking event was a great way to get the community together and put a spotlight on Portsmouth. “It has been a really fun time and the girls have enjoyed it.”
Once the numbers were tallied and the results were in, residents gathered back under the tents for the official announcement.
“Today you all attempted the Guinness World Record title for the most people wrapping presents simultaneously. I can confirm that all of the guidelines were followed successfully today, so good job on that,” Guinness World Record representative Kellie Parise said. “The record to beat was 876 people and today you all achieved a total of 1,482 people, it is my pleasure to present you with your third Guinness World Records certificate.”
After the announcement was made, cheering could be heard from all over downtown Portsmouth and the celebration continued throughout the evening.
“We did it, thanks to you guys,” Burnside said. “We hope to make an offer on the ice skating rink and be able to have it at our disposal for years to come.”
Reach: Adam Black (740) 353-3101 Extension 1927
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