As I stood in the pouring rain Saturday evening on Second Street waiting to witness the breaking of a world record by fellow citizens, I couldn’t help but think about what a wonderful thing was about to happen.
Then, local attorney Jeremy Burnside comes running through the crowd asking everybody to call family and friends. They were a few hundred short of breaking the record for most people singing Christmas carols simultaneously.
At that moment I went from editor mode to citizen mode. I walked to the tent, checked in and officially became a member of the world record breaking crowd.
As I stood waiting, I couldn’t help but notice all the people I was with. Some were young, some were older. Some were even in wheelchairs or using a cane to walk with. But they stayed until the record was broken. As one unified group with a mission to accomplish.
Out of 1,889 people who started, only nine people dropped out before the singing was complete, according to the Guinness Book of World Records official who was on hand.
You all are to be commended for helping put Portsmouth in the history books not once, but twice in one year!
I overheard the conversation of some people who drove seven hours to participate in this historic event. That is what Portsmouth has become. And the best is yet to come!
Kudos to the organizers, Burnside, Nick Ruttman, Tim Wolfe, Tim Glockner, as well as a host of other people who have made Winterfest a great event this year. When driving into Portsmouth on Second Street in the evening it is like a Winter Wonderland at Second and Market streets.
But to me, this goes far beyond the festivities. What I see happening in Portsmouth, first with Plant Portsmouth, and now Winterfest, is people have unified. When we have unity we can accomplish so much more as a community than individualism. The amazing thing about this is the organizers don’t try to take all the credit for all the great things going on. Instead they give credit to the community for supporting the events.
It would be awesome to see this type of unity year round. People coming together and supporting one another to help reach a common goal.
Looking at the Plant Portsmouth and Winterfest accomplishments in the first year, I can’t wait to see what they have in store for use in 2019. Maybe we can set another record or two and eventually have the world record for number of records held.
But the record isn’t the main issue here. The point is, these organizers have come up with a plan on how to get nearly 2,000 people to unify, regardless of the weather or anything else happening in their lives. Maybe next year, we can get that number up to 5,000 people or beyond.