First off, I wanted to welcome all my readers back to my “community now” column. We took a break during the campaign season, but not that it has passed. We are back! I wanted to kick things off with the AWESOME event we had this weekend. As I’m sure you’ve read on Saturday, December 14th, 2019, Portsmouth attempted ANOTHER world record.
The idea of breaking/setting a World Record started last year with Plant Portsmouth. On August 18th, 2018 – 1405 citizens helped set a World Record on the “most people potting plants simultaneously.” We then moved onto Winterfest and this time, a record would be broken. On December 15th, 2018, Portsmouth did it again. 1,880 citizens came out (in the rain and snow) to break another record for “most people caroling.” (Sorry Waukesha – TRY HARDER)
The bar has been set high. Over the weekend, another attempt was made. The record was for “most people wrapping gifts simultaneously.” The number was 876 and I’ll be honest I was nervous. The weather wasn’t great, damp and rainy, but Portsmouth persevered. My 84-year-old grandpa even braved the weather and helped break the World Record. He was one of 1,482 people to help set it. The premise was simple and a HUGE shout-out to Friend of Portsmouth for all the hard work put in. We were given a bag that housed wrapping paper courteously supplied by Hallmark. A wooden ornament and a red bow. We had 5 minutes to wrap the present, tie and bow, and have it counted off for it to count. It went seamlessly. WELL DONE.
I spoke with Assistant Director of Friends of Portsmouth Bryan Smith after the event to get his feedback.
I asked Bryan how he felt about the turnout on Saturday and he stated, “It was absolutely unbelievable, the number of people that came out to be a part of such an amazing day. The Record was 876 and we ended up with almost 1500 people. It was electrifying all day and even after the event. Winterfest was hopping until 9 p.m.”
We then discussed why this World Record was picked. Smith said, “We wanted to include a commemorative ornament and wrapping a present was at the top of the list. The Winterfest committee decided on it as a whole.”
In closing, I asked if he wanted to add anything for my readers to hear. He stated, “The Friends of Portsmouth are made up of such an energetic and positive minded thinking people and I see a bright future for our area. Great thanks to Sara Mauk for spearheading the World Record event. Also, to all our core team, which is a lot of people that make all these events possible for everyone to enjoy. I love being apart of this wonderful organization and every day is absolutely awesome. Great thanks to all our Sponsors too (SOMC, KDMC, Glockner, The Counseling Center, Unity One, Portsmouth Vision Center, and Marathon/Markwest) We couldn’t do it without all the support!
It was a great event. I’ve seen firsthand what a group of intelligent, hardworking people can get done for the betterment of their city. Shout-out to the Executive Director of Friends of Portsmouth Tim Wolfe as well. He works nonstop and truly wants OUR city to keep moving in the right direction. We now have 3 World Records. Your city has that! Let’s keep going. Number 4 coming soon??? #ENJOYLOCAL