New Year, new world record

New Year, new world record

On New Year's Eve, 5,911 people wore balloon hats at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio park to break the Guinness World Record for the Most People Wearing Balloon Hats.

This feat was part of Countdown 2015 and Celebrate SG50 @ Ang Mo Kio GRC and Sengkang West.

The previous record was set by 4,017 people at the Utah Summer Games Opening Ceremony in the US in 2007.

The organising chairman, Madam Noelene De Foe, said: "We wanted to do something grand to welcome 2015 and as a gift for the nation's 50th birthday."

Here's what you need to know if you are interested in setting a Guinness World Record:

PLAN EARLY

The standard application process is free, but an application process to break an existing record title may take up to six weeks.

To expedite, use the Fast Track Application process - for a fee. Madam De Foe's committee paid $900 for it because they started planning only in October and wanted to do it in time for the New Year.

FEAT MUST BE MEASURABLE

The Guinness World Records' rule of thumb is that if you cannot measure, weigh or count it, then it is probably not a record.

Madam De Foe had to ensure that the number of people involved was measured accurately, so 224 volunteers were deployed.

TO BREAK EXISTING RECORD, ADHERE TO GUIDELINES SET BY CURRENT HOLDER

Madam De Foe said: "The requirements were simple but precise, and the committee agreed that it was feasible to break the record."

For example, there should be one marshal for each row of 50 participants and the participants had to wear the balloon hats for at least five minutes simultaneously.

The feat also had to be verified by an accredited official from Guinness World Records. In this case, an adjudicator was flown in from Beijing, China, to officiate the record-breaking event.

AIM HIGH

As compared to the previous record of 4,017 people, Madam De Foe set a much higher target for her team.

"We wanted to be 'kiasu' (Hokkien for afraid to lose) and stay in the Guinness World Records for as long as possible, so we aimed for a much higher number of participants."

However, this record may not last as long as Madam De Foe hopes.

US TV news channel KSHB-41 Action reported last September that a Kansas City balloon artist was planning to break the Utah Summer Games Opening Ceremony record in an attempt scheduled for May this year.

PLAN WELL

Close to 500 people gathered at Teck Ghee CC and Jalan Kayu CC on Tuesday to make more than 12,000 fish hat balloons for the record-breaking event.

But while the organisers had aimed to break the record with 12,000 participants, only 5,911 people wished to be part of the event

choomf@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Jan 2, 2015.
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