From roller skates (1,995 in a single line) to Volkswagen Beetles (2,728), Volvo cars (570) and dumper trucks (56), bicycles (1,995 participants in a single line) and hearses (107), the Guinness World Records has thousands of entries that have topped the competition.
Local parade organizers had such fun with a recent first-time event spurred by the coronavirus, they want to do it again next year and aim for bragging rights with the international record-keeping publication.
The local National Night Out Parade started at 4 p.m. Oct. 6 and ended at 7:35 p.m. after winding its way through Walla Walla and College Place neighborhoods, a distance of more than 60 miles.
Crime Prevention Coordinator Vicki Ruley with the Walla Walla Police Department said in 2021, want to get the National Night Out parade into the Guinness World Records for longest parade route.
The U-B covered the parade, borne out of the inability to join together as usual in the park for an evening of fun with area emergency services providers, because coronavirus protocols got in the way.
People from 145 neighborhoods registered to bring the parade along their streets.
Winners of the National Night Out Yard Decorating Contest, who received Domino’s coupons of $100 each, sponsored by Walla Walla Area Crime Watch and Domino’s, are Cougar Creek Drive, Boulder Street for Best Community Participation, Southeast Independence Drive and Northwest B Street.
Alex Hoffarth, Nancy Walters, Jenny McClenny and Jeanie Fulton served as yard decorating judges. Every one of the 37 contest entries received a Domino’s coupon for a large two topping pizza.
"Originally the judging committee was to choose the top three winners but then they decided we needed a fourth winner for 'Best Community Participation,'” Vicki said.
The 24 emergency services vehicles in the parade included Walla Walla Police Department, a Walla Walla Fire Department fire truck, a Washington State Penitentiary restored fire truck, Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office, including six Search & Rescue ATV four-wheelers; College Place Police Department, College Place Fire Department fire truck; Washington State Patrol and Fire District 4.
Meanwhile, how did this whole record-keeping idea start? Guinness Brewery Managing Director Sir Hugh Beaver found himself arguing about the fastest game bird in Europe with others in a shooting party in County Wexford in the early 1950s. They couldn't find the answer — the golden plover — in reference books.
Then in 1954, Hugh thought up a Guinness promotion based on settling pub arguments and invited fact-finding researchers from Fleet Street, twins Norris and Ross McWhirter, to compile facts and figures in a book.
It took 13½ 90-hour weeks, including weekends and bank holidays to pull it off. The results after more than 60 years is an annual best-seller that aims to be the global authority on record-breaking.