Monday, January 14, 2013 2:02 pm
Seattle sets Guinness snowball fight record
By DOUG ESSERAssociated Press
More than 30 truckloads of snow were brought in from Cascades for Saturday's event, which included a snow fort building competition and pub crawl. Snow Day was a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Clubs of King County.
The event was witnessed by a Guinness adjudicator who verified a count of 5,834 and presented a record certificate, said a spokeswoman for the Guinness World Records office in New York. Seattle beat the previous record of about 5,400 at a 2010 snowball fight in South Korea.
It took more than three months of planning and high-tech monitoring to make sure an afternoon of fun met Guinness criteria for record-setting, said organizer Neil Bergquist.
About 6,000 tickets were sold online, and participants were given bar-coded wristbands that were scanned as they entered and left the location, so at any time they had an instant count.
Then for the official minute-and-a-half snowball fight there were 130 judges watching for pacifists.
Anyone not throwing snowballs was deducted from the total, Bergquist said Monday.
With that kind of real-time information, it was an easy call for Guinness adjudicator Philip Robertson to declare a record and present a certificate.
Guinness was still updating its website Monday, said spokeswoman Jamie Panas in the New York office.
Bergquist said he got the idea for a snowball fight fundraiser to have fun and raise money for kids "by remembering what it was like to feel like a kid."
It was a side project for Bergquist, who is a director at Surf Incubator, which provides office space, consulting and other resources for tech startups.
After trucking in snow and other costs, the event raised about $50,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs.
"We had a lot of fun, set a Guinness record, raised some money for kids, and everyone had a chance to act like a kid for a day," Bergquist said.