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Rochester Sets a Guinness World Record For The World’s Largest Human Flower

May 17, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

An enthusiastic crowd of 2,297 people gathered at the opening day of the Rochester Lilac Festival to form the World’s Largest Human Flower—a purple and pink lilac with a green stem and leaves—shattering the Guinness World Record set in Farnborough, Hampshire, England, on May 2, 2014.

Rochester Lilac Festival organizers were already planning to attempt to break an earlier record set in England in 2012, when the Farnborough group broke the previous record of 2,190 people. This unexpected development drove the record-breaking total up to 2,250, adding 61 more people to the goal for Rochester.unnamed (7)
“Rochester is the Flower City, so we simply couldn’t allow someone else to hold the world record for the Largest Human Flower,” said Jeff Springut, Rochester Lilac Festival producer. “We love our famous city and its extraordinary lilac collection, and what better way to demonstrate that than to break this world record?”
The festival reached out to Rochester area businesses, neighborhoods, clubs, and other groups who formed teams to participate in the record-breaking effort. Many teams registered in advance on the Lilac Festival website—with names like The Bloomerang Crew, the Lucky Lilacs, The Botanicals and Team Love.
“A school in a nearby suburb brought 80 students and their teachers and staff to help break the record,” said Springut. “VisitRochester, the area’s convention and visitors bureau, offered free hot dogs to its members for participating. We had excellent support from I Love NY as well. This was a tremendous community effort, one that really demonstrates our collective pride in the Flower City.”
Every participant received a brightly colored poncho in purple, pink, or green, representing the colors of the blossom, stem and leaves of the lilac plant. A team of 30 Master Gardeners from Cornell Cooperative Extension helped to establish the perimeter of the flower’s panicle—the stalk of blossoms—and arrange people accordingly as they filled in the flower shape.
When Guinness World Record Adjudicator Michael Empric announced to the crowd that they had succeeded in breaking the record, a roar went up “to tell England we’re ready for another revolution,” as Monroe County Parks Department Director Larry Staub said from the festival’s CarMax Center Stage.  
With the new world record established, Rochester celebrated with a special victory set by the nationally known band Duke Jupiter, which originated in Rochester.
“The Rochester Lilac Festival continues to grow in attendance and popularity every year by welcoming the festival season back to Monroe County with a big purple splash of spring,” said Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks. “Our community has a lot to celebrate; it’s not only the return of Lilac Fest, but together we have put Monroe County on the map and set a new Guinness World Record for the largest human flower!”

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