World Records – Having Fun And Achieving A Unique Form Of Excellence
People love world records. It’s easy to understand. If you set one, you’ve done something no one else has ever done. It’s a walk on the Moon. Or better yet – Mars!
As the town of Newport prepares to set the record for the most people making sunflower bouquets on September 7th, I couldn’t help but look into other records set in New Hampshire.
Einstein, of Barnstead, holds the record as the world's smallest horse. At birth, the pinto stallion weighed only 6 pounds and stood 14 inches tall.
The largest American flag in the nation (ok, not world record but still way cool) was made at the Amoskeag Mills in Manchester in 1914. It measured 90 feet long and 50 feet high.
The world's largest arcade is Funspot, located near Lake Winnipesaukee.
The largest collection of jack-o-lanterns can be found at the Keene Pumpkin Festival. In 2013, there were 30,581 carved and lit jack-o-lanterns.
The largest group of people wearing superhero costumes gathered at the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in 2009. There were 1,016 participants.
These are just a few examples and while some might be considered a bit odd, that’s not the point. It’s fun. It’s a goal. It’s what makes people wonder at the limits of human capability.
And to end on a high note – this is impressive! In 2009, Matthew Mitnitsky, owner of Nonni's Italian Eatery in Concord created a 222 pound meatball. No one had ever done that. Not even Neil Armstrong.
Sunshine, Sunflowers and Saturday, September 7th – In Newport!
We are about a week out from the Newport Sunflower Festival and we need participants! If you are interested in making history, having fun, and enjoying all that small-town NH has to offer, please make sure to join us Sat. Sept. 7th for the first ever 'Newport Sunflower Festival'. We have some amazing food trucks booked, some great music planned, unique vendors from across the state, and of course, LOTS of beautiful flowers for you to use in your bouquets. All you need to do is bring yourself and hopefully a friend or two! The Guinness Book of World Records will be on site as we aim to set the record for the 'Most People Making Sunflower Bouquets' and its sure to be a day for the history books. Please make sure to register at https://www.eventbrite.com/o/newport-sunshine-initiative-20163562793. See you all Sept. 7th in the Sunshine Town for a day full of Sunflowers!!
Children of Fallen Patriots Gathering In Concord, NH
It may not be a conventional record setting opportunity, but why not try! On September 14th, members and supporters of Children of Fallen Patriots will be convening in Concord to game-plan and strategize for our efforts in the coming months and to also finalize the planning for our annual Children of Fallen Patriots Gala on October 10th! I encourage everyone to attend so we can really show our support and dedication to military families. As we fundraise for Fallen Patriots, let’s work to break the record for money raised so we can ensure that every child in our program can get a great education – and that no child in our organization faces the crippling weight of student debt. Please join us. It will be a lot of fun and an opportunity to make a difference for so many people.
The Excitement of Fall
Fall is almost here
One of my favorite seasons here in New Hampshire is our beautiful Fall. With the season brings cooler crisp air and a general sense of excitement from people throughout our state. And there are some fantastic Fall activities to enjoy.
No matter where you are in the Granite State you are never far away from an apple harvest festival or better yet, a ‘pick your own’ apple orchard. Whether it’s apple sauce, apple cider, or apple pie, Fall is a prime time to enjoy locally grown fruits not to mention how the smell of cinnamon fills the air!
What would Fall be without pumpkin patches and the spirit of community it brings? Pumpkins may be the unofficial mascot for Fall and signal that it is a time of celebration from a year’s hard work and the beginning of winter which in New Hampshire can be chilly to say the least!
And perhaps my favorite part of Fall in New Hampshire – The changing of the leaves. If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing this in person, it is truly a sight to behold. The trees look like they are on fire and ablaze from end to end – lighting up the hills and mountains. People come from all over the world to see the color change in New Hampshire and I always make sure to take some time to absorb the beauty of the surroundings and contemplate all the great things and beauty our state has to offer!
Profile of the Week: Hazel Nilson
When you think of records, one that most people would be proud to own is ‘World’s Oldest.’ With this in mind, we want to recognize our own Granite Stater who may well be on her way to that record. Hazel Nilson, New Hampshire’s oldest resident, celebrated her 111th birthday this month. Born in 1908, Hazel credits smiling, not worrying, and listening to your body as the recipe for a long and happy life. And she still knows how to have fun! Hazel celebrated her 111th by taking a boat tour around Lake Sunapee, organized by the Sunapee Police Department. My son, Gates, is proud to call Hazel one of his constituents. May you have many more years of Sunapee fun and boat rides, Hazel. Happy Birthday!
Profile of the Week: PT Barnum
In recent years when we think of PT Barnum we think of the circus and taking our children to the show under the big top! Most recently we can relate to PT Barnum via the hit movie “The Greatest Showman” staring super actor Hugh Jackman. For those who have seen Hugh Jackman on stage it’s a sight! But there is so much more to PT Barnum than just the great showman, there is the man who set a course and stuck to it.
PT Barnum was a businessman, public servant, and author. Things that we take for granted today are a result of PT Barnum’s legacy.
In his early twenties, he founded a weekly newspaper in his hometown of Bridgeport, CT, but believed there was more to achieve and people of the world deserved to be amazed. To accomplish this goal, he moved to the ‘Big Apple’ and began a career of entertainment ventures, some successful and some not. But defeat didn’t deter this man for he had a path, wanted to stay the course, and knew his passion would be long lasting in the lives of many. This commitment resulted in one of the longest running entertainment travel groups in history. While his passion for show will be what most people know, it’s his legacy for public service that truly had the most impact.
PT Barnum returned to his home State of Connecticut, served 4 terms in the state legislature and was a defender of man and the abolition of slavery. Following his tenure in the state house, PT was elected Mayor of Bridgeport on the promise of a clean water, invested in a revitalization and beatification of Bridgeport - creating jobs, opportunities, and a sense of hometown pride. Even after his years of public service, PT Barnum continued in his efforts thru charitable work and community organization.
Fast forward to today and I see so much opportunity via the way PT Barnum did things. A little enthusiasm and imagination can go a long way. A commitment to traveling the road less traveled can result in big things. Defying the odds and believing in your dreams can and will lead to great things. Life can be a circus sometimes but at the end of the day, we can take a bow, have a smile, and know we make life a little better for those around us.
Quotes Of The Week – The Wonderful World Of ‘World Records’
"I know I hold the contest record for downing the most hot dogs, and the record for most Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Contest championships, but it was really cool to be a part of a Guinness World Records official attempt." Joey Chestnut
"When people go to a track meet, they're looking for something, a world record, something that hasn't been done before. You get all this magnetic energy, people focusing on one thing at the same time. I really get excited about it. It makes me want to compete even more. It makes it all worthwhile, all the hours of hard work." Steve Prefontaine
"If anybody wants to beat me, let them run a world record." Steve Prefontaine
"I nearly failed when Virgin was in its infancy; I nearly failed in the early 1980s, and, of course, I have nearly died more than once trying to achieve a world record for boating or ballooning. But through a combination of luck and planning, both Virgin and I are still here." Richard Branson
"If records refuse to be broken, shatter them." Matshona Dhliwayo