The first challenge of the day was getting all the participants in place and ready to go.
That required more than a thousand students from the Mifflin County Middle School and the Lewistown Intermediate School to file onto and line up on the schools’ nearby athletic fields, ready to attempt a new world record for the longest chain of high fives. A move that took nearly an hour.
“Brad and Nancy are going to hand you a bracelet,” explained Kelly Manning, an LIS teacher and head of the record attempt event. “Just grab it and keep on walking.”
“Make sure your high fives are audible,” Manning told the youngsters waiting eagerly to start the high five chain.
Eye witnesses with clipboards, along with still and video camera operators, were required to record and validate each individual clap of hands.
A ladder truck from a Lewistown Fire Company provided aerial photography too.
With a long blast of the fire truck siren, Manning launched the record attempt with the first high five.
Faculty and volunteer adults moved ahead of the hand smackers, making sure the waiting students were off their feet and ready to participate when the action got to them.
And, in just over twenty minutes, the enthusiastic line of high fivers, several football fields long, completed the task to a rousing cheer from all thirteen hundred and forty-two participants. The Guinness World record they were attempting to beat was eleven hundred and ten continuous high fives, credited to a hotel in Hawaii.
All witness reports and videos are now on their way to Guinness World Records in London where they will either accept or reject Lewistown’s attempt at a new record. But, new record or not, the kids seemed to feel the attempt itself was one for the books.