City Desk

The World’s Largest Snowball Fight: 5,387 Snowball Throwers!

snow_janb-1Although D.C. may hold the Guinness World Record for Most Guns Brought to a Snowball Fight, someone else holds the one for the Largest Snowball Fight.

The record was owned until recently by a bunch of snowball pelters—3,745 of them, to be exact—at Michigan Tech, which had on the same day in 2006 earned itself two other records: one for making the largest snowball and the other for "the most people making snow angels simultaneously in a single venue."

Some bragging by Tech about that:

Let the word go forth from this time and place, that on Feb. 10, 2006, Michigan Tech students, staff and faculty; school kids from all over the Copper Country; and a whole lot of other people came together at Sherman Field. And there they did pelt each other like the dickens during the world’s largest snowball fight and flop down prostrate on the frozen ground flapping their arms up and down and their legs back and forth to make the most snow angels ever in one place. And they did all this in the presence of the world’s largest snowball, rolled up earlier that day by some of the largest people at Michigan Tech.

The snowball fight record stood for years. But then! On Jan. 19, Yichun City, China, broke it when 5,060 schoolchildren got together to throw snowballs at each other.

But then! Just three days later, on Jan. 22, Taebaek City, South Korea, broke Yichun City's record.

Writes Jack B. Brockbank, who "adjudicated" South Korea's record attempt, on the Guinness Web site:

Before the event began I went to inspect the attempt area to make sure everything had been organised in accordance with Guinness World Records’ guidelines. When I was satisfied with my checking they began to let people into the attempt area. There were 2 gates, each with 2 counters, 1 counter for people coming in and the other for people leaving the area. As it was so cold, people kept leaving the area to get warm inside, which made the counting all the more difficult for the organisers. I checked the counters 10 minutes before the attempt was due to begin and it was by no means a safe number.

The participants were only required to throw snowballs for 1 minute, as per the Guinness World Records guidelines, but the attempt ended up lasting for over 7 minutes! I returned indoors when it ended to meet with the counters and determine the final result. It was a close call, but the final number of participants was 5,387, a new Guinness World Records achievement.

The drama!

Coming soon on City Desk: an interview with one of tomorrow's snowball fight organizers.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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