LACEY - Shipwreck Beads in Hawks Prairie likely set a Guinness World Record for the longest bead strand at 3,468 feet Saturday, shattering the old record of 402 feet, organizers said.
In addition to setting a record, Saturday’s event doubled as a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County. For every foot of beads, the company donated $1 to raise $3,470, said Pat Simmons, creative director at Shipwreck Beads.
“It was quite a feat, and everything went perfect,” he said.
Bead retailer Shipwreck Beads decided to attempt the feat after a board member at the bead company learned of a similar attempt by another bead company, Simmons said. A group in China set the previous record at 402 feet, 2.76 inches in October.
A representative from Guinness did not attend the event, but organizers took pictures, shot video and documented their attempt, Simmons said. All of the documentation later will be sent to Guinness for a chance to appear in the next edition of the Guinness World Records book, he said. Also on hand Saturday to verify the proceedings were Lacey Police Cmdr. Dusty Pierpoint, former Lacey Mayor Virgil Clarkson and current Mayor Graeme Sackrison. Lori Flemm, Lacey’s Parks & Recreation director, measured the strand of beads.
The attempt at a record had to be set during a 24-hour period, so it got under way at 9 a.m. Saturday, Simmons said. Eventually, 74 people showed up to string beads. They used pony beads, which are plastic beads with large holes to make it easier to string onto bead cord. Some other statistics:
• The record attempt required an estimated 350,000 beads.
• About 50 spools of bead cord were used.
• Each spool had about 80 feet of cord.
All of the beads were strung about noon; after that, the organizers spent the next couple of hours unspooling the bead strands and stretching them down Commerce Place and Willamette Drive.
Ruth Greening, a Shipwreck Beads customer who also teaches at the bead store, strung beads onto bead cord for about an hour, she said. “I want to support them as much as I can,” she said about the owners of the business. Shipwreck is owned by Glenn Vincent and his two sisters.
Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403