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Marshmallow roast is Saturday

Brownback plans to be on hand to help set world record

News editor

Marion County Park and Lake will try to set a world record for most people simultaneously roasting marshmallows Saturday afternoon and evening.

The world-record idea came about as a solution of what to do with a giant pile of tree limbs that were knocked down during a storm that hit the lake and Marion in summer 2011.

The attempt has garnered attention across the state. Marion County Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman announced Monday that Gov. Sam Brownback plans to participate in the roast.

The goal is to have 1,000 or more people participate, but Park and Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson said he wouldn’t be surprised if as many as 1,700 people participate.

When is the marshmallow roast?

Gates open at 3:30 p.m. Saturday for participants to be counted. The gates will be open until 5 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., a cannon blast will signal participants to begin roasting their marshmallows, which must continue for at least 10 seconds, and he marshmallows must show signs of cooking.

Where should visitors park?

There will be no parking in the area immediately around the site of the marshmallow roast. Buses will shuttle people from the spillway parking lot at the east end of the dam, by the heated dock, and campgrounds east of the site. Parking attendant volunteers will direct people to appropriate parking spots.

Who can participate?

Everyone except children younger than 5 may participate, but children ages 5 through 12 must be with a participating adult because of safety considerations. The event is not restricted to Marion County residents.

Will other things be happening?

Vendors will be allowed to sell food, drinks, and souvenirs, as long as they are willing to serve participants across the fence, because once they enter, they can’t leave without being disqualified from the attempt, Hudson said.

A local band will play before the marshmallow roast.

What is the weather forecast?

As of noon Tuesday, the weather forecast for Saturday called for a sunny day with a high temperature of about 81 degrees. Wet weather is projected to continue through Thursday.

Hudson said wind will be a bigger problem for having the roast than rain. Firefighters who will manage the fire told him they can start the fire even during rain. But a strong wind could limit participants to staying on one side of the fire, or event make it unsafe to have the fire at all.

Do I need to bring anything?

Marion County Park and Lake will provide all marshmallows and roasting sticks. Roasting sticks were cut by volunteers and county workers, and the county has a deal in place to purchase marshmallows at a discounted price, although they may yet be donated, Hudson said.

Last modified March 21, 2012

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