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Setting a world record isn't easy

Staff writer

Apparently, a lot of thought goes into setting a world record.

Marion County Park and Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson outlined his plan for a record breaking marshmallow roast scheduled for March 24 at the Marion Chamber of Commerce Luncheon on Friday

The Guinness Book of World Records has certain requirements: there needs to be witnesses, supervisors of the event, video footage, high quality photographs, logbooks, statements, and measurements kept for the record to count.

It has been a staggering turn of events for Hudson who jokingly brought up the idea of a marshmallow roast last summer for the 18 feet high, 150 feet long pile of broken tree limbs from a storm last June.

“There’s been a lot of thought and sleepless nights,” Hudson said.

The tree pile currently rests on the far southern side of Marion County Lake and Hudson said brush would be cleared and the pile would be moved to a large fire pit location for the event.

Hudson is hoping to attract at least 1,000 people to the event. They would enter through a staging area and supervisors would watch them attach one marshmallow to a roasting stick. Participants cannot put 20 marshmallows on one stick.

Then witnesses would watch them at the pile to make sure the marshmallow was blackened and held over the fire 10 seconds, a record book regulation. Participants can not release the marshmallow straight into the fire.

“I don’t know how they came up with this,” Hudson said.

Participants would then need to come back to one of several prepared staging areas and the marshmallows would be inspected and would either qualify or be disqualified.

Hudson illustrated the setup on his white board. He drew some questions from Chamber secretary Margo Yates.

“What if I drop my marshmallow into the fire on accident?” she asked.

“You just grab another one; there should be plenty of marshmallows around,” Hudson said.

“What if its roasted and I drop it on the ground?” she asked.

“Just pick it up.”

The event, on the last Saturday of spring break for many schools is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. and last until 7:30. Hudson advised participants to bring lawn chairs and water for the duration.

He has contacted USD 408 and he will have buses available to shuttle people from a parking area to the fire.

He is trying to talk with marshmallow companies to receive a 1,000 marshmallow donation.

Hudson said vendors could set up near the staging area. Anyone 12 and older is welcome to come. Children under 12 are invited under the supervision of a participating adult.

“I’m just trying to get some notoriety for the lake and our towns,” Hudson said.

In other business:

  • The Marion and Hillsboro chambers had combined meeting Monday.
  • The officials for the Marion Chamber of commerce will stay the same 2012 with Don Noller as president and Shawn Geis and vice president.

Last modified Jan. 25, 2012

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