Seattle won a place in the Guinness World Records for the largest snowball fight when about 5,800 people turned out at the Seattle Center to toss snowballs at one another, officials said Monday.
More than 30 truckloads of snow were brought in from Cascades for Saturday’s event, which included a snow fort building competition and pub crawl. Snow Day was a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County.
The event was witnessed by a Guinness adjudicator who verified a count of 5,834 and presented a record certificate, said a spokeswoman for the Guinness World Records office in New York. Seattle beat the previous record of about 5,400 at a 2010 snowball fight in South Korea.
It took more than three months of planning and high-tech monitoring to make sure an afternoon of fun met Guinness criteria for record-setting, said organizer Neil Bergquist.
About 6,000 tickets were sold online, and participants got bar-coded wristbands that were scanned as they entered and left the location, so at any time they had an instant count.
Then for the official 90-second snowball fight, 130 judges watched for pacifists. Anyone not throwing snowballs was deducted from the total, Bergquist said Monday.
With that kind of real-time information, it was easy for Guinness adjudicator Philip Robertson to declare a record and present a certificate.
Guinness was still updating its website Monday, said spokeswoman Jamie Panas in the New York office.
Bergquist said he got the idea for a snowball fight fundraiser to have fun and raise money for kids “by remembering what it was like to feel like a kid.”
It was a side project for Bergquist, who is a director at Surf Incubator, which provides office space, consulting and other resources for tech startups.
After trucking in snow and other costs, the event raised about $50,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs.