Laugh Fest Aims to Set World Record

The nation’s first ever community-wide festival of laughter, Gilda’sLaughFest, has announced plans to kick off this year’s festival by inviting the community to help set another Guinness World Record on Thursday, March 6, for the most people wearing sunglasses in the dark. The Community Kickoff will take place at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids and will include giveaways, a photo booth, and all world record participants will receive official LaughFest sunglasses, which are being supplied by Baudville. The world record attempt will be followed with opening night events at downtown restaurants and a free comedy preview show.

The current Guinness World Record for largest number of people wearing sunglasses in the dark was achieved in July 2012 by 1,642 participants at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Ill

• March 6 – LaughFest Kickoff

• 5:30/6 p.m. – pre-kickoff activities, line-up

• 7 p.m. – world record practice and preliminary instructions

• 7:15 p.m. – official attempt to break the existing record

“This year’s festival kic off with our attempt to break another World Record is going to be seriously fun. This free event will help set the stage for 10-days of laughter for the health of it,” shared Wendy Wigger, president of Gilda’s LaughFest and Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. “And, what better way to shun the winter blues than with the optimistic donning of bright yellow sunglasses!”

Last year, 1,532 individuals joined LaughFest and donned false mustaches to set the Guinness World Record for the largest number of people wearing fake mustaches at a single venue. In 2012, 607 people wore chicken beaks and performed the chicken dance to set the record for the greatest number of people wearing animal noses. In 2011, 925 rubber chickens were tossed in downtown Grand Rapids, shattering the previous record of 265 set near Boston, Mass.

The free opening night preview comedy show will be held at the Pyramid Scheme (68 Commerce Ave.) at 10 p.m.and will include a sneak peak of local, regional, and national comedians who will be featured during the 10-day festival. A suggested $5 donation to Gilda’s Club will be collected at the door. Fast passes are available for these shows atLaughFest Central, which will guarantee the holder a seat at the show as long as they are seated 15 minutes prior to start time.

Tickets are also available for the Clean Comedy Showcase at The BOB at 8pm that night – tickets are $17.50 and $32.50 (includes dinner.)

LaughFest 2014 will be held in Grand Rapids, Lowell, and Holland from March 6 through March 16. LaughFestheadliners include: Jay Leno, Jim Gaffigan, Lily Tomlin, Sinbad, Mike Birbiglia, and Chris Tucker. Other acts announced include: Maria Bamford, Miranda Sings, Todd Barry, Rory Scovel, and Nick Thune, The Tenderloins, Judah Friedlander, Jen Kirkman, Blackout Diaries, and the stars of MTV’s Guy Code. New and returning activities include FUNderwear 5K, Seriously Funny Family Adventure Challenge, and People and Pets. Showcases and competitions include: Best of the Midwest, National Stand-up Comedy Showcase, and Clean Comedy Showcase.

Gilda’s LaughFest was created by a team at Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids in 2011. Since inception, LaughFest has averaged 55,000 attendees per year. Proceeds from the festival will go to support the free cancer, grief, and emotional health programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. Visit, or call 616-735-HAHA (4242) to learn more about Gilda’s LaughFest


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