LaughFest wins new Guiness World Record with 1,675 participants


Guinness World Records has officially certified that Gilda’s LaughFest, the nation’s only community-wide festival of laughter, broke the previous record for the most people wearing sunglasses in the dark. With 1,675 participants, Gilda’s LaughFest now officially holds the record.

Photos: Sunglasses world record

On March 6, 2014, LaughFest enthusiasts lined up near Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids to kick off the 2014 festival by attempting to set a new world record. LaughFest officials set the number of people wearing sunglasses in the dark record at 1,675 for five minutes. The previous Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people wearing sunglasses in the dark was achieved in July 2012 by 1,642 participants at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Ill.

“We had a seriously fun time at this year’s world record attempt,” said Wendy Wigger, president, Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids and LaughFest. “We want to send a special thank you to everyone who came out and donned sunglasses as we kicked off the fourth annual LaughFest and set this record!”

LaughFest has broken three other Guinness World Records. In 2013, 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 individuals set the Guinness World Record for the greatest number of people wearing animal noses (specifically chicken beaks!) at a single venue. In 2011, 925 rubber chickens were tossed in downtown Grand Rapids, shattering the previous record of 265 set near Boston, Mass.

New and returning LaughFest activities included FUNderwear 5K, Seriously Funny Family Adventure Challenge, Little Black Dress 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. For more information, visit

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