A human Christmas tree, 889 people strong, was formed in a Lacombe athletic park last week, setting an unofficial Guinness World Record.
There were some nail biting moments on Friday when the people count for the tree formation stalled at 730 participants.
But everyone involved immediately phoned friends and family members, asking them to join, and soon the count grew to the final tally.
“As soon as people heard we were short … you could see them pull out their cellphones and start texting and calling friends to come down,” said Norma MacQuarrie, the City of Lacombe’s chief administrative officer.
Within another 10 minutes, there was enough community participation to beat a former human Christmas tree world record of 852 people, set in November by a group of Thai school children.
“This was mass-mobilization at its purest form,” said Lacombe’s community and economic development officer Guy Lapointe, who noted the effort didn’t hinge on just one organization, but depended on people showing up after a call for participants was made by the City of Lacombe.
In the end, it wasn’t exactly like the vintage Coke commercial from the 1970s, where everyone held candles and sang I’d like to teach the world to sing.
Lacombe participants wore different coloured garbage bags to make their tree formation.
But the colours were festive, with people in yellow bags forming a star on top, while those wearing red and blue bags looking like decorative ornaments on a bright green tree.
“It really demonstrates what our community is capable of when we work together towards a common goal,” said MacQuarrie, who was very pleased with the effort, which took about an hour to complete.
“People had a lot of fun and the weather co-operated,” she added.
Photos and data were sent to Guinness World Records and city officials expect to hear back within a month.