County may boast a record roast


MarshmallowRoastAirWater512 Marion County successfully took the first step Saturday toward setting world record for roasting the most marshmallows simultaneously in a single venue with almost 1,300 people participating.

Steve Hudson, Marion County Park and Lake superintendent, said the next step is getting the documentation together to send off to officials with the Guinness Book of World Records.

?It will take about two to four months before we get recognized or not (for setting the record),? he said. ?At this time, no one has made this attempt in this category.?

Hudson said feedback from Saturday?s event at the county lake has been mostly positive.

?I have had quite a few people saying it was a good event, and some not (happy),? he said. ?But you can?t take it personally?it was a huge undertaking.?

Hudson said any new thing comes with a lot of ?could ofs and should ofs,? and some things happen that are unpredictable?the fire being one of those. The record attempt was delayed 35 minutes because of excessive heat and smoke.

The final tally of people roasting a marshmallow was 1,282 people with 10 disqualifications.

?A disqualification includes the marshmallow not getting roasted, or if the roasting stick is empty when it comes through the gate,? he said.

MarshmallowGuvFleming5166 Saturday?s roast

Within an hour of opening the gates, Hudson said things ?were hopping.?

He had hoped more people would have shown up earlier instead of at the last-minute, which contributed to the later start time.

?It was still a beautiful day,? he said, ?and the weather was fantastic.?

Mary Almaguer, who lives at the county lake, said she hasn?t ever been involved in a world record event, but said it was exciting.

For Zoie Young and her friend, Jerry Kelsie, both of Wichita, the roast was a ?neat idea.?

Another lake resident, Amber Hancock, said she though it was a great way to get rid of (debris) from last year?s spring storm.

?I am actually surprised (at the crowd),? she said.

Mark and Lisa Johnson of Marion and their son, Jarrett, brought their own roasting sticks.

?My son and I were working outside (today) and came up with the idea of these 10-foot cane fishing poles,? Mark said.

Johnson said he and his family were participating because of the opportunity to be in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Boy Scout leaders Terry Holt and Todd Jost, along with Scouts from their respective troops, served as the honor guard and roasted a marshmallow, too.

MarshmallowRecordLightingtheFire Doug Kjellin, Marion city administrator, sang the national anthem before the roast and Marion County Commissioner Dan Holub signaled the official start of the event start with his one-third-sized 17th-century naval cannon.

Governor and AG

Gov. Sam Brownback, wife Mary and children Jenna and Mark were among the participants.

?I think it is fabulous,? Brownback said. ?This is what rural communities have to offer, and it is a nice get-together. People are happy and it is a gorgeous day?this is what it?s all about. This is beautiful country.?

Another state official, Attorney General Derek Schmidt also attended the event and enjoyed talking with Marion County residents.

?What a terrific idea,? Schmidt said of the roast, ?and it looks like a world-record crowd. It?s also a great way to share our story (with the world).?

Schmidt?s wife, Jennifer, agreed.

?We don?t know how (the county) did this,? she said. ?It never occurred to me there were so many rules (for setting a record).?

MarshmallowRecordRoasting For the Schmidts, last year?s severe storms ended with a silver lining by turning something destructive into something good.

The couple?s two daughters, Caroline and Claire, were among the participants, too.

Hudson said he was happy the governor and attorney general were there.

?It was impressive,? he said, ?and we were happy to get their support?and they were among the count.?

Hudson said he wanted to thank everyone who participated?especially the many volunteers, firefighters and emergency personnel.

Hudson said it was a lot of work, and he couldn?t have done it without a lot of help.


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