In an incredible show of community collaboration last night, State College residents broke the world record for the largest display of ice lanterns, or luminaries, in an event called “Light Up State College.” Organized in part by the Make Space, Centre Foundation, and Knight Foundation, the group rallied residents together to create ice luminaries in their homes using kits distributed from local businesses.
The previous world record of 2,651 luminaries was set in 2013 by the residents of Vuollerim, Sweden. Over one thousand State College residents smashed that record by creating 5,622 luminaries. Light Up State College is working to recognize groups and individuals who contributed to the project by sending out certificates for their participation.
Organizers of Light Up State College embarked on the mission of breaking the world record six months ago. Everything from figuring out what type of ice luminaries would be feasible for people to make on their own and sorting out the logistics of the event itself had to be determined well in advance.
“We planned for 3,600 luminaries and when we realized we were breaking 4,000, we sent people all over town to grab any lights that they could.” Organizers had to purchase an additional 1,000 candles from Bed Bath & Beyond and Wal-Mart to make sure that everyone who made a luminary could contribute.
“It was astounding,” organizer Eric Furjanic said. “I’m blown away by the community response.”