HANNIBAL | Hannibalians proved they wanted to celebrate the city's bicentennial in a huge way on Saturday, Dec. 14, by gathering along North Main Street to simultaneously eat 1,889 cupcakes.
Although this Guinness record-breaking dessert contest will not be officially won until records have been provided to the Guinness personnel, with 1,889 tokens distributed, then exchanged for cupcakes and all eaten at 7 p.m., this broke the previous record of 1,558 cupcakes eaten at one time and place.
The goal was 2019 cupcakes for year of the Hannibal bicentennial.
“It is a success, but we can't declare it official yet,” Gail Bryant, leader of the bicentennial committee, said. She explained the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce, which coordinated the cupcake challenge, “will send all the documents and videos to validate participation” to the Guinness organization.
The cupcake challenge was scheduled Dec. 14 in conjunction with the Living Windows sponsored by the Historic Hannibal Marketing Council, Bryant said, because this event is always very popular.
“Overall, the evening was a huge success,” she said. “Visitors from Germany, Illinois, Kansas, and all throughout Missouri came to share in the Living Windows and the cupcake challenge. … A very, very special thanks to everyone who came out for the event.”
Bryant added “a special thanks to the downtown merchants, the chamber of commerce, the bicentennial committee and all of the volunteers that made this event successful.”
As people registered and received their cupcake tokens at three outdoor locations on North Main Street, they also took their children to see the Living Windows.
A street musician, Austin Kohlhepp, was playing a 1917 baritone sax that he bought on eBay.
At Main and Broadway, the Living Windows featured dogs ready for adoption from the Northeast Missouri Humane Society shelter. One was a German Shepherd/Shar-Pei mix.
Violin music was played inside Bits and Pieces. At the Powder Room, Santa danced in a window.
Steve Ayers was portraying the mayor of Whoville as he helped prepare for hot chocolate to be served outside Java Jive.
Later in the evening all the Grinch people were to gather around a little Christmas tree at Center and North Main.
When the cupcakes were distributed, everyone was told to hold them until a fire siren was sounded at 7 p.m., signaling everyone to take a bite at the same time.
Gordon and Ashley Harrison and their daughters, Lydia, Genevieve and Vivian, were patiently waiting for the signal as they posed for a photo without taking a bite. They had come to get their tokens earlier and returned at 6:30 to be ready to participate.
After the cupcakes were eaten, the totals were announced, and the jubilant crowd continued to enjoy the Living Windows.
See photo gallery for more pictures of Living Windows and the cupcake challenge.