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Party poppers for Peru trip

Fourth of July celebrants like to make noise in a big way and this year Brainerd High School (BHS) Spanish language students are hoping to set a record and raise money for their Peru trip while they add to the holiday din.

Haley Anderson (left) and Annie Grabowski pick up the buttons that they and other Brainerd High School Spanish students will be selling. The buttons act as tickets to participate in an attempt to break a Guinness World Record for “most people popping party poppers” on the Fourth of July. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch)
Haley Anderson (left) and Annie Grabowski pick up the buttons that they and other Brainerd High School Spanish students will be selling. The buttons act as tickets to participate in an attempt to break a Guinness World Record for “most people popping party poppers” on the Fourth of July. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch)

Fourth of July celebrants like to make noise in a big way and this year Brainerd High School (BHS) Spanish language students are hoping to set a record and raise money for their Peru trip while they add to the holiday din.

Third- and fourth-year Spanish students are selling buttons that allow the contributors to participate in an attempt to break a Guinness World Record for "most people popping party poppers" on the Fourth of July. Party poppers, for the uninitiated, are celebratory noisemakers that sometimes release confetti when they're popped. The current record listed on the Guinness World Records website is 743 people, a feat that was achieved by Grey Court School in Great Britain in July of 2013.

Here's how the high school students plan to beat the record. The people who have purchased buttons to participate in the record-breaking attempt will gather at an enclosed area at the playground of Lincoln Education Center (located on Sixth Street) at 1:30 p.m. on July 4. Participants must bring their buttons in order to participate. Participants will be given their party poppers at that time and at some point start a countdown toward a 2 p.m. party poppers celebration.

The location of the world record attempt will be right at the center of Fourth of July activities, just across the street from the high school's north parking lot, where the sound stage for Fourth of July festivities will be set up, according to Marnie Grabowski, the mother of a Spanish language student. She said the young people are excited about the trip, which will include a homestay with a family, volunteering in a school project and a visit to Machu Picchu.

The party poppers record attempt follows on the heels of other fundraising activities which include brat sales, bagging groceries and car washes. The volunteer fundraising hours that are contributed by the students are tracked and they're helped accordingly when it comes to financing the trip. Those who are interested may follow the students' efforts on Twitter by using #brd4thofjulyworldrecord.

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Grabowski said they're hoping, at a minimum, to break the record and possibly to have as many as 1,000 party poppers going off at 2 p.m. - the designated time for the party poppers to go off.

Grabowski said Guinness World Records has a list of specific rules that have to be met in order to set a record. She said the young people are excited about the venture, but admitted that they're venturing into unknown territory.

"We're all just wondering," she said. "We really have no idea if this will be a great success or a total flop," Grabowski said.

If you go

What: Attempt to break Guinness World Record for "most people popping party poppers."

When: Group gathers at 1:30 p.m. and party poppers are popped at 2 p.m. on the Fourth of July.

Where: Playground of Lincoln Education Center in Brainerd (between Sixth Street and Brainerd High School).

Why: Fundraiser for Brainerd High School Spanish language students' trip to Peru.

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