Skateboard parade record attempted to be broken

Brice Burge

An attempt will be made to break the Guinness world record for largest skateboard parade on Sunday, April 10 across the NMU campus. The parade is sponsored by NMU Skate & Snow and the Marquette Informal Longboarding Federation. NMU President Les Wong will be the Grand Marshall.

The current record is 250 riders. Cofounder Jeremy Johnson believes that number will be shattered. Using the current Facebook event dedicated to the attempt, 819 people are listed as attending with 612 maybe attending.

“We’re going to do it, there’s no doubt in my mind,” Johnson said. “If we don’t get it, we might try it next year, but I think it will happen.”

Some important details had to be worked out so that the attempt will count as the official world record. Three different routes were originally created before discovering the final route that worked for both the university as well as meeting the required one kilometer (3,281 feet) distance to be an official parade, and a Guinness record official will be in attendance. However, Johnson is concerned that there won’t be a continuous stream of riders that will help make a parade.

“It’s something hard to plan for,” he said. “You can only prepare for it and make sure you execute it the day of.”

Johnson also gave praise to the university as a whole, as many different groups have helped with the planning of the event, such as the Student Finance Committee, Facility Operations and Communication and Marketing.

“The university has given us the best response of anyone. Just everyone has been so great about this,” Johnson said.

The idea for the parade came after a discussion during a weekly Monday-night poker game with co-creators Jeremy Johnson, Devin Mahoney and Darren Young after discussing the increasing amount of longboarders joining weekly rides at the beginning of the school year.

“We had to go out to bigger hills for each ride, so we looked up (the record) during our game and said ‘250 people, we can beat that, so why don’t we?’”

The parade will start near the Thomas Fine Arts building, running through the Academic Mall, along parking lot 17 toward Whitman Hall before finishing on Elizabeth J. Harden Drive. Riders can register in the Academic Mall and at Whitman Hall the day of the event starting at 11 a.m. and are encouraged to bring extra longboards and skateboards for other participants.