The nation’s first ever community-wide festival of laughter, Gilda’s LaughFest, announced plans to kick off this year’s festival by inviting the community to help set another Guinness World Record on Thursday, March 6, for the most people wearing sunglasses in the dark.

The Community Kickoff will be at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids and will include giveaways, a photo booth, and all world record participants will receive official LaughFest sunglasses, which are being supplied by Baudville. The world record attempt will be followed with opening night events at downtown restaurants and a free comedy preview show.

The current Guinness World Record for largest number of people wearing sunglasses in the dark was set in July 2012 by 1,642 participants at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Here is the line up for the March 6 – LaughFest Kickoff
• 5:30/6 p.m. – pre-kickoff activities, line-up
• 7 p.m. – world record practice and preliminary instructions
• 7:15 p.m. – official attempt to break the existing record

Last year, 1,532 West Michigananders joined LaughFest and wore false mustaches to set the Guinness World Record for the largest number of people wearing fake mustaches at a single venue. In 2012, 607 people wore chicken beaks and performed the chicken dance to set the record for the greatest number of people wearing animal noses. In 2011, 925 rubber chickens were tossed in downtown Grand Rapids, shattering the previous record of 265 set near Boston, so, we can do this!

The free opening night preview comedy show will be at the Pyramid Scheme (68 Commerce Ave.) at 10 p.m. and will include a sneak peak of local, regional, and national comedians who will be featured during the 10-day festival. A suggested $5 donation to Gilda’s Club will be collected at the door. Fast passes are available for these shows at LaughFest Central, which will guarantee the holder a seat at the show as long as they are seated 15 minutes prior to start time.

Tickets are also available for the Clean Comedy Showcase at The BOB at 8pm that night – tickets are $17.50 and $32.50 (includes dinner.)