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Laughfest kicks off in Grand Rapids, falls short on fifth record attempt

Posted at 9:02 PM, Mar 05, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Gilda’s LaughFest, the nation’s first-ever community-wide festival of laughter, began Thursday evening at Fountain Street Church in downtown Grand Rapids. The event has quickly earned a reputation for being one of the nation’s marquee events for both participants and artists. This major 10-day festival includes events throughout West Michigan.

It is traditional for festival organizers to attempt to break a world This year, attendees of the kick-off event failed to break another Guinness World Record. LaughFest officials set the number of people wearing paper crowns at 489. The number to beat was 1,324 set in July 2014 by participants in Tamilnadu, India.

LaughFest has broken four Guinness World Records since the festival’s start in 2011. Last year, 1,675 people set the record for most people wearing sunglasses in the dark. In 2013, the record for most most individuals donning false mustaches at a single venue was broken with 1,532 people taking part.

Created by Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids and launched in March 2011 to celebrate laughter for the health of it, the festival features stand-up, improv, film, authors, community showcases, and a variety of seriously funny stuff.