Volunteers needed in bid for 'human poppy' to break world record
An east Belfast community group is appealing for 3,000 volunteers to help set a world record by creating a giant human poppy later this month.
The Guinness World Record attempt is the brainchild of the Row on Row Committee, holding the event to commemorate Armistice Day, which this year marks 100 years since the end of the First World War.
Group spokesman Marc Thompson said yesterday participants will each receive a red or black poncho to wear to form a large-scale 'human poppy' on the Harbour Estate's Sydenham Road on Saturday, August 18.
"We're hoping people from across Northern Ireland and beyond will join us," explained Mr Thompson.
"Several people from the Republic of Ireland and Scotland have already indicated their intention to join us via our Facebook page."
The committee - which takes its name from a line in John McCrae's famous First World War poem In Flanders Fields - decided to launch its bid to create the world's largest human flower as part of the Armistice Belfast Remembers Project, supported by Belfast City Council.
"The current record for the biggest human flower made up of 2,567 people is held by Country Garden Crape Myrtle Real Estate Company at Hunan, China, on September 10, 2017," Mr Thompson said.
"So we're seeking people to come to the Sydenham Road to help create a giant poppy in recognition of all those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War."
Sport clubs, bands, businesses, community groups and churches - as well as individuals - are encouraged to come along to the event that will start at 10am, Mr Thompson added.
Once participants are placed into position, they must remain there for five minutes as independent adjudicators look on.
Stressing that it is an event open to everyone, not just those living in Belfast, he continued: "We need people to turn up, hail, rain or shine.
"We ask those who want to be part of this very special Armistice event to please make sure you join us.
"We can only break the record if everyone who says they're going to participate, turns up.
"It would be great to claim this Guinness World Record for Northern Ireland and what better background could you have for such an attempt than the iconic shipyard cranes."
Mr Thompson said the event also has a poignant message behind it.
"This is saying thank you to that generation from all backgrounds who gave so much, by doing something special," he said.
Participants must be aged at least 16 years old and anyone interested can register attendance via the Row on Row Facebook site or request further details by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.