2017-02-01 / Shorts

Breaking the Ice Record

Kristen Sanchez

By the middle of winter many of us are cooped up indoors waiting for the sun to shine again. But on Feb. 4, downtown State College will light up and bring the community together in an event for the record books.

Breaking a world record is a feat on many a bucket list, but it can seem like a far-reaching fantasy. Luckily for the members of the State College community, all of the pesky details have already been handled — just add water. Community members need only worry about making their own luminaries — a simple activity that can be done for free at home or in a local makerspace — and bringing them downtown to help break the world record for largest ice lantern display.

On Saturday, Feb. 4  Allen Street will be closed off so participants can place their luminaries between 2 and 5 p.m. The big moment will begin at 6 p.m. when organizers will record a five-minute video to send to Guinness as proof of the accomplishment. The current record is held by Vuollerim, Sweden; to beat it, 2,652 luminaries are needed.

And that will only be possible with the community’s help. John Stitzinger, co-founder of The Make Space and creator of the Knight Foundation-sponsored event, is calling on everyone to join in. “We’d like organizations to encourage their members to possibly do something related to their organization and at least get their members to participate,” Stitzinger says, emphasizing that this record can only be broken if the community comes together and does their share. “We’d like individuals to pass kits along to their friends and families if they already have one in order to make even more.” The simple kit only takes about 24 hours to freeze, so one kit can make multiple luminaries.

Along with the provided luminary kits, which are available at participating businesses throughout downtown State College, there is a multitude of ways to make your own. Stitzinger suggests creating your own mold if desired. In order to be counted in the world record, the luminaries must be made of pure ice, no colors or decorations added, with simply enough space to fit the provided LED tea lights.
It’s a simple enough task, but all together, Light Up State College could create something big. Stitzinger explains the motive: “We were just looking for a project where everyone could simply make something.

We want something that everyone could easily do. The Make Space is about having projects that you can do there, so the idea is to be able to do this project on your own or as a community. We just want to highlight that.”

Visit for more information and to sign up to make your own luminaries.

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