Monday, Nov 10, 2014
The string of 10,036 red berries shattered the previous record for longest line of fruits
by Kristine A. Brown
On Saturday, Nov. 8, Rider University undertook its first ever Guinness World Records attempt to create the world’s Longest Line of Fruits. Six hours and 10,036 cranberries later, the University and hundreds of students, staff, alumni and friends who painstakingly strung the giant string of fruit were named official Guinness World Record holders.
The world record attempt, a highlight of Rider’s 150th anniversary celebration, was a way to honor the University’s founder and namesake, Andrew J. Rider, a cranberry farmer who introduced the cranberry to the queen of England. She later nicknamed him “The Cranberry King of New Jersey.”
Until yesterday’s attempt at Rider, the record for the Longest Line of Fruits was 6,010 peaches strung in Italy on Aug. 14, 2014. To break the record, Rider had to string 6,011 cranberries with — according to world record rules — every piece of fruit touching the next one in the line.
Philip Robertson, an official adjudicator from Guinness World Records, was present for Rider’s record attempt. He oversaw the University’s stringing process from beginning to end and counted every cranberry before declaring the record broken approximately six hours after beginning the process.
In front of a packed crowd in Alumni Gym, Robertson announced that Rider University had officially strung 10,036 cranberries, far more than needed to break the world record.
To make the world record attempt a reality, Rider received a generous donation of cranberries from Judy Simons Church ’80, owner and operator of Simons Berry Farm in Tabernacle, N.J., a 275-acre farm that produces about 650,000 pounds of cranberries per year. The 185-year-old farm is located not far from the cranberry farm originally owned and operated by Andrew J. Rider. Church sells predominantly to Ocean Spray. Secretary and co-chairman of the public relations committee of the American Cranberry Growers Association, she says the majority of New Jersey cranberries, including hers, become Craisins.
Church donated a variety heirloom cranberry called — fittingly — Champion, which grow on vines that are more than 100 years old, nearly as old as Rider itself.
In an effort to be environmentally conscious and meet additional Guinness World Record rules, the cranberries were strung on biodegradable thread. After the record attempt was determined successful, the University placed the string of cranberries on trees and bushes around campus so the wildlife could enjoy the “fruits of their labor.”