Trying for the Santa hat record, from Brockton to Ireland

BROCKTON—More than 1,500 people gathered in downtown Brockton today to achieve a big goal: Setting a Guinness world record for the most number of Santa hats worn simultaneously on two continents.

After a bitter rivalry between Brockton and Mullingar, a town northwest of Dublin in Ireland, to try to have the most Santa hat wearers in one place, the two communities decided to join forces this year and create a joint record.

In Brockton, 1,541 came out and while numbers from Mullingar, have not yet been transmitted stateside, John Merian, organizer of the Santa Hat Challenge, felt confident the combined crowds would be enough to land both cities in the Guinness Book of World Records.

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Merian said the event is the perfect way to get adults and children tapped into the holiday spirit.

“Look at what that spirit did—it brought two countries together,” Merian said.

As children and parents danced and waved in Brockton’s central business district, revelers did the same in downtown Mullingar. A live video feed transmitted real-time footage from one continent to the other, so hat wearers could see and hear their counterparts on a large TV screen.

Merian said he’s already in talks with an Australian city for next year’s Santa Hat Challenge to make it a three-continent celebration.