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Local Hand Bell Choir Joins In World Record

Members of Bells on the Bay were at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN, on Saturday, November 19, 2016 to help set a new Guinness World Record for “largest handbell ensemble.”

Members of Bells on the Bay participated in The Big Ring, a record-breaking handbell performance on November 19th at the Mall of America. Front row (L to R): Bev Rantanen and Sally Klaasen. Back row (L to R): Woody Gaulke, Robin Henry, Nancy Sailor, and Sherry Cheek.
Members of Bells on the Bay participated in The Big Ring, a record-breaking handbell performance on November 19th at the Mall of America. Front row (L to R): Bev Rantanen and Sally Klaasen. Back row (L to R): Woody Gaulke, Robin Henry, Nancy Sailor, and Sherry Cheek.

The Big Ring event was a collaboration between The Salvation Army, The Handbell Musicians of America, and the Mall of America to kick off the Salvation Army’s red kettle season. The previous world record was set in 2013 in Japan with 564 ringers.

Guinness rules for the record-breaking attempt required at least 5 minutes of performance, all ringers were pre-registered and wristbanded to aid an accurate count, and stewards monitored every 50 ringers to ensure full participation.

Ringers from 24 states and Canada arrived at the Mall of America to perform a medley of “Carol of the Bells” and “Silver Bells,” arranged by Hart Morris.

Following the performance, the Guinness officials conferred, agreed that all requirements had been met, and announced that a new record had been set with 664 ringers.

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