The holiday season kicked off this weekend in Brockton, as the city held its annual Santa Hat Challenge. The city of Brockton and Mullingar, Ireland joined forces yesterday to set a new world record for the most Santa hats worn simultaneously on two continents.
Each community held a number of events to commemorate the joint effort and even communicated through a live video stream. The Santa Hat Challenge began four years ago to celebrate Brockton being home to the first-ever department store Santa Claus and played by store owner James Edgar in 1890. Brockton City Councilor Robert Sullivan took a moment to applaud the annual event.
“Every year this is a well-attended event, its family oriented, my family is here today, the three kids and my wife,” said Sullivan, “This is, I think, the most crowded events that I’ve seen in past memory. It’s just a good think for the City of Champions and the community as a whole.”
Brockton’s final total was 1,541, which was shy of last year’s mark of 1,792. Despite the results, Merian says he was happy with the event.
“I think it was incredibly successful and I think it was successful because you saw a lot of little kids here and it’s great because they’re going to remember this,” said Merian, ” They’re going to remember this for the rest of their lives, they’re going to want to be a part of it, they’re going to want to be a part of their community as a result of it and ultimately if that is the message, we’ve done our job; it was a success.”
Merian says he expects the joint venture to make the record books, once Mullingar’s results are made official. Plans are already under way to add Melbourne, Australia as a third continent to next year’s Santa Hat Challenge.