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Lynden shatters one-year old world record hayride

At 2011 Northwest Washington Fair

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

LYNDEN, Washington Ė It only took eleven minutes into the ride to make it official: Lyndenís annual agricultural fair had landed itself into the Guinnes Book of World Records with the largest ever hay ride. A lead man guided driver Jason Jansen and his ten semi trailers around the corners of the loop-shaped track in front of the spectatorís grandstand of the Northwest Washington Fair. The hay bale rows on the ten LTI trailer beds seated 639 people, up from the far more modest 2010 record of 249 in South Carolina.

It is not known if the eleven minutes for such a record-breaking event shattered a record, but other aspects of the event may well have if they could have classified for an existing category. Lynden Transport International (LTI), a transportation conglomerate, which was started decades ago with one truck in Lynden, previously had participated in Lynden community events with a string of eight 28-foot semi trailers but never before ten of them. It is doubtful as well that any hay ride, pulled by a heavy duty snow plough, used 300,000 pounds of hay before to seat that many people, from toddlers to grandparents. However, there are other record-shattering events with more people participating.

One-day record

The fairís general manager Jim Baron looks back at the Guinnes world record feat with fondness, an effort worth repeating, although he doubts that Lynden should try to beat its own record. The previous record was set in April 2010 in Lancaster, SC. It bested a 2007 McKinney, Texas record with 217 people seated on six trailers, pulled by a 2007 Toyota Tundra model.

The issue of setting records is never far from Baronís mind, however. He and his predecessors at the 101-year old fair have a history of going for records, especially attendance records. Although an overall attendance record eluded them this year, the fair did set a single- day attendance record of 43,138, for a total of nearly 220,000, still one of the best. Just hours before the closure of the 2011 fair edition, a 15-year old youth allegedly killed another fairgoer in what is thought to be a gang related incident.

A city of 12,500 near the border with Canada, Lynden has been home to a significant concentration of people with roots in the Netherlands, going back as far as the 1890s. Lyndenís Dutch-descended arrivals at first came from Oak Harbor, Washington and other Dutch immigrant settlements in the USA. Lynden is a sister city of Langley, BC.