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April  22, 2010

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2,694 make ice cream chain for unofficial record

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More video from the world record

(Editor's note: Guinness judges have confirmed the record as official April 7, 2011!)

And they did it, at least unofficially: 2,694 people ate ice cream for one minute, counted down on the scoreboard at Ericson Field.

The current world record is 2,500, set in De Valladolid, Spain, in 2009. Augustana applied to challenge the record and received the go-ahead from Guinness in late March. Now the college will send in its documentation and wait for the Guinness judges to certify the results.

The event was held for fun, of course, and to celebrate Augustana's 150th anniversary. Whitey's Ice Cream introduced a new flavor — Augustana Viking Pride — especially for the college's sesquicentennial. Viking Pride is peanut butter ice cream with fudge swirls and Oreo chunks.

Headlines:

Ice cream world record a tasty good time (The Dispatch/Rock Island Argus)

Quad-Citians fill Augustana field to break ice cream record (Quad City Times)

Ice cream licking world record broken on Augustana's campus (WQAD)

Cups of it were handed out to all as volunteers and Whitey's workers raced up and down lines of people, substituting vanilla for those with peanut allergies. After listening to their instructions, people were finally told to "Remove your lids" by emcee Kai Swanson of Augustana, and begin.

After the minute clicked off, a huge cheer went up and people finished their ice cream in a more leisurely fashion. It was their first taste of Viking Pride and it got good reviews all around. All those who attended were given a certificate for a free dip cone from Whitey's as they left.

In addition to the 2,694 members of the community, college students and staff, more than 60 supervisors, who had to be unaffiliated with the college, served to help certify the numbers and Guinness procedures. Volunteer teachers from Longfellow School used clickers to count every person entering and leaving the field.

Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley and Cassie Heiter from WQAD TV-8 served as official witnesses for the effort.