Saturday, October 9, 2010

World's Largest Smiley Face

On the morning of the opening of the Amway Center, hundreds of people gathered on the roof of the parking garage adjacent to the Center to set a Guinness World record for the largest group of people to assemble to create a smiley face. When I starred the sketch the crowd was rather thin but slowly people arrived. Each person was given either a bright yellow or a black poncho. The previous record was 250 people who stood for ten minutes assembled to look like a smiley face. Over the loudspeaker an announcer said, "As soon as you enter the smile zone we want to see those pearly whites."
Mayor Buddy Dyer addressed the assembled crowd along with Brian Dirk the chief operating officer of Smile Train. This organization is responsible for helping get operations for children born with cleft pallets. The organization was given a check for $19,825. One area of the parking garage had hundreds of note cards lying on the pavement arranged in a circular pattern. This was the smile zone. People were given note cards with numbers and letters on it. They needed to locate the matching numbers and letters in the smile zone to know where to stand. When they were in place the announcer said, "Everyone, please put the hoods of your ponchos up." At the last minute volunteers put on yellow ponchos and squeezed in to fill in any holes. Several children who had cleft pallet operations then joined in.
The photographers on the lift verified that a smile was formed. Three helicopters hoovered noisily above the garage and the assembled crowd waited for ten minutes to set the record. Mark Baratelli who took over as the announcer shouted, "Anyone need to use the bathroom?" A few hands rise. "No! Welcome to Orlando!" Everyone was instructed to shout out "Orlando makes me smile!" Finally the clock countdown indicated the record had been set. A bullhorn blast sounded. People started to walk away and the volunteers shouted out, "Go back, Go back!" Morgan from the Guinness World book of records took the stage and announced that the record had been broken with 500 people. Many of the participants came from around the country because they won a competition by answering the following question, Why does Orlando make you smile? One contestant wrote, "It makes my wife smile and what makes her smile makes me smile even more."

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at


Lou Belcher said...

Nothing better than a smiley face... Nice sketch.

Sultana said...

Love the last quote you used from that contestant Thor. Like they say "happy wife, happy life." That is a smart man :)

PerfectHannah said...

Insipid. SMILE!

SKIZO said...