DANVILLE — The weather didn’t cooperate in last year’s first-time attempt to break the world record for the Largest Gathering of Santa’s Elves.
This year, “we got a roof,” said organizer Roxy Reed.
Maybe the third time’s the charm, after last year’s event still didn’t succeed after an attempted reschedule.
The public is invited to be counted and be a part of history at Nov. 15’s Elf Celebration at Danville High School Fieldhouse. This is the first day for the Festival of Trees at the David S. Palmer Arena and the Night of Lights Parade also will be that night.
The fieldhouse can hold 5,000 people, Reed said.
“I think it’s just exciting to be a part of the community spirit and Christmas spirit,” she said.
Registration starts at 2 p.m. with the official count of elves at 3:45 p.m. When the official count comes, the group will sing “Silent Night.” There also is expected to be a flash mob elf dance.
“You don’t have to dress your ‘elfiest,’” Reed said, but there will be a best elf costume contest, in addition to prizes given for the youngest and oldest elves. Pants and shirts, however, must be red, green or a combination of both colors. Shoes don’t matter. Reed said participants can come in sweatpants and shirts, pajamas, or whatever. Big R is one store with red and green clothing, she said.
“Just come in red and green,” she said. A pointy hat and ears are required to be counted. A $5 Elf Celebration ticket will include an elf hat and ears for the official count and aerial photo; free admission to the Festival of Trees after the event and after the Night of Lights Parade; coupon for one free Snowbow Treat (redeem at the David S. Palmer Arena after the Elf Show); and coupon for free festival admission good for any day. Tickets can be purchased through the David S. Palmer Arena box office.
Children under age 2 don’t need a ticket, but they must meet the dress requirements. Children under 12 also must be accompanied by an adult.
Everyone will receive a wrist band for the count and video cameras will document everyone wearing red and green and the elf hats.
Reed said the Guinness Book of World Records will be awaiting Danville’s results. The current record is 1,110 elves held by Weatherby, North Yorkshire, England.
Families and individuals, church groups, business and school groups, sports teams, dance groups, marching band members and anyone is encouraged to participate.If a group wants floor space to perform their dance or sport during the event from 2-4 p.m. at the fieldhouse, they can contact Reed at 260-0782 or email@example.com.
“We have different groups that are coming,” Reed said about cheerleading, sports and dance groups.
There will be entertaining elves, elves playing basketball and the world’s largest snowball fight.
“We are going for two world records,” Reed said about also seeking the record for World’s Largest Santa Sack.
Reed’s mother sewed a Santa sack that is 25 feet around and 10 feet tall. It will be suspended high above in the fieldhouse and will hold 800 mini beach balls for the snowball fight.
Mayor Scott Eisenhauer will be the master of ceremonies during the event and be dressed as Buddy the Elf from the movie “Elf” staring Will Ferrell. He will keep the group updated on the growing number of elves.
There also will be a visit from Santa.
“We just need everyone to come and support it and be a part of it,” Reed said. “I’m excited.” It’s great for families and all ages, she added.
After the event, the elves are invited to walk with Santa in the downtown Night of Lights Parade at 5:30 p.m. Line up starts at 5 p.m.
Activities after the parade will include the Snowbow Elf Show on stage at the Festival of Trees at the arena at 7 p.m.
See how Santa and his “snowbow elves” figure out how to raise the Christmas Spirit around the world.
The show features cameo appearances from the Easter Bunny and Great Pumpkin. Elves also can take Elfie Selfies and plant a candy cane garden.
“I just think it will be magical and special,” Reed said of the event.
Having parents and their children dressed up together adds to the magic for the children, she said.
Angie Lazzell, festival event coordinator with the Presence United Samaritans Medical Center’s Foundation, said moving the Elf Celebration to an indoor venue and away from the arena helps keeps the group separate to be officially counted and photographed.
Lazzell said they hope for a great turnout and encourage everyone to come.
“There’s a lot of fun things for the kids to do. It should be fun ...,” she said.