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Lynden hungry for a world record strawberry shortcake

Strawberry shortcake with ice cream and whipped cream fills a 10-foot section of new gutter lined with waxed paper in front of the Lynden Chamber of Commerce office during a recent trial for the planned Farmers Day attempt at a world record 1,250-foot-long strawberry shortcake.
Strawberry shortcake with ice cream and whipped cream fills a 10-foot section of new gutter lined with waxed paper in front of the Lynden Chamber of Commerce office during a recent trial for the planned Farmers Day attempt at a world record 1,250-foot-long strawberry shortcake. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

This year’s Farmers Day Parade celebrates Lynden’s 125th year with an attempt to set a world record for the world’s longest strawberry shortcake on Saturday, June 4.

But it’s more than a gimmick for the parade, said Gary Vis, executive director of the Lynden Chamber of Commerce.

“We want to bring people together to work on a common project,” Vis said. “It’s amazing what you can do when you work together, even on something as ridiculous as a really long shortcake.”

Ridiculous, maybe, but folks in Lynden are taking the effort seriously.

We’re trying to highlight community foods. We’ll use real strawberries, not the jammy ones. These will be farm fresh.

Gary Vis, Lynden Chamber of Commerce

They plan for 125 10-foot sections of roofing gutter to stretch along four blocks of Front Street through Lynden’s historic downtown, from Seventh to Third streets. The gutter will be lined with waxed paper and filled with traditional strawberry shortcake ingredients.

The 1,250-foot length intentionally echoes the 125th anniversary.

“It’s all about the math,” Vis said.

To that end, Lynden officials have contacted the folks at Guinness World Records so that they follow the proper steps for establishing a record. Vis said they decided to attempt a “world’s longest” shortcake, because it was easier — and more likely to withstand a challenge — than one based on area or volume. They’ll start assembling the shortcakes right after the last tractors and farm implements have passed from the 106th annual Farmers Day Parade. Volunteers are always welcome, Vis said.

It won’t be the only local Guinness record attempt this weekend. Dewey Griffin Subaru of Bellingham is gathering drivers of Outbacks, Foresters and Imprezas in Birch Bay, hoping to create the longest parade of Subaru vehicles.

Lynden’s world record attempt will be truly a local effort, with shortcake made by the Lynden Dutch Bakery, strawberries from Curt Maberry Farm and ice cream from Edaleen Dairy — all topped by whipped cream from Darigold. The gutter — donated by Genova Products, located near Flint, Michigan — will be cleaned and donated to Habitat for Humanity, to catch rainfall from the roof of one of its “sweat equity” homes.

It won’t be the only Guinness record attempt this weekend. Dewey Griffin Subaru of Bellingham is assembling drivers of Outbacks, Foresters and Imprezas in Birch Bay, hoping to create the longest parade of Subaru vehicles.

“We’re trying to highlight community foods,” Vis said. “We’ll use real strawberries, not the jammy ones. These will be farm fresh.”

“We’ll have bowls and spoons — we’re not eating trough style,” Vis said.

County health officials were consulted throughout the planning stages, he said, adding that servers will wear gloves and hand-washing facilities will be provided.

For more information, contact the chamber office at 354-5995 or events@lynden.org.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @bhamMitty

Farmers Day and Shortcake

Date: Saturday, June 4, in Lynden

Parade: 10:30 a.m. on Front Street, from 10th to Third streets

Shortcake: About 12:15 p.m. (after the parade) on Front Street from Seventh to Third streets

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