WAPAKONETA — On leap day, more than 300 people dressed as astronauts took a giant leap into the record books — or so they hope.
Event organizers put together the attempt to break the record of most people in astronaut gear.
“We are more than happy with the turnout in Wapakoneta,” said Jackie Martel, director of the Wapakoneta Chamber of Commerce. “As many people know, we really love to celebrate our heritage with Neil Armstrong and the legacy that he’s left the entire world. When we learned that the current record for the most people dressed as astronauts in one place was held not in the United States but in England, we felt that it must be a record that the United States holds and it must be held in Wapakoneta, and I’m so thrilled that we did break the record. We have to turn it in for official consideration, but the record was 257 and we have over 300.”
Lynne Skaggs brought her family out to be part of the attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records.
“I am here with my mom, my husband, our four children, my oldest niece and her four children,” Skaggs said. “We are all huge fans of Wapakoneta so it’s a big deal for us as a community. When you can get this many people together all joining forces and kind of having a good time and you know, while we’re all about a party, we can celebrate something, we’re going to celebrate it. With leap day, it just made sense that we would take one giant leap together and be astronauts doing it.”
Jack Lambert was one of the last to sign up. His number was 309 and possibly the last one.
“If I am or not, but I think I was. If I’m not, I was pretty close,” Lambert said.
Lambert was impressed with the effort.
“What a great community, not just the Neil Armstrong thing, but the fact that everybody can get together and do something like this, I think is pretty, pretty awesome,” he said.
“It’s no secret how much this community connects with Neil Armstrong, and the community turns out to celebrate and represent all that he meant to the world with his tenacity, how he brought people together. He always recognized everyone that took America and the world to the moon, not just himself, and we’d like to think that humble nature is something that is very special about this area of Ohio,” Martel added.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409