LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — The current world record for the largest gathering of people wearing holiday sweaters is 3,473 people, set at a basketball game in Kansas in 2015. Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster is gearing up to challenge that record with its Ugly Holiday Sweater Party on Nov. 26.
Guests are encouraged to wear their favorite (and ugliest) holiday sweaters to the amusement park on Friday so the park can try to top the single-location sweater record. The count will take place at 7 p.m. when all guests dressed in their worst holiday best will gather in Celebration Theater to be tabulated.
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Dutch Wonderland will also be teaming up with some of its sister parks in Pittsburgh, Connecticut, and California in the hopes of creating a cross-country world record, as well.
“We thought, ‘Why limit it to just one park?’ Let’s see if we can get it going across the entire country,” Jeff Eisenberg, director of marketing at Dutch Wonderland, said. “We thought it would be a fun idea and a good way to kick off the holiday season.”
The (hopefully) World’s Largest Ugly Holiday Sweater Party is part of a series of events taking place during Dutch Winter Wonderland.
This is the first time the park is hosting the ugly sweater celebration, Eisenberg said, and it is also the first time the park’s three roller coasters will be operating during Dutch Winter Wonderland. “[There is] nothing like riding coasters and getting thousands of Christmas lights whipping by you,” Eisenberg said.
The park’s holiday season includes light displays, new pretzel-related snacks, an alcohol vendor, around 20 different rides, entertainment, and Santa visits — a positive return to normalcy after the park adapted to COVID-19 and held only a drive-thru light display last year.
“A colleague and I just the other night were standing near the front of the park looking around, and I said, ‘Is it just me, or is this bigger than ever?'” Eisenberg said. He thinks the event and the lights feel especially impressive this year after Dutch Winter Wonderland did not take place last holiday season.
“I think it makes having Dutch Winter Wonderland — and really what was overall more of a normal season this year — it makes it that much more impactful, and it makes us that much happier to actually be able to do it,” Eisenberg added.
Eisenberg says the park may pursue a Guinness World Record with its ugly sweater event, or it may work on maintaining an amusement park-specific record. Either way, though, Eisenberg hopes as many people as possible will head to Dutch Wonderland in their holiday sweaters on Friday.
After the upcoming weekend, Dutch Winter Wonderland will have serval other themed weekends, including:
- A glow-themed weekend with black lights and light-up cotton candy treats (Dec. 4 and 5)
- Lancaster Craft Market Weekend with local vendors (Dec. 18 and 19)
- Duke’s Diamond New Year’s Eve family event with a pre-midnight countdown for kids (Dec. 31)
Learn more about Dutch Winter Wonderland and get tickets online here.