Western Kentucky University students will attempt to break a Guinness World Record for the longest human chain to pass through a hula hoop Friday as a part of a bigger event called Rue de la Rouge.
The world record attempt will begin around 4 p.m. at the top of College Street where President Gary Ransdell will give a tribute speech then pass off the first of 10 hula hoops that will make their way down the human chain ending downtown. A team of five public relations students at WKU have been developing and planning this event since the beginning of the school year as apart of their capstone class.
"We just started brainstorming and we said 'Oh my gosh let's break a Guinness World Record?' Who doesn't want to do that?" Sawyer Coffey, a senior PR student from Frankfort, said.
Coffey said they wanted to plan an event that was simple, fun and involves a lot of people, and breaking a record was the perfect way to do that.
The standing record for the human chain is 572 people. These PR students are hoping to break the record with 1,906 people, the year WKU was founded. The ultimate goal of Rue de la Rouge is to not only beat the standing record, but to bridge the gap between WKU students and downtown. Prior to planning the event, Coffey said she and her team talked to students around campus and they believed there weren't many activities downtown catered to students. One of Rue de la Rouge's purposes is to help fill that gap.
Following the world record attempt, "Music Melee" will begin around 6 p.m. Vendors downtown such as Micky's on Main and 440, Spencer's Coffee, Patent Pending, Barbara Stewart Interiors, 6-4-3 Sports Bar and Mariah's will host live music.
“We want all eyes and ears on the downtown merchants because that's who we're trying to help,” Coffey said. She added that some of the downtown store owners felt this need to reach WKU students as well, but that it had never been successful in the past.
The Bowling Green Hot Rods will also host a WKU night at the stadium as apart of Rue de la Rouge starting at 6:30 p.m. with $5 tickets. Additionally, Capitol Arts Center on the square will host a film festival beginning at 7 p.m. featuring films made by WKU students.
Kenneth Payne, the public relations professor leading the class, has helped guide his students as they prepared for this event and constantly told them to "think bigger."
"I would look at it as a start of hopefully something that will grow with subsequent teams and subsequent years, and become something that people are very proud of and look forward to every year on the campus," Payne said.
WKU's chief marketing officer Stacey Biggs also played a role in helping the students as they planned Rue de la Rouge by listening to their ideas and giving feedback.
"They've done a really good job of preparing for it," Biggs said. "They're a very impressive group of students and they've sets their sites really big."