Highwood, IL to attempt Guinness Record for most jack-o-lanterns lit in one location

There must be a thousand ways to break a Guinness World Record, and most are easier than this.

The city of Highwood, Illinois will light the night for Halloween this year. If all goes well, they will also end up in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most jack-o-lanterns lit in one location. To break the record, this little town of about 5,000 residents needs to beat Boston’s record of 30,128 pumpkins aglow in 2006.

Starting Wednesday October 20, 2010, thousands of volunteers will be carving, staging and lighting candles in pumpkins, culminating in a whopping 32,000 simultaneously-lit pumpkins for the record-breaking grand lighting at precisely 6:30 p.m. (central time) on Saturday October 23rd.

Pumpkin walls are already in place with tiered racks to hold the massive number of pumpkins. To qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records, all 32,000 must remain lit together for a minimum five-minute period.

Other concurrent events include an Evening Gourmet Farmers Market at Highwood’s City Hall Park, vendors selling antiques, live music, a haunted fun house, and of course, a pumpkin pie eating contest.

Pumpkin farmers from across the Midwest are bringing thousands of pumpkins and carving events are organized en masse at every school, religious and community organization and local military base in this area north of Chicago. The ghosts of all those pumpkins will be composted after the celebration.

The Highwood, Illinois festival is also dedicating Scout Park to the Boy Scouts of America and will have 100 Scout packs and troops, as well as veterans and local military on hand for three days of recognition, to raise awareness for Wounded Warrior Project. Highly motivated by this huge celebration, the local Scout troops are pitching in to carve 10,000 of the pumpkins required to beat the world record.

If you’re in the Chicago area and see a strange glow in the sky on October 23, besides the full moon, it just might be the Great Pumpkin victory, as Highwood, Illinois breaks the world record.

Helen Gallagher writes about business, technology, and travel for national consumer and trade publications. She is the author of Social Media Handbook and Release Your Writing: Book Publishing, Your Way! Read her blog on Red Room.

The Highest Cricket Match in the World

The sport of Cricket can trace its origins back to England in the 16th century. Over the course of the next 200 years, it rose in popularity to the point of becoming a national obsession in that country, and when the British Empire expanded around the globe, the game went international with it. Today, Cricket is played in more than 100 countries, one of the most popular sports in the world.

That popularity has inspired two teams to go to Nepal in an attempt to play the highest Cricket match in history. Over the past few weeks, the players have assembled in Kathmandu, flown to Lukla, and have been trekking up to Gorak Shep, a remote Himalayan village, where they intend to play an official match at 5165 meters or roughly 16,945 feet.

The teams are named Tenzing and Hillary, in honor of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, the first two men to summit Everest, the mountain that looms over the field they will be playing on. Traditionally a team is made up of 11 players, but these have 15 in order to ensure that altitude sickness doesn’t prevent them from fielding a full roster. That doesn’t seem likely however, as even though a few of the players have had to remain behind, they are expected to rejoin their squads over the next few days.

The trek to Gorak Shep was completed on Sunday, and the athletes will now take a few days to acclimatize and prepare for their match, which will include officially sanctioned umpires. You can read all about the teams, their quest to play the highest match in the world, and their adventures in Nepal at their webiste TheEverestTest.com.

Harry Ramsden’s: The Largest Fish and Chips Place in the World

Harry Ramsden’s is to fish and chips in the U.K. like Bob Evans is to breakfast in the United States. Started with just one building in Guiseley, West Yorkshire, England, it’s grown into a chain of 170 (maybe more?), including one restaurant at Walt Disney Resorts in Florida.

Harry Ramsden’s claim to fame is that it has the largest fish and chips place in the world according to Guiness World Records. If you want to eat fish with 250 other people head to Guiseley, West Yorkshire, England. This is where the first fish and chips place opened in 1928. The original building is still on-site. If you go, check to see if the Harry Ramsden Challenge is still offered. This is a deal that if you finish all the fish in chips of a very large order, you get a free dessert and a certificate.

Like the Bob Evans franchise that includes packaged food in supermarkets in the U.S., Harry Ramsden’s is starting to market their own food. You can buy mushy peas in a can, for example, and take some home with you. Here’s a run-down about eating at Harry Ramsden from a very happy customer. This Flickr photo by Specky Four Eyes features mushy pea. This is a take-out version of the restaurant’s offerings.