Wichita likes breaking weird world records — or at least trying to.
There was the time Rock River Rapids in Derby tried to set the record for the world’s largest simultaneous swim lesson in 2017. The year before, not only did the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland attempt to break the world record for the largest sleepover, but “Doctor Who” fans also tried to break the record for the largest gathering of people in “Doctor Who” costumes. (None of those attempts appears to have succeeded, sadly.)
Now, it’s Dillard’s turn. On Saturday, May 18, the department store at Towne East Square will attempt to attract enough people to its north parking lot to break the Guinness World Record for the most people applying sunscreen at the same time.
It was an idea proposed by the Dillard’s corporate office to acknowledge National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Corporate asked 15 stores to participate, hoping to combine the number of sunscreeners at each to get a final number and increase its chances. As of now, the record stands at 1,882 people.
But Towne East assistant store manager Laura Hannah-White decided she could do better. She’s said she believes Wichita’s Dillard’s can break the record all on its own, and she’s hoping to get 2,000 people out on Saturday for a sunscreen application-palooza.
She’s turning the event into a party and has invited several food trucks to be on hand. She’s also persuaded Moeller Dermatology to be on site doing skin cancer education and Junior League of Wichita to help her with official counting.
Here’s how it will work: Anyone who wants to participate should be at the store at noon on Saturday. Inside, they’ll pick up a ticket that will ensure they’re counted. They’ll also get a little cup of sunscreen, provided by the cosmetic counters at Dillard’s.
At 1 p.m., the application begins in the north parking lot. But people can’t just dab the sunscreen on their faces. They must rub it in, thoroughly, for the application to count.
In fact, the rubbing must continue for two and a half full minutes.
To beat the record set by Ann’s Hope Foundation in Milwaukee — where on May 18, 2014, 1,822 people simultaneously rubbed in sunscreen — Dillard’s is going to need as many skin- and fun-loving Wichitans to participate as it can get
“We just want to make it a fun event in general,” Hannah-White said.
Anyone with questions may call the Dillard’s Towne East store at 316-685-0341.