JAMESTOWN, NY - (release) On August 6, on Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday, her hometown of Jamestown, New York sets out to become the home of a new world record, governed and affirmed by the ultimate authority on record-breaking achievement, Guinness World Records.
The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy invites everyone - men, women and children - to participate in the setting of a new world record for “most people dressed as Lucy Ricardo in one place, at one time.”
The “BE A LUCY: Guinness World Record” (Sat., Aug. 6, 12-2pm) event is part of the Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy and 100th birthday celebration, Aug. 3-7. The festival includes headliner comedians Joan Rivers (Aug. 4), Paula Poundstone (Aug. 6), kids comedy troop Story Pirates (Aug. 6), eight comedians from San Francisco-based festival co-producer Rooftop Comedy, and the world’s best Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel impersonators.
“We anticipate some very quality look-alikes to be on-hand. Our Lucy Fans come from around the world for this festival and they do not disappoint when it comes to donning a Lucy resemblance,” said Lucy Desi Center for Comedy Executive Director Journey Gunderson.
The official criteria include the signature red up-do hairstyle, red lips, and dress/attire corresponding with something Lucy Ricardo wore on an episode of I Love Lucy.
“We’ll have Lucys from Australia, Great Britain, Japan, Canada, and of course a large contingent coming from California and a number of states in between. We expect a minimum of between 500-1000 participants on August 6.”
While the $5 registration fee includes a basic qualifying costume – the iconic blue and white polka-dot dress -- participants are also encouraged to wear their own costumes. “We’ve got qualifying get-ups for everyone; all ages and all sizes,” added Gunderson.
The record registration begins at noon at Lucy Fest’s “Party on the Plaza” at Jamestown’s City Hall, with the officially-required photograph moment -- with all Lucys in position -- at 2pm. An aerial photograph and video footage are required and planned.
Qualifying mask will satisfy the lips and hair criteria for anyone not wearing red lipstick and a red up-do hairstyle. A large quantity of Lucy-red lipstick has been donated by Benefit Cosmetics, a sponsor of the “Be a Lucy” world record. “This will be high-quality lipstick in the right Lucy-shade, so we’re very appreciative of Benefit’s support.”
The mission of the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is to preserve the legacy of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and enrich the world through the healing powers of love and laughter through its commitment to the development of the comedic arts.
The four-pillar Legacy of Laughter vision for the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy includes a festival of comedy, a comedy film festival, a comedic arts education program, and a the first real national comedy hall of fame in Jamestown, New York.
Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr., the children of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, had this to say of the Legacy of Laughter vision:
"On this, the 100th anniversary of our mother's birth, we are very happy to support the new Board and Staff of The Lucille Ball - Desi Arnaz Center For Comedy, in whose forward thinking and capable hands Mom's original desires for her professional legacy might finally be truly realized- a festival of new comedy, seminars and master classes to train the comedy talents of tomorrow, outreach programs to prove the healing power of love and laughter in our communities and the inauguration of the first ever Comedy Hall of Fame named in honor of her and our father, Desi Arnaz. On August 6, 1911 Desiree Eveline Hunt Ball birthed a comedy legend in Jamestown, New York. It's fitting that, 100 years to the day, Jamestown christens itself as the birthplace of legions of comedy legends to come and the hometown of legacies of laughter. Congratulations to the good and patient people of Jamestown for thinking BIG with us and utilizing the gift of Lucy and Desi to its highest potential. They would be so very proud.”