On Saturday, Nov. 8, Rider University undertook its first Guinness World Records challenge, to string the Longest Line of Fruits. Six hours and 10,036 cranberries later, the University and hundreds of students, staff, alumni and friends who painstakingly strung the giant string of fruit, were named official Guinness World Record holders.
The success was a highlight of Rider’s 150th anniversary celebration and a homage to the university’s founder and namesake, Andrew J. Rider, a cranberry farmer who introduced the cranberry to the queen of England. She later nicknamed him “The Cranberry King of New Jersey.”
Until yesterday, the record for the Longest Line of Fruits was 6,010 peaches strung in Italy on August 14, 2014. In order to break the record, Rider had to string 6,011 cranberries. As part of the world record rules, every piece of fruit must touch the next one in the line.
Philip Robertson, an official adjudicator from Guinness World Records, oversaw the university’s stringing process from beginning to end and counted every cranberry before declaring the record broken approximately six hours after beginning the process.
In front of a packed crowd in the university’s Alumni Gym, Robertson announced that Rider University had officially strung 10,036 cranberries, far more than needed to break the world record.
The challenge was made possible by alumna Judy Simons Church ’80, owner and operator of Simons Berry Farm in Tabernacle, a 275-acre farm that produces about 650,000 pounds of cranberries per year. The 184-year-old farm is located not far from the cranberry farm originally owned and operated by Andrew J. Rider. Church, a boardmember of the American Cranberry Growers Association, said New Jersey is the third-largest cranberry producer in the country.
In an effort to be environmentally conscious and meet additional Guinness World Record rules, the cranberries were strung on biodegradable thread. After the record attempt was determined successful, the university placed the string of cranberries on trees and bushes around campus so the wildlife could enjoy the “fruits of their labor.”