The Red (Head) Sea in Portland

1,600 participants formed the World Record setting Red (Head) Sea in Portland Saturday.
1,600 participants formed the World Record setting Red (Head) Sea in Portland Saturday.

Portland, Oregon broke a Guinness World Record on Saturday after assembling a group of roughly 1,600 natural redheads in one location. As of now the record is unofficial, and organizers will have to wait two to three months before the official tally is in and the record is broken.

Unofficial counts at the ten minute gathering that took place in Pioneer Courthouse Square estimate the number of participants to be anywhere between 1,300 and 1,600.

The previous record for redheads assembled in one place was set on October 1, 2010. It was set at the 1st annual “Redheads and More Redheads Day” at Skyline High School in Sammamish, Washington. They were able to assemble a redheaded sea of 890 participants.

Given that only two percent of the population is naturally redheaded, all participants were required to bring a baby picture of themselves in order to prove their locks were in fact their natural color.

Event organizer Rusty Weise described his feelings on the event for “I’m really proud of being able to bring a bunch of like-minded and like-appearance people together. They have felt so outcast, but now they are with their brethren, their own kind.”

Participants such as Shea Haggert also had fun at the event. “It’s pretty cool,” she said. “Usually I’m the one that sticks out in a crowd. I blend in today.”

The event was designed to raise awareness for skin cancer, something to which redheads are particularly susceptible. They raised money for the Skin Cancer Foundation, and spread awareness on how to prevent skin cancer as well.

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille

The Guardian Express

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