When we arrived, we had pre-registered and Dee had picked up our packet the day before so we got to go through an express check-in. I am so glad because for a community that runs on Mormon Standard Time, everyone showed up within 30 minutes of start time. There were literally thousands of people! It thrilled my heart to see the turn-out and know how relieved our girl must be! There were SO many people, in fact, that the start time had to be put back to 1:30 instead of 1:00. Each team was given a map, a list of rules, and a Passport booklet full of tasks to complete. We were also given wrist bands. It was so well organized! They shuttled us up one escalator to the 3rd floor of the Utah Valley Convention Center to check in. Then we were sent down another set of escalators and had to pass by the official representative from Guinness. She literally counted each person with a handheld clicker! We all went outside to await the start. While we waited we planned out our first few tasks.We had to look for a dolphin and talk like a dolphin to the Google Fiber volunteer who, in turn, stamped our passport. That one was easy! The building across the street has an underwater mural with dolphins on it. At the starting signal given by Mayor Curtis everyone took off. The poor volunteer was literally bombarded by "Flipper" voices. It was kind of hilarious!
As we headed north to our next task I was overwhelmed by what I saw. There were hundreds of people of all ages running, biking, scooter-ing, carpooling, and skate boarding to get around. All were excited and having a great time! The tasks were divided up into categories. To quote the event website:
Downtown Culture – Tasks in this category will include searching for nostalgic items downtown, wall murals and paintings, Covey Center for the arts, getting to know your heritage, and more!
Quirky and Fun – This category will include fun, off-the-wall tasks like taking pictures at Provo landmarks, perform on stage, talk to animals, bust a move, or look for the Provo Sasquatch!
Outdoor and Adventure – Get ready to explore the outdoors! Tasks in this category include playing games, getting a little wet, playing at the park, riding a bike, etc..
Local Business –
Everyone got a cool Google Fiber shirt featuring Provo's "Silcone Slopes" too!
Dee got to help count the wrist bands. The lady in the white shirt was our official Guinness judge. She wouldn't share with the others how many she counted in her group, to keep it a secret until the announcement.
As a family we pitched in and helped pass out the t-shirts as volunteers for the rest of the afternoon. People were floored that they got 2 shirts, "Really? We just came out for the record and to have fun!" It was a nice way to end the afternoon. Everyone was invited back to the "After Party" that night featuring Ryan Innes, BBoy Federation, & local DJ "Skratchmo.
And did we break the record? You had better believe it! The old record was 924 and Provo produced 2079 participants who finished the hunt! WAHOO!!!
The Mayor let Brittany's boss know that he has never seen such an impact-ful event or gathering EVER in downtown. He still hears from businesses saying how their traffic has increased and how good it was for downtown in general. The United Way had a record number of volunteers sign up and guess what? Most of them showed up on their volunteer days. Everyone wants to do it again next year to which Britt and her team might reply, "We need about a week's worth of sleep...then, maybe!"
Below is a link to the official video which shows some of the tasks I described and many that I didn't. A lot of the tasks involved posting a photo of your group doing the task on Instagram with the hashtag #passporttoprovo. It is so fun to search that hashtag on IG and just see all of the fun people were having!
Click on this link! It gave us all goosebumps and made Brittany cry!
We are so proud of the Google Fiber team for their hard work and for giving back to the community that has treated them well.
Good job everyone!!