Cub Scouts Break World Record
At Lincoln Park in the town of Tonawanda, New York, on Saturday, September
17, 2005, the Cub Scouts of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council break the
world record for the most lit candles on a birthday cake, lighting 27,576
candles on one cake. The event was held as part of Akela's Anniversary Bash
celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Cub Scouting. Over 400 people were in
With the Kenilworth Fire Company standing nearby with hoses, organizer Mark
Oetinger of Pack 286 yelled, "Ladies and gentlemen, light your candles." Erie
County Sheriff Tim Howard joined 12 Scout leaders to light the cake using
propane torches. The co-chairs of the event, Angel and Sean Beiter of Pack
202,led the crowd in singing Happy Birthday to Akela, the leader of all Cub
The flames rose more than three feet above the cake. The heat was intense,
forcing the cake lighters to back away from the cake once their task was
complete. Melted wax covered the cake and began pouring off the cake onto the
ground. Less than two minutes after it was lit, a firefighter put out the
flames using a fire extinguisher. All that was left was a layer of melted
wax completely covering the cake.
Jim Pritchard, senior district executive of the Greater Niagara Frontier
Council, observed: "It doesn't look like we are going to be able to eat that
cake." Dick Sondel of P&R Bakery replied, "A good Scout is always prepared,"
as he pulled out an extra sheet cake that he brought along for consumption.
The cake, measuring 20 feet long and 18 inches wide, was donated by Village
Desserts in Williamsville and P&R Bakery in Tonawanda. Symak Sales Company in
Plattsburgh donated the 27,576 candles.
When the Scouts first set out to break the record, it stood at 12,432;
however, during the course of planning, it rose to 13,000, then to 15,000, and
just two weeks ago, there was a press report of a group lighting 27,000
candles. The 27,576 candles clearly passes every reported world record
candle lighting that the committee can find in any source. The Guinness Web
site still lists the record as 12,432. The pictures and videos will be sent
to the Guinness Book of World Records for verification. Sheriff Howard and
Tonawanda Police Detective Bob Goetz served as official witnesses for the
Guinness Book of World Records.
The Tonawanda Youth, Parks, and Recreation Department sponsored the daylong
celebration. Other events included presentations on bike safety by the
Tonawanda Police Department, fire safety by the Kenilworth Fire Company,
the jaws of life by the Brighton Fire Company, rock climbing compliments of
Niagara Climbing, fishing demonstrations thanks to Gander Mountain, Dutch oven
cooking, orienteering, raingutter regatta races, handicrafts, face painting,
disc golf, and games.