By Guest Contributor: Rhonda Hansmann
LA SIESTA broke a record last weekend, proving that Mainz knows how to hang—in hammocks.
It all took place at the first-ever Summer Lights Festival in the City of Mainz, along the Rhine Promenade. The undertaking was a partnership between La Siesta and CityMarketing GmbH, in cooperation with the City of Mainz. The idea? Fill as many hammocks with people as possible—at least 250—for at least five minutes.
Dozens of food and beverage booths lined the festival, with food ranging from American Hot Dogs to Belgian French Fries, Bavarian Spätzle (although Spätzle is invariably from Baden Württemberg ), to vegetarian wraps and sweet potato fries with pepper sauce; Food stretched from the Mainz Strand on one end, to the Carnival rides near the Kaisertor (the first entrance to the Rhine Promenade), on the other end.
In between the lines of food booths were 700 meters of red and yellow hammocks strung down the middle, as far as the eye could see. The remaining hammocks hung in fifteen large, custom-made metal domes, spread out strategically with ten people each on the grassy knolls throughout the area. About the only place there were no hammocks to be seen were on the boats or ships out in the water.
Just 10 minutes before the 2:15 start of the record-breaking attempt, LA SIESTA CEO Maximilian Grisar realized that a person in hammock spot 115 was missing, and quickly hung another just in time for the 250th World Record participant.
And the song—you can’t forget the song. As part of the record attempt, everyone had to sing the song, ‘Ole Siesta’—a modified version of ‘Ole Fiesta’, a local favorite—while lying in the hammock for five minutes.
Afterwards, LA SIESTA offered to buy one of the original hammocks used in the Guinness World Record. All 10 Euro per hammock is to be donated to the Kinderschutz-Zentrum Mainz (Mainz Child Protection Center), where staff and volunteers help to keep families together.
The festival was filled with happy, hammock-hanging people wearing white Fedoras with red LA SIESTA buttons on them: a man lying with his baby son, his wife in the hammock opposite him; couples and friends hanging together in double hammocks; people on cell phones taking selfies, but leaving Pokemon searching for later. Some brought playing cards, books, bottles of wine and glasses. After all, it is the pre-eminent wine region in Germany. Naturally, the wine Queens were there—Josephine Schlumberger representing Germany, Sabrina Becker for Rhinehessen, and last but not least, Sabrina Möhn representing her home region of Mainz. As expected, there was no shortage of wine at this fest, or music. Live music streamed out from speakers from the stage, or something played by RPR1, the local radio station acting as mic jockey.
The participants also included Werner, Silvia and Sandy, members of Mainz 05, the local soccer team, with children Isabell and Paula. Raising money for local children is a big part of their decision to participate, as Mainz 05 is actively involved in just that, raising 60,000 Euros last year alone.
It wasn’t just outdoor enthusiasts who showed up last weekend. People from all walks of life and age groups attended, including Harmina Meyer, a woman from Emlichheim, Holland—a small town near the German border, who traveled all the way to Mainz with granddaughters, Dana and Jonna and camped on the opposite shore, just to take part. She brought her Orange Holland shirt and wooden shoes to wear in the parade. You could see them resting under her hammock before the start of the official attempt.
The record was broken with 269 total participants hanging in red and yellow travel hammocks made just for the event. Certificates of participation to follow in the mail.
There are many ways to sit in a hammock. How many of them do you know?