Thousands of devoted pickup truck enthusiasts and RURAL RADIO fans from across the country descended on Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, August 3, 2013 to help set the new Guinness World Records for the world’s Largest Parade of Pickup Trucks.
More than 500 pickup trucks were on parade and display. A grand total of 386 pickup trucks officially qualified to meet the strict requirements and parade standards as specified by Guinness World Records rules.
The world’s Largest Parade of Pickup Trucks began early in the morning, with volunteers and participants arriving at the iconic home of the Indy 500 well-before 4:00 a.m. Every participant was keenly focused on smashing the previously held record of 273, which was set in 2012 on the Dresden Raceway in Ontario, Canada. Amid the occasional downpour, volunteers from RURAL RADIO directed lines of trucks and antique tractors to the parade lines. In addition to the pickup truck parade, the day’s events also included a parade of some 300 beautifully restored antique tractors.
To officially qualify for the Guinness World Records record, the pickup trucks had to travel a minimum of two miles around the track with no more than 10 feet (or two car lengths) distance between them. Philip Robertson, the official Adjudicator sent by Guinness World Records to preside over the day, spent several hours on the track measuring the lengths and recording the speed. A little before 4:00 p.m., Robertson declared that the new record had been set.
“It was such a tremendous sight to see all of these dedicated and loyal Americans coming out in force to set this record,” said Robertson. “I’ve never witnessed anything like what RURAL RADIO has put together and achieved in so perfectly and appropriately connecting with its audience to realize something so remarkable.”
Patrick Gottsch, founder of Rural Media Group, Inc., was personally down on the blazing hot track, doggedly making sure that each truck slowed down to stay within the requirements to meet the record. At the dedication ceremony, Gottsch was asked to describe what the day really meant for the launch of RURAL RADIO:
“It’s all about getting together and it’s about putting it all in perspective for the rest of the country. We’ve got folks here from more than 31 states, who have been travelling for days to participate. It’s these good people who take such pride in what they do and in rural American itself. This event is for them; it’s never been about us. This isn’t about some brand, it’s not about RURAL RADIO, it’s just for these folks right here. Everything we do is as much for our audience as it is for us,” he said.
Speakers and VIP guests at the morning press conference included Indiana’s Lieutenant Governor, Sue Ellspermann, Jerome Hawkins, Director of Indiana Grain Buyers and WarehouseLicensing Agency, National FFA Executives and SiriusXM celebrities. Hawkins and his family would later lead a section of the parade in his own pickup.
Randy Bernard, CEO and President of Rural Media Group, said at the morning press conference, “What you see today is the real spirit and heart of rural America. This is something that can’t be described, it can’t be replicated, it’s simply something that is and does. This is an experience that reminds you about what’s good about us all.”
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