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Locals aim to break world record

Can Downtown Whitewater, Inc. host the world’s largest potluck?

This map shows the area where the potluck will be held, near the Whitewater Historic Train Depot, located at 301 W Whitewater St. Several available parking locations also are marked.

Graphic courtesy of Downtown Whitewater, Inc.

This map shows the area where the potluck will be held, near the Whitewater Historic Train Depot, located at 301 W Whitewater St. Several available parking locations also are marked.

Brad Allen, Biz & Tech Editor

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Downtown Whitewater, Inc. and The SweetSpot Cafe are leading an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for largest potluck event.

The community potluck will be held on May 7 at the Whitewater Train Depot and is open to any and all members of the community, including both students and residents.

Guests attending the event are asked to bring a dish to pass in order for their participation to count towards breaking the world record.

“It’s a family potluck,” SweetSpot owner Lacey Reichwald said. “We’re inviting everyone to come to the table. No one will be turned away.”

Reichwald added that similar events help to bridge the gap between the town and the UW-Whitewater campus.

“As a former student and business owner, I see a lot of misunderstanding,” Reichwald said. “We wanted to be involved in an event to bring students and community members together. We want to see people learn and grow together – to co-exist – as a community.”

The event is about more than nourishment, Reichwald said, adding that she believes attendees will have unique stories to share with others.

Planning the potluck event began near the end of 2016, when Downtown Whitewater, Inc. first examined the feasibility of hosting a massive community event.

“We wanted to host some kind of event that anyone in the community can participate in,” Courtney Nelson , director of Downtown Whitewater, Inc., said. “We thought: ‘What’s better than a potluck?’ Because the Midwest is associated with big festivals and family meals.”

Reichwald said she estimated at least 2,000 people – maybe even 2017 exactly – will show up. Nelson estimated a similar, but smaller head count of 1,800, citing a typical Whitewater City Market attendance number of 1,600 people.

According to the Guinness World Records website, the current world record for the largest potluck ever held sits at 1,855 people. This record was set on June 16, 2016, in Ahmedabad, India.

“Getting a general guess for a first-time event is hard,” Nelson said, adding that if attendance is high, a similar event might be held next year, potentially kicking off a new local tradition.

The SweetSpot Cafe will sponsor a pie-eating contest at the potluck, which will serve as a fundraiser for participating organizations that choose to participate in the pie-eating contest.

The SweetSpot is sponsoring the contest by giving $25 of the entry fee to every participating organization and making the pies at no cost.

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Locals aim to break world record