When renowned local Etch-A-Sketch artist, Jeff Gagliardi, and Lyons promoter extraordinaire, Clark Hodge, came up with the idea for “Sketch-A-Palooza” (an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the number of people simultaneously sketching with an Etch-A-Sketch) they thought “a hundred or so people would be a good number.” Officials at
Guinness set the bar a little higher, and thought a good number for the event should be at least two hundred and fifty! A daunting number to be sure for a town the size of Lyons little over ten percent of the population would be needed.
But, unfazed, the two “Barnum-esque” promoters went about bringing their dream to fruition. They contacted the manufacturers of Etch-A-Sketch, set up a website, got the word out to the local media, even arranged an interview with a network news team in Denver (Channel 9), and organized the event to coincide with the annual Lyons Good Old Day celebration. Not only did they get the required two hundred and fifty participants, they packed a festive Sandstone Park last Saturday morning (June 25) with well over five hundred people, from ages nine months to ninety-plus years. In all, they registered three hundred and seventy-two “official sketchers” who all attempted to sketch the iconic Lyons’ landmark, Steamboat Mountain, at the same time. And according to protocol, the final number had to be certified by a Notary Public, which it was.
What a party! They had rock music, examples of Gagliardi’s Etch-A-Sketch artwork, (the Mona Lisa, American Gothic, Starry Night, etc.) which have hung in various museums around the country and been featured on Good Morning America, as well as in such publications as People Magazine, USA Today, and Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not, and lots and lots of Etch-A-Sketchers all eager to help be part of a Guinness World Record.
Congratulations to Gagliardi and Hodge for creating and organizing such a fun event for Lyons; can’t wait to hear about their next endeavor.