The 2017 Lilac Festival is underway!
The festival opened with an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest relay hug. The longest hug relay consists of 1,290 people and was achieved in Mexico City.
The final tally came in at 596 hugs — a national record!
Organizers tell News 8 that while they wanted to break the world record, it was really about community and bringing people together for hugs.
Family, friends, neighbors, and strangers lined up one-by-one to hug each other. Each and every hug came with cheers and smiles.
“We are all huggers and we absolutely believe this is an important event and the country needs it right now,” said participant Sherry Johnson. “We can stand side-by-side regardless of race, regardless of religion, regardless of political affiliation it’s something so authentic and potent to wrap our arms around someone and give them a hug. “