“We’re on a roll! We’re on a roll!” the crowd chants—pun intended—as a giant rubber-band ball is rolled out from behind a black curtain by four
shirtless bodybuilders in boxer shorts. The world’s largest rubber-band ball is being unveiled at Jackson and State in hopes that it will beat the previously held Guinness world record—a ball that weighed 3,120 pounds.
The crowd, many of whom sport identical yellow fleece hats, cheers in heightened anticipation of the weigh-in. As the scale approaches 4,594 pounds, it is clear that the record has been broken. A high-school marching band erupts into a parade-like soundtrack in celebration of the feat and the crowd is all hoots and howls. People pace around the parameter of the crowd handing out miniature rubber-band balls—three-and-a-half inches in diameter, hardly competitive—to give everyone a head start on their own ambitions of breaking the new record.
The ball, which was started in November 2005 by Steve Milton, consists of 175,001 rubber bands, and is five-and-a-half feet tall and nineteen feet around. Milton is all grins as he raises his arms in victory and then hoists his 6-year-old son, who assisted on the project, onto his shoulders. They are then presented with a Guinness World Records plaque. “I feel very excited right now. It’s just amazing—it’s out of this world,” he says, surrounded by several cameras and fans vying for his attention. Milton, his son and his fiancée’s 7-year-old son, worked on the project together in his garage every day, adding “ten to twenty pounds a day.” (Shelley Jacobs)