A primary school in Southend hopes to enter the record books by holding the largest ever multi-cultural St. George’s Day celebration that has ever been seen – they plan to do this by celebrating 100 different national holidays from around the world between 9am and 3pm on the big day itself. According to the headteacher of Pier Hill Primary School in Southend Dr Jessica Krakakowalski, no school has ever attempted a St. George’s Day celebration on this scale, and she admits that she is ‘nervous but excited’ about the preparations for the so-called ‘Mega-Celebration.’ A number of staff members and parents are currently working around the clock to ensure that they can squeeze all 100 countries into the schedule, but everyone is convinced that no matter what happens it will all come together in the end.
Dr Krakakowalski met our Chief Reporter to explain how the event will work, and she said: ‘We were really struggling to come up with a good idea for our regular St. George’s Day celebrations this year, and then one night I was staring at a map of the world and it just fell into place. Why should we just celebrate the patron saint of England on St. George’s Day when we could make a real effort to include other countries and cultures as well? The children are literally buzzing with excitement at the prospect of learning so much Geography material in such a short space of time, and deciding on the list of countries to include has been a fantastic exercise to build a sense of community in the school. We checked all of the different nationalities of children in the school, and then the other 33 countries were selected at random in a special draw that we held in assembly last week – the real challenge has been to come up with 100 unique activities to make sure that every country gets its fair share!’
She continued: ‘St. George’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, and so we have taken the unusual step of making attendance compulsory on a weekend day as we feel so strongly about our mega-celebration – families will be invited to come along as well as we are incredibly keen to spread the goodwill in the community. We have done the maths, and we have six hours to get through activities for all 100 countries which means three minutes and 36 seconds for each. The day will kick off with a celebration of St. George from 9am until 9.03am, and then the whole day will play out at a frantic pace until our whole list has been covered by 3pm. I know that everyone will be incredibly tired by the end of it, but it will be worth it just to be able to be part of a massive world record.’
A spokesperson for Guinness World Records said: ‘The current world record for a multicultural St. George’s Day celebration within the six-hour category is 99 countries, and so it seems like the brave guys at Pier Hill Primary School have got a huge task on their hands. However, we are really looking forward to visiting the school and watching their attempt, and we would love to see both the school and Southend enter the record books! Good luck to them.’