When I was a kid, the Guinness Book of World Records was the holy grail. To have your name etched in history for the most grapes you were able to fit inside your mouth or the longest continuous hula-hooping session was the pinnacle of achievement in my young mind. To be honest, though, not much has changed. I still find myself racking my brain to try and come up with some random skill that could let me live in infamy. Apparently, I'm not alone. At least eight Guinness world records have been achieved right here in the Hudson Valley.

As I just admitted, I was always looking for a loophole to get into the record books. I thought attempting something random enough that no one had bothered to try it before would be a surer path to victory than going up against actual competition. Not true for these champions in the Hudson Valley. Not only do they get to rest their laurels on a world record plaque, but these records are actually impressive.

Most Lights on a Residential Property

Let's start with what is possibly the most famous local world record. Seven years ago, a Lagrangeville family decorated their home with over 600,000 lights for the holiday season, cementing their legacy in the pages of the record book.

Longest Single Line of Dancers

In 2013, the Walkway Over the Hudson hosted more than 2,500 dance enthusiasts to line up along the 1.28-mile-long bridge to all simultaneously do the Hokey Pokey. As the cherry on top, they picked up Guinness' record for the longest footbridge, too.

World's Largest Cannoli

At 123 pounds, the world's largest cannoli, built by Giulio Pistolesi and Scott Wilkinson of Newburgh, was recognized by Guinness in 2010. It's a coveted record, however, and it was later broken in New York City (check the new record below).

World's Largest Kaleidoscope

Growing up in Ulster County. I still remember the trip to Mount Tremper as a kid to check out the giant kaleidoscope that was housed in a farm silo. Bonus: they sold smaller kaleidoscopes in the gift shop to take home.

Highest Standing Jump

I'm 6'4" and can barely touch rim, so this one was extra impressive to me. Westchester resident Christopher Spell jumped up to a 5'7" platform to claim this record.

World's Largest Sundae

Boice Bros are already heroes in my mind for being one of the brave ice cream shops to stay open all year. They also set a record with their 1,600-foot-long ice cream sundae.

Most Skips Over a Rope

Not content with one record, Woodstock native Sella Rega broke three rope records, with most skips over a rope in an 8, 12, and 24-hour period at 59,916, 76,196, and 151,409 skips respectively.

World's Largest Garden Gnome

I'm saving this for last because it holds a special place in my heart. I grew up down the road from Kelder's Farm in Kerhonkson, and would constantly drive by Chomsky, the world's largest garden gnome. This record has been contested, but the 13' 6" Chomsky will always be #1 in my heart.

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