We smashed the record

5678 ANNIES!. . . . .Group pictured at the official announcement of the 'Annie' Guinness world record  At front are Ciara Scott and Tara Toland. Back from left are Meadbh Parr, Dolores O'Reilly Parr,  Sandra Biddle, Rachel Bruce,  Michelle McGinn  and Caitlin Quinn. DER3313JM035
5678 ANNIES!. . . . .Group pictured at the official announcement of the 'Annie' Guinness world record At front are Ciara Scott and Tara Toland. Back from left are Meadbh Parr, Dolores O'Reilly Parr, Sandra Biddle, Rachel Bruce, Michelle McGinn and Caitlin Quinn. DER3313JM035

The 5,678 people who took part in the Annie World Record attempt at Ebrington in March - are now official world record breakers - the ‘Journal’ can reveal.

Guinness World Records have verified that Derry now holds the title for the ‘Largest ever Song and Dance Routine.’

The record was set on March 2 this year when local woman Sandra Biddle persuaded more than five thousand people to take part in an unforgettable rendition of ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life.’

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ after hearing the news, Sandra Biddle thanked the thousands who took part adding: “What a great week we are all having here in our beautiful city.

“To add to this positive story, we were officially notified by Guinness that our world record attempt has been verified and Derry now holds the record for the largest song and dance routine.

“This record is for our children who sang and danced their way into everyone’s hearts and now the record books. Thank you to everyone who took part and to our young people. What a great legacy for our city.”

The world record attempt was organised by the Foyle School of Speech and Drama in association with Foyle Hospice.

Michelle Mc Ginn, Community Fundraiser, Foyle Hospice said: “We have done it. It has been confirmed by the officials at Guinness World Records that we have smashed the current record for the largest song and dance routine in one location.

“We needed 4,501 people to take part but to our amazement the final number who turned out on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Ebrington Square was 5,678.

“This is a great achievement for all who took part and it is wonderful that we are able to share this news in the week that our city is holding the Fleadh Cheoil. We would like to thank all who took part and all who supported this event.”

Derry-born actress Roma Downey who sponsored the event was one of the first people to hear about the result.

In an email to Sandra she said: “This is brilliant news. Go Sandra, you did it girl, so proud of you, congrats! Love and light.”

In March of this year queues of people lined Ebrington Square to take part in the first mass participation event of Derry’s culture year.

And many who turned up planning only to be spectators on the day decided to throw caution to the wind and get in on the action, registering at the very last minute.

At one stage the crowds of people stretched as far back as the Peace Bridge.

And there were scenes never witnessed before as old and young came together in a unique dance fusion as the people of the North West performed ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life.’