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RECORD-SETTING VIDEO PROJECT PLANNED FOR BICENTENNIAL

Organizers are moving forward with making a record-breaking lip sync video as part of next year’s bicentennial celebration and have set the date for May 28, an organizer said.

The goal for “Lip Dub Fort Smith” is to have 5,001 volunteers participate in a music video intended to inspire a positive perception of Fort Smith, Bradford Randall said. The current Guinness World Record for number of people in a video like this is 5,000.

“I believe Fort Smith is reaching a tipping point in the arts, economic growth and positivity about the future and this viral video will keep that momentum going in a big way and show the world what we’re made of,” Randall said.

Randall referenced Grand Rapids, Mich., a city that made lip dub video to promote itself in 2011 after Newsweek called it a dying city.

“Not that Fort Smith is a dying city, but the excitement seems to be with other areas of the state a lot of the times,” he said. “We get overlooked and miss out on some of those things.”

Fayetteville was named the No. 5 best place to live in the country by U.S. News & World Report this year.

The organizers of this project are an off-shoot of the Bicentennial Committee. They already got permission to film the video on Garrison Avenue before the Old Fort Days Rodeo Parade, when the avenue will already be blocked off, Randall said.

They will have their first meeting in November. A song is not set in stone, but “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey is on the table.

A drone is planned to fly from Immaculate Conception Church to either the Riverfront Pavilion or the bridge that goes over the Arkansas River to film the video, Randall said. Randall is still working on estimates for how much the entire project will cost, but is estimating $30,000 for now. The money will come from private donations. First National Bank has donated $1,000, and some individuals have donated, too.

“Music has an emotional impact, and that’s what we’re going for with this project too — not just to show the world how fun and great Fort Smith is to be in and live in — but just to connect with people on an emotional level,” Randall said. “And something fun like that with music will connect.”

To get involved, please visit their website: www.lipdubfortsmith.com