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Tanger birthday party sets Guinness World Record

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If you were one of the 487 people eating something sweet this afternoon at Tanger Outlets in Riverhead, you’ve just eaten your way into history.

Tanger Outlets succeeded in its quest to set a new Guinness World Record today for the world’s largest dessert party, Riverhead general manager Janine Nebbons announced this afternoon.

Nebbons said Tanger, which attempted to set the record as part of its 30th birthday party celebration, won’t have a final number until tomorrow. But the Guinness World Records official overseeing Tanger’s event told the company it had set the record, Nebbons said. She said did not know the prior record number; it could not be found on the Guinness World Records website.

People who wanted to attend the gathering began lining up at about 1:30. The “gate” opened at 2 pm.  Everyone who entered was counted by an official gatekeeper. Guests were allowed to pick their desserts but were asked not to eat them until precisely 3 o’clock. That proved too much for some, who were caught nibbling at the cupcakes and cookies baked by the students at the Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts Center.

Tanger’s Riverhead location apparently had more people attend its gathering outside Saks Off-5th today than any of the other 31 Tanger Outlets locations across the country, Nebbons said.

Riverhead is the company’s most profitable outlet location. That’s why Tanger CEO invited Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter to the New York Stock Exchange today, where Steve Tanger rang the closing bell at 4 p.m. Today marks the 30th anniversary of Tanger Outlets as a publicly traded company. The Riverhead location opened 17 years ago.

“I’m honored they invited me to come out,” Walter said after the festivities on Wall Street. “I’m happy to support them and proud that Riverhead is their most profitable site.”

Today’s event was emceed by Bruce Tria of WRIV radio in Riverhead and the “official timekeeper” was County Legislator Ed Romaine, who led the countdown to 3 o’clock.

“How often do you get the chance to eat your way into history,” Romaine asked the crowd.