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OK, that's enough excitement

If you Google "things to do in Bucharest, Romania," you'll find few references to trendy restaurants, the nightlife, shopping, or don't-miss cultural attractions. Mostly, there are listings of museums, monasteries, and that mammoth Parliament House that dictator Nicolae Ceausescu ordered built as his palace (but didn't live to see completed). Perhaps that's why with the start of winter, fun-starved residents set out to see whether they could win not one, not two, but three Guinness Book of World Records listings in the same week. First came an attempt to assemble the most people dressed as Father Christmas in one place. So, as Mayor Sorin Oprescu and a Guinness representative looked on, men and women in red suits trimmed with fake white fur paraded through the streets, handing out gifts to children. That was on Sunday, Dec. 21. Six days later, chefs finished making what they hoped would be the world's longest smoked sausage. Finally, last Sunday came the – ahem – icing on the cake: a fruit-and-cream torte decorated with the national flag and the words "Happy New Year 2009." So, how'd they do? Well, attempt No. 1 was a success. In all, 3,939 volunteers eclipsed the old Father Christmas record (3,618) set in Taiwan five years ago. Attempt No. 2 also won a listing. At 1,286 feet, the sausage turned out to be 73 feet longer than the previous mark, set by a team of Polish cooks. And as for the cake, at 619 pounds Guinness certified it as the heaviest ever baked. So, having batted 1.000, the city now settles down for a typically dark, cold, and snowy next three months.


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