B’More Aware of HIV… the failed Living Red Ribbon experiment

Applications like Facebook and Twitter have made it so that I don’t actually talk to any of my friends anymore.  As a person who is a bit averse to long phone chatters, this is awesome.  And while I feel more connected to my friends, I also feel more disconnected.  But I digress – what I’m trying to say is that my good friend, Geoff, tweeted about the B’More Aware of HIV event at the Inner Harbor this past Saturday where Baltimore was going to attempt to set a Guinness Book of World Records for the largest living red ribbon.

Baltimore has successfully set this type of record before when they got enough people to create the largest Human Smiley face.  Sadly – it appears only 250 people showed up so I doubt that it would be a difficult record to break.

However, Geoff and I are total famewhores and wanted to be apart of record-setting history!  We planned to our excursion to the Inner Harbor. 

We got there at what felt like the ass-crack of dawn (okay – so it was only like 9am but still… it was SATURDAY).  On the way to Rash Field, we passed this gentleman playing the ukulele.  We thought he was just a street performer but he claimed to the bachelor of a bachelor party.  He said his friends made him wear the large child’s Mario costume and play for lunch money.  Geoff thinks he’s full of bs because what kind of lame-ass bachelor party is that?

It'sa me, Mario!

We registered for the event and noticed that the crowds were rather… dismal.  But it was early.  We checked out the schedule of events and were quite dismayed that the picture would not be taken until 11:30am.  We had over 2 hours to kill! 

We did a lot of people watching, lots of chatting, some random shopping and posing with things like tourists.

Ribbon Day crab
ribbon day harbor

We went back to Rash Field around 10:45am and decided just to check out what they had to offer.  I was stoked to see that Starbucks was there so I scooped up some free coffee cake, lemon cake and banana nut bread (I didn’t eat it all… just the banana nut bread and it was awesome).  When I said that I was starving and pregnant, the nice ladies were quick to hand me tons of bread.  One lady turned to Geoff and said, “Here – take some too.  I’m sure you have sympathy pregnancy symptoms.” 

I didn’t hear her say it but it definitely took Geoff a minute to understand that the lady thought he was my baby’s daddy. 

We sat through some grandstanding by some politicians.  I learned that Maryland is ranked 4th in the US for reported HIV cases and Baltimore City is ranked 5th in “major cities” with HIV.  Cah-razy.

As a part of registering, we all received these lovely placards (that had the stats I mentioned above printed on the back).  We were supposed to hold them up for the picture (because they sure as shit did not provide people with red shirts like we assumed they would).  We were told they needed over 3000 people to break the record.
Geoff at the human ribbon

As we all lined up to form the ribbon, I looked around at the very thin crowd. 
Human Ribbon

While I’m not always great at estimating the number of people in a location, this sure as shit was not 3000 people.  After the picture was taken, they announced that they needed 3000 people but that only 565 people participated.  We weren’t even CLOSE!  Ouch!

I blame Baltimore’s pitiful marketing campaign for this event.  I didn’t even know about it until Friday because Geoff tweeted it.  For a Mayor that is on Twitter, you’d think Baltimore would have a handle on promoting these events on social networks. 

I guess we won’t be autographing anyone’s Guiness Book of World Records anytime soon.



Filed under Charm City Kim Plays

4 responses to “B’More Aware of HIV… the failed Living Red Ribbon experiment

  1. That’s awesome of the two of you to head out there! That sucks that more people didn’t!

  2. Damn, that must have been embarrassing. I always hate when we produce shows only to have 150 people sitting in our 980-seat theater.

    In totally unrelated news, is it just the angle of the third picture or have your boobs gotten HUGE?! I mean, huge for you.

  3. attending bachelor parties is kind of my hobb these days, i like parties and drinking too :

  4. Just letting you know that the B’More Aware Ribbon Event was not a failure. Organizers of the event were realistic about this being a first-time event and did not expect to break the world record on the first attempt. In the following year of 2011, Coppin State University hosted the second annual event and well over a thousand people participated. Every year, the event keeps gaining momentum but it takes a lot of work and money to organize. Please keep in mind that it took several years for the current world record holders to earn their record. Both B’More Aware events were actually a success in the sense that it brought more awareness to HIV in Baltimore, earned large donations and created television exposure for the charities involved, offered free on-site HIV testing to hundreds of participants, and gained national recognition by winning several awards for event organization. We are thankful that you participated in the first annual event, and when the record IS broken, you can say that YOU were a part of that!

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