On May 22, 2011, Marketing Master Rob Bliss set out to prove that Grand Rapids was NOT dying. I think he proved his point.

In early 2011 Newsweek magazine included Grand Rapids on a list of 'Ten Dying American Cities", which kind of cheesed then Mayor George Heartwell off a little bit. So to thumb their nose at the suggestion that we were dead, Heartwell and the citizens of GR took to the streets to show the world that their were still signs of life in Beer City.

Enter Bliss, a videographer and marketing man extraordinaire, who had already made a name for himself from previous stunts like the world record zombie walk, the world's largest water slide down Michigan Avenue and giant community pillow fights

Bliss came up with the idea to have the city try and break the world record for the most people participating in s single take 'lip dub' video. Which is simply people lip syncing to a song on video as if they were the original artist.

Over 5000 citizens showed up on that streets of Grand Rapids in the early morning hours to shoot the one-shot video, which did indeed set the world record.

The video was shot downtown in and around Rosa Parks Circle and Ah Nab Awen Park, as well as crossing nearby bridges. Featured in the video are parades, motorcades, tumblers, football players, marching bands, a fire, a helicopter taking off and a ton more.

The video was released on YouTube on May 26, 2011 and has received well over six million views since then on various platforms. It went viral and received national news attention.

The video even has its own page on The Internet Movie Database (imdb), which features a list of the main solo lip dubbers including Channel 8 meteorologist Bill Steffen and MLive's John Gonzalez and radio personality Droo McCarthy among others.

So if you were there that day, thank you, and look carefully, you may see yourself.

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