PORTLAND -- Portland will attempt to set the Guinness World Record for tree hugging on July 20.
Hoyt Arboretum and Treecology organized the event and hope to gather "the most people ever simultaneously hugging trees in one place at one time," said Mark Ross of Portland Parks and Recreation.
The current official world record is 702, set in September 2011 by the Forestry Commission in Delamere Forest, Cheshire, UK. But another group claims to have gathered 902 people at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in May 2013.
Hoyt Arboretum spokesman Martin Nicholson said the organizers of the Portland attempt are shooting for about 1,200 people. And if breaking the record isn't enough of a reward, "all tree hug participants will receive a coupon for a complimentary beverage from one of several participating local breweries," he said.
He added that in order to adhere to strict Guinness rules, organizers wants as many participants as possible to pre-register for the hug.
Portland Timbers mascot Timber Joey and Friends of Trees mascot Garry Oak will be among the huggers. Ross said there will also be fun activities for adults and kids.
All proceeds from the event will benefit Hoyt Arboretum.