By Jenna Dennison
The Lynden community celebrated the town’s 125th birthday on Saturday with a 1,250 foot long strawberry shortcake that stretched the length of four city blocks in downtown Lynden.
While the strawberry shortcake was intended for the city’s birthday celebration, it also served as an attempt to break the world record for the longest strawberry shortcake.
Community members within Lynden also emphasized how important the shortcake was to the town. Lisa Oostema, a volunteer helping to build the shortcake, commented that the attention on the shortcake “help[ed] promote the city.”
“I love Lynden,” said Oostema. “It’s such a great small town, [and the] heart is in the downtown area.”
The construction of the shortcake took place directly after Lynden’s annual Farmer’s Day parade, which attracted a large crowd of spectators.
Following the end of the parade, volunteers began setting up tables that stretched from Third to Seventh Street in downtown Lynden. Gutters from Westside were then placed down, and volunteers promptly began laying the biscuits, ice cream, strawberries and whipped cream into the gutters. Others began distributing bowls and spoons to onlookers. Overall, the construction of the shortcake took over 40 minutes to complete.
A drone then flew over the completed shortcake and filmed the event. The video will be sent to Guinness World Records as documentation in order to set the new world record for longest strawberry shortcake.
Before the cake was served to the crowd, four city blocks full of people sang a chorus of “Happy Birthday” to the town of Lynden before the crowd gathered around the shortcake for their own share.
The ingredients for the cake were provided by local businesses in Lynden. The biscuits for the shortcake were baked by Lynden Dutch Bakery, the ice cream was provided by Edaleen Dairy, strawberries were from Curt Maberry Farm, and Darigold supplied the whipped cream for the cake. Additionally, the cake was arranged in vinyl gutters that were donated by Westside Building Supply.
Business owners were proud of their involvement with the shortcake. Lynden Dutch Bakery, which has been in Lynden since 1907, baked 138 full sheets of biscuits for the shortcake event. The bakery used 400 pounds of biscuit mix, 50 pounds of sugar, 20 gallons of buttermilk, and 400 eggs for the biscuits. It was also estimated that the biscuits made over 4,900 servings.
“The bakery’s kind of a landmark,” said Val Dyksterhuis, the manager at Lynden Dutch Bakery. “It [the event] worked out really good.”
Lynden Dutch bakery co-owner Chad Simmons, who owns the bakery along with his wife, Julee Simmons, said the event “renewed interest” in Lynden.
“We’re very honored to be asked [to be involved],” said Simmons. “[We’re] really excited for downtown Lynden.”
Edaleen Dairy, a family farm that has been in operation since 1975, donated 75 gallons of ice cream for the shortcake.
“Edaleen has always had a strong community involvement,” said Dave Dodson, a sales manager at Edaleen. “We’re just proud of being part of the 125 year celebration of Lynden.”
Darigold, another dairy manufacturer with a plant in Lynden, contributed 60 cans of their whipped cream to top off the dessert.
“[This is a] landmark day for us,” said Lynden Mayor Scott Korthuis. “[It] shows what kind of town we are.”