A brite idea goes for the world record

  • Article by: AIMEE BLANCHETTE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 15, 2013 - 3:58 PM
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Ta-coumba Aiken’s Lite-Brite design will be on display from 3 to 9 p.m. today at St. Paul’s Union Depot, 214 E. 4th St. The event is free and open to the public.

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When Ta-coumba Aiken was a boy, he burned his finger on the bulb of a Lite-Brite, so his father hid it away in a closet.

Now 60, the St. Paul muralist has reunited with the classic Hasbro toy in a big way. On Saturday night, St. Paul will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the “Largest Picture Made of Lite-Brite.”

“Lite-Brites are magical. They’re vibrant,” Aiken said. “It’s almost like creating a giant coloring book.”

The record-breaking attempt is a 12-foot-high, 24-foot-long colorful abstract mural designed by Aiken. More than 600 volunteers helped sort more than 600,000 pegs into eight colors and place them into the installation.

The giant work will be illuminated with an officiator from Guinness World Records on hand to declare success. The previous record used 347,004 pegs.

It’s all part of a kickoff party at the Union Depot for a statewide idea competition prompting Minnesotans to share thoughts on what they would do if they had $1 million to make St. Paul great.

“Light is a symbol of ideas and we’re looking for big ideas to make a difference in St. Paul,” said Naomi Pesky, a spokesperson for the St. Paul Foundation.

Minnesotans are encouraged to submit their million-dollar ideas by April 3 to www.mnideaopen.org. □

  • If you go

    What: Lite-Brite installation.

    When: 3-9 p.m. Saturday.

    Where: Union Depot, 214 E. 4th St., St. Paul.

    Info: Free, open to the public; www.mnideaopen.org/foreversaintpaul

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