COLUMBIA — Shakespeare's Pizza wants to add its name to the record books.

To celebrate its 41st anniversary, Shakespeare’s plans to challenge the Guinness world record for “Most People Tossing Pizza Dough” from 1 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 15. The current record of 278 was set by a restaurant in Naples, Italy, on Sep. 16.

Participants need to press the dough by hand into 10-inch circles and toss them until they're 12 inches across. Everyone will get a 12-inch cardboard circle to measure their dough. The tossing time will be limited to one minute.

Employees and volunteers will demonstrate how to press and toss the dough beforehand and instruct during the effort to set a record. Crusts under 12 inches will not be counted.

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A few months ago, it occurred to Sean Spence of EveryEventGives to hold the largest pizza party in the world. After receiving the proposal, Guinness officials suggested going after the record for “most people tossing pizza dough” because there's no category for largest pizza party.

style="tab-stops: 260.05pt;">Spence, who's coordinating the anniversary event, said about 30 volunteers will be needed to keep a close eye on each step to ensure everything complies with the rules.

The challenge will be held at Shakespeare's south Columbia location at 3911 Peachtree Drive, where there is a frozen pizza bakery to produce, store and distribute the 500 balls of white dough that will be prepared.

“We make thousands of frozen pizzas a day, so 500 is easy,” said Kurt Mirtsching, Shakespeare’s general manager.

style="tab-stops: 260.05pt;">The entire event, including stretching and tossing dough as well as counting, will be recorded on video and sent to Guinness World Records.

style="tab-stops: 260.05pt;">Since no official Guinness representatives will be present, there must be independent observers, which could include elected or other public officials, notaries, auditors or members of the police department, according to the Guinness guidelines.

style="tab-stops: 260.05pt;">Shakespeare’s is looking for observers. “Perhaps somebody from the City Council, perhaps a police officer,” Mirtsching said. “I think we need about six.”

The pizzas crusts made by participants will probably be discarded because the dough handlers aren't certified with the health department.

style="tab-stops: 260.05pt;">“The birds will have a really good lunch that day,” Mirtsching said.

Profits from ticket sales will go to the Heart of Missouri United Way.

Supervising editor is John Schneller.

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