[WASHINGTON, IOWA, September 2023] – Several months after displaying his collection of nativities at Hills Bank in Washington, Mike Zahs has learned that he had broken the Guinness World Record. Zahs agreed to display his entire collection as part of the Tour of Homes event coordinated by the Washington Chamber of Commerce. While the collection was on display Zahs and others worked to submit an application to Guinness attempting to break the record titled “Largest Collection of Nativity Sets”.
Guinness describes this record as “the largest number of items of a single subject in a private, personal collection and [it] is measured by the number of unique items in the collection that meet [the criteria for the record]. After submitting the application for initial review, Zahs received a list of all the evidence he would need to submit for his attempt to break the record. Evidence for the attempt was far from limited. Zahs and friends submitted 19 videos, 102 photos, a 227 page listing of inventory, 11 media articles covering the display, along with a frequently asked questions sheet, cover page, and two witness statements, all for review by Guinness World Records. Following review of the evidence submitted, Zahs is now the current record holder for the Largest Collection of Nativity Sets, with a record of 2,324 nativities.
The collection was on display at Hills Bank in Washington from late November until the end of January. While the actual display was closer to 2600 nativities some had to be excluded from the world record count due to requirements of Guinness World Records. Each nativity was required to have Mary, Joseph, Jesus and at least one of the following: angels, three wise men, shepherds, animals, a star or a stable.
For questions or comments please contact Mike Zahs at 319-653-6250.