published on August 11, 2017 - 11:32 AM
Written by Edward Smith

(AP) — The biggest mall in the United States is celebrating its 25th anniversary with cupcakes and party hats.

The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, will mark the special day Friday with an attempt to set Guinness World Records for the most people wearing conical birthday hats and the most people simultaneously decorating cupcakes, the Star Tribune reported.

The 5.6 million square foot (520,000 sq. meter) mall with more than 520 stores and 11,000 employees generates $2 billion in economic activity and has more than 40 million visitors every year. The mall attracts more visitors than Florida’s Disney World.

The mall’s attractions include an amusement park, an aquarium, an indoor zip line and a mirror maze. It also holds fundraisers, dance-a-thons, tribute concerts and celebrity appearances. The mall, its retailers and events raise about $12 million for nonprofits annually.

“As we look ahead beyond our 25th birthday, we expect to include more entertainment in our retail mix, and continue to integrate digital tools to help enhance the guest’s stay,” said Greta Anderson, a spokeswoman for the mall. “We’ve succeeded in leading the retail and entertainment space for 25 years, and it’s been a great ride.”

The anniversary celebration will also include a one-of-a-kind cake from Bartolo “Buddy” Valastro of TLC’s reality TV show “Cake Boss.” Valastro’s family owned business, Carlo’s Bakery, is opening a location at the mall by the end of the year.

Anderson said an upscale CMX Theater will also open at the mall later this year, with a high-end bar and gourmet food.

Multiple Guinness World Records have previously been set at the mall. Records include largest number of people playing in a handbell choir, the most Ninja Turtles in one place and the largest number of people tying their shoes at the same time.

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