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Mall of America celebrates its 25th anniversary

By: Associated Press
August 11, 2017 Updated: August 11, 2017 at 5:49 pm
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photo - Kyla Davenport, 11, winces while her father puts her birthday conical hat back on during Mall of America's 25th birthday celebration, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in Bloomington, Minn. (Courtney Pedroza /Star Tribune via AP)
Kyla Davenport, 11, winces while her father puts her birthday conical hat back on during Mall of America's 25th birthday celebration, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in Bloomington, Minn. (Courtney Pedroza /Star Tribune via AP) 

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The biggest mall in the United States is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a record-setting attempt involving cupcakes and party hats.

The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, marked the special day Friday by trying to set a Guinness World Record for the most people wearing conical birthday hats and the most people simultaneously decorating cupcakes, the Star Tribune reported .

The mall is 5.6 million square feet (520,000 sq. meters) with more than 520 stores and 11,000 employees. Its attractions include an amusement park, an aquarium, an indoor zip line and a mirror maze, and it hosts fundraisers, dance-a-thons, tribute concerts and celebrity appearances.

The mall generates about $2 billion in economic activity and has more than 40 million visitors every year. The mall attracts more visitors than Florida's Disney World, according to the newspaper.

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 included a one-of-a-kind cake from Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro of TLC's reality television 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.

Multiple Guinness World Records have 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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