by Dennis Dalman
A Texas city went Kyle Krazy May 21 when 1,490 people named Kyle showed up for “The Gathering of the Kyles,” and one of those Kyles was Kyle Hedke of Sartell and his wife Amy’s cousin, Kyle Glaeser of St. Michael.
The Kyle Gathering took place on the last day of a three-day Kyle Fair at the edge of Lake Kyle. The purpose of the gathering was to beat a Guinness Book of World Records entry for the most people with the same name who get together in a city at one time. Only those with first names spelled KYLE were eligible. The Sunday event was the fourth time the city has held an attempt to break the record.
The current record holder is a city in Bosnia-Herzegovina in southeast Europe where on July 30, 2017 a total of 2,325 people – all of them Ivans – gathered together on that day.
The Kyle event didn’t top that record, Kyle didn’t break the record, but Glaeser and Hedke weren’t too disappointed.
“We had a blast!” said Hedke, who is an insurance agent for his State Farm office in Sartell.
He learned about the Texas gathering weeks ago from an online link sent to him by a friend, and he recalled thinking to himself, “Heck, you only live once so why not go?”
Back in Sartell a couple days after returning from Texas, during an interview with the Newsleader, Hedke said he decided it would be cool to do something different, out of one’s comfort zone.
“It would be nice to help get a record in the Guinness Book of World Records,” he said. “And besides, I’d never been to Texas – or Oklahoma.”
So he and Amy’s cousin set off on the long drive to Kyle. It rained steadily, state after state, all the way to Texas. Kyle is located along I-35 between the cities of Austin and San Antonio. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state, with a population of more than 50,000. It was founded in 1880, and one of its founders was a man named Fergus Kyle – thus the city’s name.
Hedke and Glaeser stayed for two nights in an Austin hotel and did some sightseeing before driving to Kyle for the big event.
When they arrived, one of the first sights at the fairgrounds they saw was a huge tour bus with a giant red-and-white name tag pasted on its side: “Hello, my name is Kyle.”
Every Kyle received a T-shirt that proclaimed on the front, “My name is Kyle.”
The two Minnesota Kyles chuckled with a mixture of amusement and amazement when they saw Kyles, Kyles everywhere – a huge crowd of Kyles all meeting one another. Young Kyles, old Kyles, short Kyles, tall Kyles, men Kyles, women Kyles, kiddie Kyles. About 100 women Kyles attended.
Hedke noted there were actually 1,876 Kyles at the fair but those who arrived after the registration period ended could not be qualified/counted for the Guinness competition.
They came from 49 of 50 states and some from other countries. Glaeser and Hedke met a 68-year-old woman named Kyle, a teacher from Wichita Falls (Texas), two police officers from the East Coast, a man from Ontario (Canada), a man from London (England) and many, many more.
One performer at the fair was an up-and-coming country singer from Nashville named Kyle Daniels. The fairgoers enjoyed music, vendor foods, carnival rides, a Texas barbecue and all kinds of hijinx and getting-to-know-you social interactions among the big throng of Kyles.
“We met about 200 Kyles, one to one,” Hedke said. “Everybody had so much fun. And Kyle and I had a great time on the drive down and back. It was a blast.”