The group of bikini-wearing women showed up on Panama City Beach in Florida yesterday to take the title from Australia’s Gold Coast, beating their previous record of 357.
Spring breakers from as far as Maine and Alaska gathered on the beach to take part in the world record before noon.
Philip Robertson, Guinness World Records adjudicator, said: “This is not something you see every day, the organization to put this together was incredible.”
Karly Quinn from Maine, who participated in the mile-long parade, said she did it for her country.
She said: “This is the most exciting day of my life, tears were coming out of my eyes, I’m so proud of the United States.”
The Bay County Tourist Development Council came up with the idea to promote the area and get more tourists on the beach, but not everyone thought it was a good idea.
Some city leaders said that having hundreds of women parade around in bikinis would lead to girls going wild on the beach.
City council member Ken Nelson said: “We’ll have a lot of college kids and there’s a lot of hormones flowing out there. It’s very volatile and it doesn’t take a whole lot for things to go sour.”
The parade organisers are donating $1,000 to Beach Care Services, which provides short-term emergency help to people living in the area.
Dan Rowe, president and CEO of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, which sponsored the event, said: “We were able to not just break the record but smash it. Everybody had a great time.”
The rules stipulated by Guinness were that all participants had to be female and had to complete the one-mile parade. The rules also said the women must be wearing a two-piece bikini – tankinis and cover-ups were banned.
A final rule said participants had to keep their own bikinis on at all times and were not allowed to share them.
Robertson said: “We had to add [it] to make sure nothing untoward happened. There have been previous incidents that were a little unsavoury.”