A record-setting strand of beads has helped the city of East Providence put its recent financial woes behind it, at least for night.

On Friday, the city smashed the Guinness world record for longest strand of beads with a 1,349.9 foot string of red and white beads.

The previous record was 355 feet, set in February in the United Kingdom.

Patti Streit led the effort by the East Providence Education Foundation. She told The Providence Journal it was a much-needed "fun, positive" moment. The city has been plagued by budget problems, police and fire layoffs and teacher disputes.

Streit said Guinness World Records granted permission to attempt the world record in July. The education group, which raises funds for school programs, immediately began selling the beads used in the strand.