The largest gathering of twins worldwide, double-down in Twinsburg each August for the annual Twins Days Festival. Sometimes Twinsburg will even see triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets and so on and so forth at the festival.
The history of Twinsburg and the gestation of the festival goes like this:
In 1819, a set of identical twins from Connecticut came to what was then known as Millsville. They were Moses and Aaron Wilcox, better known as the Wilcox brothers. They arrived in Millsville to sell parcels of land and attract settlers to the area. Twofold, they proposed six acres for a town’s square and suggested twenty dollars for the first school, under the condition that the people of Millsville would agree to change the name of the settlement to Twinsburg. The residents agreed and they double dog did it! And so it was that since the first set of “reportedly” unidentifiable, hard-to-tell-apart Wilcox brothers paired around Twinsburg, there have been thousands more doublets that have matched up with their other half to attend the annual Twins Days Festival.
The first Twins Days Festival gathering took place in 1976. It embraced thirty-six sets of twins. In recognition and respect to the Wilcox brothers, the festival started off with a special dedication and a flag raising at Wilcox Monument. Since 1976 the festival has doubled, tripled, and more than quadrupled in size. The largest annual congregation of twins in the world it has topped out at 3,000 sets. (This includes others of multiple births as well.) Not only is the Twins Days Festival a local treasure, but an international destination to twin counterparts from all over the world; Nigeria, Barbados, Russia, France, Argentina, Lebanon, Poland, and many more countries have been represented at the festival.
In 1980, the governor issued a proclamation for the state of Ohio that the first weekend in August of each year would be “Twins Day” throughout the state. It was in 1987 that the Guinness Book of World Records published the festival as the World’s Largest Annual Gathering of Twins. Television crews from Japan have captured the experience, filmmakers from Canada have documented it, and Ohio’s very own Jerry Springer gave a set of twins on his show, a “Dream Trip” to the festival!
So, what exactly happens at the festival? Well, the festival is a three-day double order of fun! There are contests, dancing, karaoke, hot-air balloon rides, a royal twins court, (prince, princess, king, and queen) a twins talent show, a raffle, a twins parade, lots of yummy food, golf tournaments, fireworks, a 5K run/walk, and genetic research conducted by universities and government agencies for those that wish to participate in twin studies. The Twins Day Festival Committee has given away scholarships and grants for study. Each year a particular theme is chosen. For example, the 2007 theme was “Fiesta,” a celebration of feast and fun.
Sure there are now other countries (Mexico, Thailand, those in the European Union, etc.) that have twin celebration gatherings, but they are only conventions and they aren’t annual. The real double deal is in Twinsburg, and that’s doubly great.
To find out more information, ask questions, and pre-investigate the festival, visit the official website at www.twinsday.org