If you happen to be in Twinsburg, Ohio, on the weekend of August 1st, don't be surprised if you see double, triple or even quadruple images of every person you meet. That's because you have just arrived at the world's largest Twin Days festival.
The annual festival began in 1976 as a way to celebrate this miracle of nature. Thirty-seven sets of twins showed up for the one-day event. For entertainment, they ran a marathon and watched "Thunder Chicken" perform a skydiving act. The Fireman's Fund served hamburgers, corn on the cob and soda, all for just 76 cents
Things are a little different after thirty-four years. The festival is now three days long and last year attracted over 2,000 sets of twins. As you would expect, the events have also changed accordingly.
While the marathon continues to be a great tradition, other events such as a twins talent show, hot air balloon rides, golf tournaments, field games, magicians and face painting for the kids as well as live entertainment, are some of the things to look forward to.
The Fireman's fund has been replaced by a full-fledged food court, which offers all kinds of food, though very little for 76 cents.
The festival kicks of with a 'Twins Only' Wiener Roast event on Friday night. The highlight of the festival is the 'Double Take' parade, where all the twins (or multiples) walk from the town square to the festival site.
Among the guests at this year's festival, will be the Sanders family (see pic) from Texas. It comprises of two identical sisters, Diane and Darlene, who married identical brothers Craig and Mark Sanders, a decade ago. As if that wasn't enough, the two families now each have a set of identical twins. The festival is very special to this family, since this is where the two couples first met. Now ten years later, they are celebrating the occassion with their own twins.
Over the years, the festival has made a big impact on some families. Recently, when the second of the identical twins pictured above died he left their entire fortune of $5million USD to the organizers of the twin festival. The two bachelor brothers who had been attending the festival since its inception in 1976, had never missed a single year until they died.
Over the years, the festival has become very popular even among families that don't have twins. To read more about it check out www.twinsdays.org
Sources: Telegraph.co.uk, twinsdays.org, USA today.com