Twinsburg — Platform shoes, bell-bottom jeans, star-shaped shades and fluorescent leisure suits are officially back in style for one weekend and one weekend only.
Take a far-out trip back to the ‘60s and ‘70s — and make it a double — for the 39th-annual Twins Days Double Take Parade and Festival, Aug. 2 and 3 in the wooded heartland of Twinsburg.
As the world’s largest annual gathering of twins and multiples, Twins Days promises food, fun, live entertainment, vendors, contests and more twins in one place than anywhere else on the planet, at least according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
As the city prepares to host thousands of visitors, Mayor Katherine Procop said Twinsburg is always happy to accommodate and embrace the yearly influx of multiples and their families each year.
“This is the event of the season and it’s the one event we never get tired of attending and hosting here in the city of Twinsburg,” Procop said. “I love the idea of having themes for Twins Days and this year of course will be ‘Groovy in Twinsburg,’ which is pretty cool. I’m expecting some wild-colored hairdos, tie-dye and maybe some gold chains ... it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
“Twinstock: Groovy in Twinsburg” encourages retro fashion and costumes that evoke the “peace and love” vibe. With 1,140 pre-registered sets of multiples expected to attend and counting, there’s bound to be plenty of peace and love to go around. About 2,000 sets of twins attended last year.
According to Twins Days Festival Committee member Sandy Miller, the many pre-registered twins and multiples expected to attend hail from around the globe, from as far away as Nigeria, Brazil, Australia, Ghana, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, France, Italy, England, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Korea, China and India.
“We usually get anywhere from 12 to 15 sets from outside the United States,” Miller said. “Of course, there are a lot of them who apply and do register, but don’t get their visas.”
The city’s hallmark event will begin with registration events and activities reserved for registered twins and their families on Aug. 1, including the “welcome wiener roast,” inflatable play sets and field games for kids, corn hole tournaments, dancing and karaoke, a raffle, a program by Jungle Terry’s Traveling Zoo and the crowning of the 2014 Twins Days Festival Royal Court.
The annual Twins Days Golf Outing at GlenEagles Golf Club is also Aug. 1, though the outing is open to the public.
The festival itself will begin with the Double Take Parade Aug. 2 at 9 a.m., which will step off just north of Twinsburg Township Square and proceed up Ravenna Road to the festival grounds in and around Glen Chamberlin Park.
Once underway, the festival will include two stages of live entertainment, featuring bands, juggling, clog dancing, magic shows, twins talent shows and more.
With so many moving parts, running the festival can be demanding. But Miller said preparations are progressing smoothly thanks to support from volunteers.
“Everything is on schedule, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes and without all the volunteers this would not happen,” Miller said. “Countless hours go into making this an international event that all ages can enjoy.”
Miller said the festival’s program has changed little from last year with the exception of the theme, featuring similar food trucks, arts and crafts vendors and research booths. However, the Double Take Parade route has been altered slightly for 2014, with the parade gathering and launching from Ravenna Road near the intersection of Richner Road, as opposed to the traditional starting point of Twinsburg Township Square.
Additionally, Ravenna Road will be closed at the Twin Hills Parkway, Burridge Circle and Route 91 intersections, with Richner Court and Church Street also closing.
Procop said the route alterations will ideally give the parade more room to gather and launch safely.
“It’ll be interesting to see how the new parade route works out, I think the gathering space will probably help the parade move out a little bit more easily,” Procop said.
Facebook: Conner Howard, Record Publishing Reporter