TWINSBURG — Twins are encouraged to "get their game on" this summer in the Double Take Parade and throughout the community, at the 43rd staging of the international Twins Days Festival Aug. 3-5.
Twins and multiples will offer their creative takes on the theme for 2018, "Two-Player Mode," dressing up as favorite video or arcade characters, or drawing inspiration from classic card games, board games, role-playing games or video-themed games.
Ideas discussed so far include Super Mario Brothers, Monopoly, chess, poker or Uno, Twister, Dungeons & Dragons, World of Warcraft and even Angry Birds.
"It’s time to dust off that old Atari or N.E.S. system, set the game board and get ready ... it’s game on," the Twins Days website says.
Sandy Miller, who is working on the planning committee for her 42nd year, explained that theme was suggested during an annual brainstorming session three or four years ago.
"Since there’s so much new technology out there with computer games and movies, we thought it would be a good theme," said Miller. "Not only does it encompass the new technology, but the old games as well, and thus is a great draw for all ages."
Twins Days is the largest annual gathering of twins and multiples in the world, a fact that's been verified by the Guinness Book of World Records. As the Twinsburg area celebrated its bicentennial last year, "TwinCentennial" was the 2017 theme.
The festival debuted in America’s bicentennial year of 1976, when just 36 sets of twins participated. Last year’s unofficial number of twins and multiples was 1,905 sets, with 25,000 to 30,000 people attending on a perfect-weather weekend.
All of the usual events will return for this year’s festival, but the day of one — the golf outing — has been changed to Saturday from its normal Friday tee time, Miller said.
The golf outing will be at Gleneagles Golf Course at 1 p.m., with a preregistration deadline of July 25. Miller said a small group of participants is likely this year, but it is hoped the event will return to its normal Friday time slot next year.
Miller said planning has gone smoothly this year, with the 21-member committee working hard and the small Ravenna Road office. Twins Days always offers unique opportunities, Miller says.
"It’s the largest support group for multiples," she said. "They can share problems with each other.
"Last year’s festival was awesome, and everyone had a great time. It ran very smoothly. This is a busy time of year for the committee, and it’s a lot of work, but a labor of love."
Deadlines to register for several activities are coming up June 20, including the talent show, royal court, scholarships, parade entries and souvenir program advertisements.
Preregistration deadline is July 20, and fees are $15 per set of twins ($20 onsite), $22.50 per set of triplets, $30 per set of quadruplets and $37.50 per set of quintuplets ($20 for those categories onsite).
July 20 is the deadline for ordering a group photo and turning in a program patron listing. Photos are available in 8-by-12-inch size only.
Non-twins such as siblings, parents, etc. simply can pay $4 at the gate of Glenn Chamberlin Park (free for those 5 years and younger).
To enter contests, multiples must be registered, but that can be done when they arrive. They should arrive at the contest tent at least 10 minutes before the start and must wear registration wristbands and name tags.
The festival will kick off Aug. 3 with the annual Welcome Wiener Roast for registered multiples and their families only. A raffle, bounce houses, children’s field games, face painter, balloon artist, Jungle Terry and his animals and a cornhole tournament are some of the activities, and the royal court will be announced.
Twins scholarships will be presented at general kickoff festivities Aug. 4, with each scholarship amounting to $1,000, while TWINGO - Fun Bingo is planned Aug. 5 in the community center, with two sessions at noon and 2 p.m. The latter is open to all who are at least 18 years old.
A volleyball tournament for twins and multiples only will take place Aug. 5 at noon, with registration required at the Welcome Wiener Roast. Participants will receive a T-shirt to wear during the competition.
The Twins Days 5K run / walk is Aug. 5 at Dodge Intermediate School, across the street from the festival site. It is part of the Subway Challenge Series, a series of races in Northeast Ohio.
The Twinsburg Historical Society will host an open house Aug. 3 from noon to 4 p.m. at the museum and Mail Pouch barn, and tours will be available. Additional times for tours can be arranged by visiting www.twinsburghistoricalsociety.org.
As a sponsor of Twins Days, Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky will offer a discount for all registered twins and multiples, with the discount good for admission from Aug. 1-12.
Area residents desiring more information about this year’s activities or needing registration forms can visit www.twinsdays.org, call 330-425-3652 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A complete schedule of events will be posted closer to the weekend of the event.
Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400 ext. 4189 or email@example.com