TWINSBURG — The annual Twins Days Festival scheduled for August has been canceled due to concerns surrounding the pandemic, with organizers of the international event instead planning for 2021.
The three-day event, listed as the Largest Annual Gathering of Twins in the World by the Guinness Book of World Records, was supposed to have taken place Aug. 7 through 9.
“Uncertainty surrounding the current health crisis has increased in recent weeks, and the festival committee has concluded, in coordination with local and state authorities, that the health and safety of our attendees, Twinsburg residents, committee members, and volunteers far outweigh the risks of hosting such a large event as Twins Days,” stated Andrew M. Miller, executive director of the Twins Days Festival in a notice posted today on the Twins Days Festival website.
“We understand that this is disappointing news for our twin family who look forward in anticipation to Twins Days year after year, and also to our local organizations that rely on the event for much needed fundraising.”
Mayor Ted Yates said that Twins Days “has always been one of the events that defines us locally and throughout the United States and internationally.”
“We are known for that event,” Yates said. “Over the last 40 plus years, we’ve had twins from all around the world. I know it was a joy for them to participate. Also, it was an economic benefit to the city. Our businesses, which has already hit because of the pandemic, will be hurt.
“I enjoyed seeing twins coming year after year,” Yates added. “On a personal note, it’s sad for me to not participate this year, but I understand why, and I support the committee’s decision to do so. And I hope we can plan for bigger and better in 2021.”
Councilwoman Daisy Walker (W-2), who is one of the founding members of the Twins Days Festival committee, said she is looking forward to planning next year’s festival.
“Unfortunately, the Twins Day Festival for 2020 has been canceled for our safety,” Walker said. “I am excited to see the growth of the Twins Day Festival exceed 40 sets of inaugural twins to now over thousands of twins each year. The Twins Day Festival also provides a positive economic impact for the City of Twinsburg."
In addition to bringing together thousands of sets of twins and multiples each year, the Twins Days Festival provides a centralized location for the multitude of twin-related information and research studies.
A study released last year found the festival made an estimated $5.4 million economic impact to the city.
Kent State University associate professor of economics Shawn Rohlin, who conducted the study after being contacted by the Twins Days Festival, credited its ability to attract out-of-town visitors.
The study estimated that non-local twin attendees spent more than $1.5 million at the 2018 event, and other non-local visitors contributed more than $3.8 million to the local economy. Rohlin said 76% of non-local visitors said they spent an average of $150 at restaurants; an average of $429 at hotels; $106 on entertainment; $135 on other retail and $48 at grocery/drug stores.
“It is extremely unfortunate to hear the news of the Twins Days Festival cancellation,” said Allyson Tonozzi, the executive director for the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce. “One of the primary purposes of the Festival is promoting the City of Twinsburg, so without a doubt our city and local businesses will feel the impact.
“Revenue generated from this annual event helps fund subsequent festivals, as well as provide research grants and scholarship opportunities for Twinsburg High School seniors. In addition, local organizations such as the Athletic Boosters, Cub/Girl Scouts, and the Rotary Club will miss out on fundraising opportunities driven by the festival. It’s an absolute shame; however, I hope this allows everyone to remain safe and healthy, and I have confidence the event will come back next year bigger and better than ever.”
An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people attend the annual event, which features a parade, contests, talent show, entertainment, fireworks and other activities. In 2019, which had the theme “Home for the Holidays,” more than 2,400 sets of twins and multiples registered for the event, which includes the Double Take parade, a volleyball tournament, a hot dog cookout, contests, research tables and more. The three-day event has seen more than 77,000 sets of twins and multiples attend over its 43 years, according to information from the Twins Days website.
Next year’s festival is scheduled for Aug. 6 through 8 in 2021. For details on the event, visit https://twinsdays.org online.