Monday, August 7, 2017

Twins Day Festival


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 A post by The Blog Tech:

This past Saturday, my wife and I attended the Twins Day Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio.  It’s the world’s biggest gathering of identical twins.  Every year, for one weekend, they gather in this small Ohio town, wear the same outfits (or costumes!), and walk around while everyone else does double takes and snaps photos.

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I had been to this festival one time before with my mother about four years ago.  Since I met Thais, who was luckily completely into the idea of going to numerous weekend festivals, I’ve regaled her with stories about Twins Day.  It’s not like the other festivals I go to with my mother, you see.  Don’t get me wrong-I love all those festivals with all my heart.  But this festival?  It makes you think in a way you don’t normally think. 
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We are members of the human race.  We are just another species of animal on a planet chalk-full of them.  But that’s not how we think of ourselves most of the time, is it?  We’re people!  We run this planet!  We are “other”. 
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Even if we are “other”, i.e. we have the “leg up” on every other species, we are nevertheless a species.  We have a biology.  And sometimes, unusual things can happen.  One zygote can split and form two embryos.  And then you have identical twins. 
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It’s weird to think of humanity this way, isn’t it?  Do you look at a person and think, wow, you were once just a little embryo?  I know I don’t.  But at this festival, I do.  It’s a compelling headspace to be in.  I walked around this festival thinking of all the different things I’ve heard about identical twins.  If I step on one twin’s foot, does the other feel it?  Actually, I think that’s the only thing I’ve heard about identical twins.  It’s almost certainly not true, and I didn’t have the gall to ask any of them.  I think identical twins probably get asked this question all the time, and it probably annoys the hell out of them. 



--> Every year, the Twins Fest has a different theme.  This year, the theme was ‘country of origin’.  Though you may very well have figured that out by now.  


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After a little while, I started wondering if this festival might be a bit exploitative.  I went to a liberal arts college; these kinds of thoughts are unavoidable. But I don’t think it is exploitative.  You see, the objects of possible exploitation-the twins-are completely willing participants!  Thais asked everyone if they were okay having their pictures taken.  “Of course!”, said one set of twins.  “We wouldn’t be here if we weren’t!” I think it’s a celebration of a weird thing that can happen in this world.  Perfectly harmless, but weird all the same.  And it’s not just a strange experience for the twinless, either.  

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These two told us that they’ve been to the Twins Fest three times before, and it’s just as wild of an experience for them as it is for the Twinless.  After all, how often do identical twins go everywhere together?  People grow up.  They develop their own adult lives.  And when they are together, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that they don’t tend to wear identical outfits. 




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The Twins Fest also offers unique opportunities for the twins to participate in some innocuous skin care trials.  Identical twins are highly sought-after for such trials because they’re the perfect ‘experiment’ and ‘control’:  two people, biologically identical, who can give a side-by-side comparison of what a product can do. 

Click to enlarge.

--> On another note, this festival also has amazing food.  Most festivals have your typical festival food: some kind of Chinese, funnel cakes,  fried everything, and maybe a lemonade stand.  The Twins Fest has all of this, and so much more. 


Schnitzels and Giggles!


 I had to order the schnitzel on a stick.  It was amazing.  After eating this delicious thing, we walked around some more.


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These are quintuplets who met triplets at a Twins Fest a few years ago and became friends. 


--> These are identical twins, cousins with their identical twin nephews.  They dressed the babies up like spaghetti and meatballs! 


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At the end of our stay, we attended the awards show that recognizes twins with the best costumes.  Two little girls were asked what they liked best about having a twin.  “I always have someone there for me”, said the one little girl.  Awwww!


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People, you need to go to this festival.  Do whatever you have to do.  They don’t come better than this.  Maybe we’ll see you there! 




7 comments:

Mary said...

Very interesting post for me since I am a twin and as a child attended a twin festival. Not identical but fraternal. Twin brother - got it? Through the years (not so much now that people are more educated about biology) I can't begin to tell you how many times I was asked if I was identical!!! My twin and I have never been close, unfortunately. It is hard for me to fathom that two people that "shared a uterus" have been estranged for most of life. I have very few memories of my childhood but the twin festival remains very vivid. Years ago there weren't as many multiple births and I do not remember any identical twin festivals. Thanks for writing about this somewhat unusual event.

Leeanna Henderson said...

Cool post. I love all the costumes the twins had. You can see the ingenuity that they have.

Nellie said...

Our twin daughters are fraternal - almost 43 years old now - never did that "dressing alike" with them, either, unless I included their older sister in the mix. When I did, and would go out with them, many people would think they were triplets! Oldest was only 20 months older than her twin sisters. I've heard of this festival, but have never kept up with when it was held. It looks like a marvelous time!

Guillaume said...

That's original.

TARYTERRE said...

enjoyed hearing about this festival. great pictures too.

Linda said...

I grew up with identical twin male cousins younger than I am. So, I experienced many funny things with them and heard about their antics from my aunt. On my mother's side of the family are identical twins and fraternal male/female twins. I wanted twins with my first birth, but after having my son, I would never have lived through twins of him! I never thought of going to this festival since I am not a twin. Great post!

thecottagebythecranelakethree said...

They talked about this festival on the news the other day :-)

Schnitzel on a roll? Sounds interesting :-)

Have a great day!

Christer.