With almost 40,000 people converging on a city occupied by less than half of that number in the dog days of August, it can feel like the circus is in town for the weekend.
That’s a fitting observation, especially considering the theme for this year’s Twins Days Festival is in-fact “Circus.” Twins register on Friday, Aug. 5, and everyone else can join the fun Saturday starting at 9 a.m. and Sunday.
Long-time board member and office manager for Twins Days, Sandy Miller, said after last year’s festivities, they moved right on to the next one.
“We start right after the event is done,” Miller said. “It takes that long to secure sponsors and researchers and cleaning up from the previous festival.”
Miller said there isn’t much new this year because an event like this is hard to change from year to year. But an interesting aspect of the festival, besides a mass migration of duplicates, is the benefits it presents to science and society.
“We have usually 12 different research projects going on that weekend,” Miller said. “They’re mostly genetic, research on twins and we benefit by it all.”
During the three-day event, studies such as face construction, cancer research, heart research, and more are conducted. This year Youngstown State University will examine fingerprinting for forensic study, Washington University in St. Louis will examine emotional skills and intelligence in twins, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts will look at certain aspects pertaining to HIV.
“Most of these are surveys,” Miller said. "They don’t actually do on-site research. They don’t draw blood or anything; it’s mostly data.”
Researchers can get three years of work done in one weekend, she said, all on a volunteer basis.
There will of course be double the fun with different twin contests and a twin talent show. They will be complemented by stage performances and fireworks to celebrate the spectacle with a three-ring feel to it. Miller assured Twinsburg Patch “scary clowns” would not be invited, and sadly, elephants are not on the guest list.
Twins Day was first celebrated in 1976, during the Bicentennial, to honor the city’s founders, who were twins themselves. Today, at least one of 67 sets of twins live within the city.
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