Twinsburg -- Though it's a weekend-long event of mythic proportions, it's certainly no fairy tale.
Months of hard work and preparation will pay off this weekend as the 38th annual Twins Days Festival takes root Aug. 2 through 4. With a theme of "Fables and Fairy Tales," the festival looks to draw thousands of multiples from around the world for the parade, contests, music, food and more.
Twins Days Festival Committee member Sandy Miller said July 29 the festival has registered 1,183 sets of twins, triplets and more for the weekend-long event, up from 2012's figure of 1,152. The pre-registered participants hail from countries as far away as Germany and Belgium.
Invitations were also sent as far as Syria and India, though confirmation has not yet been received from multiples in those countries.
"If they show up, that's another story," Miller said. "You really don't know, some of them just come on their own. You just never know."
The Double Take Parade, which steps off from Twinsburg Township Square at 9 a.m. Aug. 3 and proceeds up Ravenna Road to the festival grounds in Glenn Chamberlin Park, will include floats from citizens, business, community organizations and more.
Miller said Twinsburg VFW Post 4929 will act as color guard for the parade, and the Twinsburg Historical Society may even have descendents of twin brothers Aaron and Moses Wilcox present -- for whom the town was named -- on the VFW's parade float.
"There's quite a few floats this year," Miller said. "The majority of them will be [based] on the theme. I do know the historical society hopes to have relatives of Aaron and Moses [Wilcox] on their float, but I don't know for sure if they're going to show up. We're keeping our fingers crossed."
This year, the research area will feature University Hospitals Medical Center Dermatology; Exact Sports -- University of Pennsylvania; North Shore University Health System; Proctor and Gamble Research Center; Tufts Medical Center; The Genius of Flexibility; Monell Chemical Sense; West Virginia University; and Carlow University.
Activities on Sunday, Aug. 4, will kick off with a 5K run to benefit the Melanoma Research Foundation and Melanoma Education Initiative.
Mayor Katherine Procop said she is excited to see crowds from around the world enjoy the city's trademark event, which has been recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest gathering of twins in the world.
"I'm always amazed that a small local festival that started in 1976 has become such an international event," Procop said. "Twins near and far look forward to this weekend and the city does, too. We're all geared up to make sure that it runs smoothly and that everybody has a good time."
More than anything, however, Procop said she most looks forward to the Double Take Parade.
"I definitely have a favorite part and that would be the parade," Procop said. "I just love seeing everybody turn out with that air of festivity."
As the weekend approaches, Twins Days committee members face a dramatic time crunch as events are finalized, tent and trailer positions are scouted and last minute entries are registered. Miller said that although the preparations are coming down to the wire, the 2013 Twins Days Festival is coming together.
"It's shaping up very well," Miller said. "It's going the way it should. You have your little ups and downs and little delays and so forth, but everything is pretty much on schedule and we are ahead of last year. It's a crazy time for us right now. This is the part that really takes the time and manpower."
In the area the same weekend are the Bridgestone Golf Tournament at Firestone Country Club in Akron and the NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton, so area hotels are often booked solid.
Those interested in volunteering for the festival can do so by contacting the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or by calling 330-425-3652.