Twinsburg -- As the city's signature event draws near, planners and committee members work to complete last-minute preparations for the 2013 Twins Days Festival, set for Aug. 2 through 4.
Residents and visitors will find themselves adrift in an ocean of multiples for the festival, including twins, triplets and more, from all around the globe, as far away as Belgium, Austria and Germany. Twins Days committee members report more than 1,000 sets of multiples had pre-registered as of the committee's July 17 meeting.
Such an undertaking requires a year-round effort, said committee office manager Sandy Miller.
"It takes a lot of hours, a lot of work, a lot of volunteers," Miller said. "Right now, we're at the peak of everything coming together. The next couple of weeks will probably be pretty hectic. We're on target and registration is where it should be."
Though the task of planning the 38th Twins Days Festival is formidable, Miller said her committee is on track to make good on their hard work.
"It's going the way it should be," Miller said. "We're right on target with what our plans are and how we lay out what should be done by when."
"Everything seems to be coming together beautifully," added Councilor Gary Sorace, a liaison to the Twins Days Festival Committee. "It is very hectic, there's no question about it, this time of year. It's a big project, coordinating the city with the Twins Days committee and all of our volunteers and all of the visitors and people in registration, not to mention the golf outing, which I run. So, there's a lot of last-minute things, just getting pieces together like prizes, gifts, awards and all of that."
Assisting Miller and her staff are hundreds of volunteers who donate their time toward making sure the festival and Double Take Parade run smoothly. Including members of athletic and vocal boosters clubs, Miller said she expects upwards of 600 volunteers to be present during the weekend-long Twins Days festivities, helping maintain foot traffic, oversee events and assisting wherever needed.
"We have the athletic boosters, we have the vocal boosters, we have Cub Scouts, we have many people who use this as a fundraiser and we give them a percentage [of money brought in]," Miller said. "There's a lot of things going on and a lot of people helping out in the different areas.
"The more we get, the less work it is for each and every one of them," Miller added. "We couldn't do it without volunteers. We're all volunteers that weekend."
Sorace said one area of the festival that still requires more volunteer assistance is 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.
"The parade is so huge and so hard to get in order, it takes several people," Sorace said. "That's the one area that we always need extra people. That's the biggest area that they need help with right now."
Miller said possibly the greatest challenge of the Double Take Parade and the festival at large is directing crowds to the different events, as many attendants are unfamiliar with the city.
"The more [volunteers] you have up there to direct people, the better off you are because they're coming from everywhere," Miller said. "Most of them have no clue what they're doing. We need more volunteers to keep them in line, so to speak, and to keep the parade line moving."
Attendance is shaping up to be above average in 2013, Sorace said. This is in part, he said, to the relatively new practice of reaching out to twins through social media. Last year, 2,090 officials sets of multiples registered for the festival.
"We have been above normal all year long," Sorace said. "I'll be surprised if it's not at least 1,500 [duplicates] that come out because they're really pouring in. It's only been in that past year that we've gone to social media. That has made a huge difference for people who are first-timers and people who didn't know about it. I think that's going to have an effect on attendance, too."
The 2013 Twins Days Festival and its "Fables and Fairy Tales" theme are on pace to put Twinsburg on the map, as the festival does every year, though residents are encouraged by the Twins Days committee to study the event schedule and plan for the first weekend of August accordingly.
"Community members should pay attention to the published schedule," Sorace said. "One of the things that we hear complaints about from people is that they get tied up because they forgot to plan around the parade. If you need to go somewhere on Saturday morning, you're not going down Ravenna Road. It's simply not happening."
In the area that same weekend is the Bridgestone Golf Tournament at Firestone Country Club in Akron as well as the 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.