Visitors to the Annual Twins Festival Agree: You Can Never Have Two Much of a Good Thing

updated 09/05/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/05/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

They don't call it Twinsburg for nothing. In 1812 the Cleveland suburb was purchased by Moses and Aaron Wilcox, who were, according to a local historical document, "so much alike that none but intimate friends could distinguish between them." They married sisters, had an equal number of children, held all of their property in common and died of the same disease within hours of each other in September 1827. To nobody's surprise, the Wilcox twins chose to be buried in a common grave in Twinsburg.

Not all twins choose to be that close, but every year hundreds who do converge on Twinsburg for a weekend of reveling in their un-uniqueness. This year the participants came from 28 states and included twins married to twins, twins who would like to marry twins (for the younger set, the festival became a sort of "doubles" weekend), and twins with other twins for parents, siblings or children (the tendency to produce twins runs in families). The festival actually did fulfill a serious purpose. According to Donald Keith, of the Chicago-based Center for Study of Multiple Birth: "It's really helpful for twins to meet others who share their special concerns and feelings."

Mostly, though, the twins shared fun and games. There were talent contests (lots of duets) and competitions for honors like Twins with Most Freckles. For two days (what else?) Twinsburg looked like any other Middle American town in the throes of an endless Doublemint gum commercial. For this one weekend not being a twin was unusual. As one confirmed non-twin—labeled a "singleton" by nearly everyone he met—observed, "I really began to feel like half of me was missing."

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