Dynamic duos gather for fun and fellowship at Twinsburg, Ohio's annual festival for lookalikes
OCTOBER 12, 1998
Photographs by MARY ELLEN MARK

Attendees have "an indescribable camaraderie" said Annette G. Cohn, 69 (right), at a local Holiday Inn with sister and fellow, Washington State resident Florine G. Falk.

"There are days when I can't tell my own children apart," confessed Wauconda, lit., mother Sally Szybkowski of her twins Spencer (left) and Skyler, 6

A surreal scene is brewing in Twinsburg, Ohio, where nearly 3,000 sets of twins (and some triplets), aged 12 weeks to 90 years, have converged for the 23rd annual Twins Days festival -- three days of sun, fun and unabashed kitsch. In between the golf tournament and the talent contest (including clog dancing and a rendition of "My Heart Will Go On"), attendees from as far away as Hong Kong scarf down corn dogs and snap up goofy "I'm a Twindividual" T-shirts. But the weekend's highlight is the Double Take Parade. Complete with go-carts, floats and baton twirlers, it snakes for more than two miles through downtown Twinsburg. "I actually feel like I fit in for the first time," says Kristen Baker, 19, who with lookalike Kerry is a Twins Days newcomer. As a twin, the Georgia resident says, "sometimes you feel like a freak show." Eula Banks and Beulah Norris know what she means. Fetching in matching calico dresses, the 87-year-old Southern belles haven't missed a festival since their first in 1994. This year they brought 15 family members, all wearing "I'm with Eula and Beulah" T-shirts. "It's habit-forming," says Eula. "Once we came, we couldn't quit."

Sharon Griffith (left) and Shirley Brown, 54, of Novato, Calif., won first prize in the festival's contest for most clever outfit.

Ellen (left) and Diana Mordukhovich, 17, met up with pals Edward (rear) and O. Alex Shenderovich, 33, from their hometown of Pittsburgh

Warminster, Pa., sisters Christa (left) and Erica Verbas, 6, toed the mark in their matching tutus.