Twins Days Royal Court

 

2024 Royal Court

 

2024 Grand Marshals – Micah and Mira Chupnick

Our 2024 Grand Marshals, Micah and Mira Chupnick, are 13-year-old twins from Twinsburg, Ohio. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, this Festival will mark the 10th Twins Days Festival they’ve attended. Their favorite parts of Twins Days are participating in the parade and attending the Friday night Hot Dog Roast. Every year, they spend months preparing for their costumes to match the theme of the Festival. And even though they’re only 30-seconds apart, they normally have very different opinions on how they’ll look. Thankfully, cooler heads prevail and they’re able to work it out in the end. Thanks to social media, they have been able to stay in touch with other twins they’ve met throughout the years and look forward to reconnecting with them in person year after year. For the past two years, Micah has made the Finals in the National Bible Contest, held in New York City, competing against hundreds of other teens across the country. Micah also enjoys cooking as many different types of cuisines as possible. He loves putting his own spin on international classics. He is also a classically-trained cellist. Mira’s athletic prowess shines on the soccer field where she stars on her school’s team, the local Twinsburg team, as well as on her club team. Mira’s main offensive positions are Forward and Midfielder, but she’s also been able to switch it up on defense, and even fill in as goalie every once in a while. Both Micah and Mira also take their education seriously, making the honor roll year after year. Mira’s favorite subject is Language Arts, while Micah’s is Social Studies. Micah and Mira are very excited and honored to serve as Grand Marshals for this year’s Twins Days Festival. And at the start of the Double Take Parade you will hear them deliver the proverbial four most important words in motorsports, “Twins, start your engines!”   

 

Kings – Eric and Jason Negron

Our 2024 Kings, Eric and Jason Negron, were born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Raised by their father, a single parent, had its challenges; however, he did everything in his power to make it work and our Kings will be forever thankful for his love and support. In their youth, both were very active in sports. During their little league days, their father emphatically told the teams that were planning to draft them, “You get both! I am not running across town to two different practices.” As a result, Eric and Jason were drafted on the same team and won the championship that season! During their senior year of high school, their father started a business for them because he knew college wasn’t a financial option. They were so grateful to their father for taking that risk. Today, they own and operate a shop ironically called, “King of Kings Gyros & Cheesesteak Factory,” a business they have shared together for nearly fifteen years—a business that allows them to generously give back to the Festival through basket donations. A local newspaper, The Times Leader, even wrote a feature on the twins titled “Kings of the City.” As our Kings, Eric and Jason believe they can be advocates for promoting what the Festival means to them: acceptance. “At our first Twins Days, we were so nervous to fit in. It was so overwhelming, so we decided to ask a set of twins for advice. They said, ‘Be yourself.’ From that moment forward, that’s what we did.” As ambassadors for this year’s Festival, their advice to first time visitors comes as no surprise. Sporting identical smiles, they have the power to bring everyone together and feel welcome with the same message that was so impactful to them all those years ago. “Be yourself”—words you can surely take to the “Twindy 500” finish line!

 

2024 Queens – Sarah and Shelley Gamm

Celebrating their 20th Festival, our 2024 Queens, identical twins Sarah and Shelley Gamm, were born and raised in Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada. Sarah went to university to study math and science, while Shelley studied psychology and math. Both of these lovely ladies got their teaching certification, Shelley at the University of Western Ontario and Sarah at Brock University,  before moving to London, England, where they both taught high school math. Upon returning to Canada, Sarah entered the world of corporate training for about 10 years, while Shelley started teaching elementary school. In 2022, Sarah decided to follow her dream which was to return to teaching. Shelley is currently teaching Grade 5 and Sarah is just finishing her first year in her own classroom teaching Grade 8. Seen at the Festival helping in the button booth and selling souvenirs, they embrace community support. As for hobbies, our Queens are very involved in motorcycles—sporting fraternal, their motorcycles are different colors and different years! This marks their 28th summer volunteering at a local motorcycle club and racetrack. They have served as referees at the racetrack and for the Canadian National Series for 17 summers and absolutely love it! Though both ladies have worked races almost every Saturday from May until September through all these years, the competitors still cannot tell them apart!  It doesn’t help that our Queens have shirts printed with their names on them, but tend to switch them! “Being a twin is a big part of our life”—and that twinship is reflected on both their car and motorcycle license plates. Now, being a twin means even more as they serve on the “TWINDY 500!” Royal Court! Start your engines, ladies, the race you are about to begin is going to be the best one yet!

 

2024 Princes – Dylan and Eli McDaniel

Our 2024 Princes, Dylan and Eli McDaniel, were born very prematurely at 29 weeks on January 3, 2013, spending almost 3 months in the NICU. Their mother had a great deal of help during her pregnancy from Mary from the The Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) Foundation, as well as regular phone calls and encouragement from the late Dr. Julian DeLia. During one of their calls, Dr. DeLia told her NOT to undergo his laser surgery and instead told her to “…lay down, drink Boost, and grow your babies; they’re going to be fine.” He and Mary are the reason the McDaniel twins are both alive. The boys wrote, “We are glad to have both survived.” And making light of their difficult start they added, “We need each other because we have 4 sisters!” Our 11-year-old Princes are home educated and love to learn about ancient history. Direct descendants of Pilgrims, they are junior members of both the local and national Society of Mayflower Descendants. The boys play piano and cello, and are often heard playing classical and old-time music together. Dylan also plays the harmonica while Eli enjoys the ukulele. Loving the outdoors, their favorite sport is basketball. Another hobby for the boys is all things Star Wars! They even sword fight together, and claim one advantage about being a twin is that when they play “battle” with others, they can always double team them! This young duo has never missed a Twins Days Festival and really love being in the parade and competing in the contests. Approaching the “Twindy 500” Festival, they shared, “We always have each other. It’s just special to be a twin.” And now it will be even more special to serve as this year’s Royalty!

 

2024 Princesses – Lily and Alexa Raber

Photo Credit: Rowe Photography

Celebrating their 10th Twins Days Festival our 2024 Princesses, Lily and Alexa Raber, are excited to serve as ambassadors this year! They were born two months early on May 29, 2012, because their mother was suffering from a prenatal condition called eclampsia. They spent 39 days in the NICU at Toledo Children’s Hospital and had to overcome many challenges such as developmental and speech delays. Today they are straight A students and are at the top of their class at Old Fort Elementary in Fremont, Ohio. Next year they will be entering the 6th grade. Though identical in looks, our Princesses have completely different styles and personalities. Lily is a more girly-girl and into makeup, fashion and dance, while Alexa is more laid back and is very athletic playing different sports and games. Having taken dance since she was five, Lily is part of a competition team and has won numerous awards. She enjoys all styles from hip hop to ballet, though her favorite is contemporary. Her other passion is art. Alexa has done Taekwondo for five years and has won many awards for her board breaking and Kata in tournaments. She also takes hip hop, plays soccer, and is quarterback for her flag football team! She enjoys writing songs and stories. Lily serves on their church youth ministry team while Alexa serves on the youth technology team. Volunteering and giving back is something that is very dear to their hearts. To name but a few, they have raised money for local families who have a member suffering from cancer; collected donations for their county’s humane society; and gathered toys for the Ronald McDonald House and Toledo Children’s Hospital. These two outdistance most in the race of heartfelt giving!