More than 20 sword swallowers will be “dropping swords” at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditoriums worldwide on February 23, in celebration of the 6th annual World Sword Swallower’s Day.
World Sword Swallower’s Day was founded by the Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI) and is co-sponsored by Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
On February 23, sword swallowers from around the world will be putting on free shows at nearly 20 Believe It or Not! Odditoriums worldwide, performances typically start around 1:30 local time and culminate with an official “swallow” that will take place at 2:23:13 p.m. to coincide with the 2/23/13 date.
“We established World Sword Swallower’s Day to honor this ancient art and recognize the few people in the world who can do this,” explains Dan Meyer, a sword swallower whose amazing feats have been chronicled by Ripley’s Believe It or Not!. “We also raise awareness of the contributions sword swallowers have made to the fields of medicine and science and raise money for esophageal cancer research.”
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has a long history of highlighting the death-defying achievements of sword swallowers – going back 80 years.
“Sword swallowers were a big part of the very first Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933,” said Tim O’Brien, VP of Communications for Ripley Entertainment Inc. “There, three performers, two of whom were women, mesmerized the huge crowds. Ripley’s has been home to sword swallowers around the world ever since.”