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Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Williamsburg is hosting an event Saturday most might find hard to swallow.
Saturday, Feb. 27 marks World Sword Swallowers Day, a celebration of the ancient art of sword swallowing.
Founded in 2007 by Dan Meyer, president of the Sword Swallowers Association International, the holiday serves to raise awareness of the contributions sword swallowers have made to the fields of medicine and science, while also honoring sword swallowing veterans who have been injured during performances of the more than 4,000-year-old art.
To celebrate, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Williamsburg will host Cyrus “The Sword” Pynn and Karah Elizabeth, both natives of Blacksburg, who will be demonstrating their own sword swallowing skills.
With fewer than 100 professional sword swallowers worldwide, Meyer said World Sword Swallower’s Day is a great chance for non-sword swallowers to experience the performance in person.
“Because sword swallowing is so rare, it’s difficult for people to see sword swallowers perform live,” Meyer, who has a personal record of 29 swords swallowed at once, told WYDaily. “To get more than one together at a time is almost a historic feat in itself. The audience in Virginia will have a rare opportunity to see two of them perform at once.”
The performance will start at 2 p.m. with an official swallow at 2:27 p.m. to coincide with the 2/27 date. The local performance is part of a global celebration, during which more than 50 sword swallowers across 18 countries will also swallow swords Saturday.
There is no charge to attend the sword swallowing demonstration, but regular prices apply to those wishing to tour the Odditorium.