WISCONSIN DELLS – 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. In excess of 125 feet of solid steel is set to go down the hatch – hopefully without a scratch! 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. In Wisconsin Dells, sword swallower Harley Newman will perform a free show in the lobby of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium, located at 115 Broadway. The show will start at 1:30 pm with an official “swallow” 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.”
People can also try swallowing a sword on their own – virtually – thanks to the new Ripley’s Believe It or Not! app which features iSword. This cutting edge technology allows users to test their lightning-fast reactions and nerves of steel to score points and freak out their friends, all on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. It’s all the fun without any of the danger! Instructions on how to use the app will be provided at each World Swallower’s Day event so we can all swallow together!
For a large selection of high resolution images, please visit www.ripleysnewsroom.com/swordswallowersday2013.
About Ripley Entertainment
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Wisconsin Dells is part of the Ripley Entertainment Inc. (www.ripleys.com) family of worldwide attractions, the global leader in location-based entertainment. More than 12 million people visit its 80-plus attractions in 10 countries each year. In addition to its 32 Believe It or Not! Odditoriums, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing, licensing and broadcast divisions that oversee projects including the syndicated Believe It or Not! television show, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 42 countries. Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the third-largest privately held company in Canada.
About Sword Swallowing
The art of sword swallowing began more than 4,000 years ago in India, and requires the practitioner to use mind-over-matter techniques to control the body and repress natural reflexes to insert solid steel blades from 15 to 25 inches down the esophagus and into the stomach. With the demise of the traveling circus sideshow over the past several decades, there are currently less than a few dozen full-time professional sword swallowers actively performing the deadly art around the world today.
About the Sword Swallowers Association International
Founded in 2001 to preserve the art of sword swallowing, SSAI (www.swordswallow.org) is comprised of sword swallowers from around the world and maintains a website with general information on sword swallowing for the general public at www.swordswallow.com