Real Steel: Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Celebrates “World Sword Swallowers Day” with Simultaneous Sword Swallows around the World

 ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 15, 2013) – More than 20 sword swallowers will be “dropping swords” at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditoriums worldwide at 2:23:13 p.m. on February 23, in celebration of the 6th annual World Sword Swallower’s Day.

 

Sword Swallowers Association and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! pay homage to the art of sword swallowing with free shows on February 23
 
 

 

In excess of 125 feet of solid steel is set to go down the hatch – hopefully without a scratch!

SEE PHOTO GALLERY BELOW – Download high resolution photos.

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, including: New York City; Hollywood and San Francisco in Calif.; Orlando, Key West, Panama City Beach and St. Augustine in Florida; Gatlinburg, Tenn., Branson, Mo., Niagara Falls, Ont.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Baltimore, Md.; Atlantic City, N.J.; Wisconsin Dells, Wisc.; Grand Prairie, Texas; Newport, Oregon; Malaysia; Copenhagen, Denmark; and London, England.

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.”

Sword Swallowers photos from Previous Celebrations of
World Sword Swallowers Day at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Locations Worldwide

Click on any of the thumbnails below to access the larger downloadable image…

Contacts

 

Tim O’Brien
VP Communications
Ripley Entertainment Inc.
(615) 646-7465 – office
(615) 496-5949 – cell
Obrien@ripleys.com

Dan Meyer
President
Sword Swallowers Assoc. International
(615) 969-2568
halfdan@aol.com

About Ripley Entertainment 

Ripley Entertainment Inc. (www.ripleys.com), keepers of the venerable Ripley’s Believe It or Not! brand, is a global leader in location-based entertainment, entertaining more than 12 million annually at its 90-plus attractions in 10 countries.  In addition to its 32 Believe It or Not! Odditoriums, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing, licensing and broadcast divisions, 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

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