Twins across Iowa compete at the state fair

DES MOINES – You’re not seeing double.

Twins and triplets kicked off the one of many competitions that will be held on the Anne & Bill Riley Stage at the Iowa State Fair Thursday.

The competition included 148 sets of siblings, from ages 1-18, who stood in front of dozens of fairgoers, to state their names, where they are from and their favorite thing to do at the fair.

Answers ranged from “I live on the east side” to “My favorite part of the fair is the snacks.”

Jennifer and Jon Waters, of Collins, entered their twin 3-year-old girls and their twin boys.

Their sons, Jackson and Joel, won first place and received a blue ribbon in the 5- and 6-year-old category.

“This the boys’ sixth year doing it,” Jennifer said. “They always place in the top three.”

Jon Waters is a 2001 Marshalltown High School graduate and he met Jennifer while they were students at Marshalltown Community College.

Ryan Panosh, of Toledo, entered his 8-year-old daughters. Destani and Dakota, his twins, didn’t place, but still had fun.

“I liked being up there with the other twins,” Destani said.

Kelli Gallagher, a member of Des Moines Mother of Multiples, has been a volunteer for the contest for 18 years.

“I love seeing how the twins dress alike,” she said.

Contests held at the state fair today will include a youth spelling bee at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m., a fiddlers contest from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and a butter sculpting contest at 3 and 7 p.m.