About the SSAI Convention and World Record Attempts

Important Information about this Unprecedented Historical Event

Sword Swallowers Association Int'l (SSAI)
2nd Annual Sword Swallower's Convention

If you are a sword swallower, you NEED to be there!

1). What is SSAI?

Our name says it all:

Sword Swallowers - SSAI is a private organization made up OF sword swallowers, BY sword swallowers, and FOR sword swallowers only. SSAI was specifically set up to serve established sword swallowers, and not necesarily for training new sword swallowers.

Association - SSAI is a networking organization designed to serve and support sword swallowers, to help sword swallowers in networking with each other, and to promote sword swallowers to booking agents and other interested parties.

International - SSAI is an international organization dedicated to promoting sword swallowing and sword swallowers all over the world – United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and anywhere else there are sword swallowers.

2). Why should I belong to SSAI?

SSAI has been developed to serve and support sword swallowers worldwide to help members…

  • Network with each other
  • Learn from each other
  • Share with each other
  • Secure new bookings
  • Attain wider professional exposure

3). I am an already established sword swallower, and already know many of the other sword swallowers. What do I get out of SSAI that I don't already have? What will SSAI do for ME?

  • SSAI is set up to be an advocate to serve and support sword swallowers worldwide
  • SSAI is set up to help you meet and network with other sword swallowers so you can learn from each other and encourage the creative process
  • SSAI strives to set high standards for the art of sword swallowing and elevate it from being perceived as a cheap "trick" to a high-value performance art
  • SSAI will help generate bookings for you through our online booking request service
  • SSAI is dedicated to researching historical archives for more information on sword swallowers of the past
  • SSAI will continue to search for information to network present sword swallowers
  • SSAI will keep you abreast of the latest news, records, innovations, performances, appearances, gigs, vendors, booking opportunities, and resources such as articles, books and videos, etc.

For more information, go to

4). What will it cost me to join SSAI?

Membership - $25/year

*SSAI is not designed or intended to be a revenue-generating organization. However, there are significant costs associated with establishing and running the organization, as well as providing membership benefits. The suggested donation is encouraged to help offset a small portion of the fees that SSAI incurs.

Become an SSAI Member now!

5). What do I get for my membership fee?

  • 1 year membership to SSAI
  • SSAI membership card, featuring personal membership information on the front and emergency medical information on the back. Use this card to help establish with authorities such as airline security that you are a legitimate sword swallower, as well as assure your safe medical attention in case of emergency.
  • Booking opportunities through SSAI's online booking referral service
  • SSAI member discounts on products, conventions and events when applicable
  • The right to use the SSAI logo on your website, business cards and publicity
  • The legitimacy of being an official member of the world's only sword swallowing organization, which can help translate to higher booking rates.
  • The networking, support, dedication and backing of SSAI and your fellow SSAI members

6). What can I do to help SSAI?

  • Contribute suggestions for what we can all do to elevate the art of swordswallowing
  • Help us strive to set high standards and competitive rates
  • Network with each other and share what you have learned
  • Add links on your site pointing to
  • Become a part of the SSAI advisory board or a regional rep
  • Offer your skills by speaking and performing on behalf of SSAI at the
    3rd Annual SSAI Sword Swallowers Convention

7). What is the SSAI Sword Swallowers Convention?

It is a chance for sword swallowers to meet, network and perform with each other as well as other sideshow performers.

In order to bring sword swallowers together from around the world and help us all get to know each other better, we have coordinated the second SSAI meeting and convention in conjunction with the 3rd Annual Sideshow Convention, which is being held during the
11th Annual Inkin' The Valley Tattoo Convention. This year we are expecting a turnout of 4000-6000 attendees.

For more information, go to:

8). When will the Conventions be held?

September 2nd through September 6th, 2004.

9). Where will the Convention be held?

Ramada Plaza Hotel on Public Square
20 Public Square
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

Tel: (570) 824-7100

When booking flight reservations, look for the "Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (AVP)"

If you are flying in to Scranton International Airport, the Ramada Hotel has a shuttle service for guests that runs from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. - Call (570) 824-7100 for arrangements.

10). How much are room rates?

The Ramada Plaza Hotel has 174 rooms, with prices from $80-$89 per room, but they are going fast. Register soon to get a room.

Tel: (570) 824-7100 (make sure to mention that you are a sword swallower with the SideShow Convention and ask for the convention rates)

Other nearby reservations:

If you are interested in cutting costs, we will be glad to help coordinate sharing rooms with other sword swallowers. Please contact us if you are interested in sharing a room with another sword swallower, and we will be glad to help hook you up.

11). Who will be attending?

A wide variety of sideshow veterans, performers, historians and showmen. In attendance in past years' conventions were:

Ward Hall
James Taylor
Red Stuart
Red Trower
Johnny Fox
Dai Andrews
Erik Sprague/Lizardman
Todd Robbins
Natasha Veruschka
Keith Nelson/Mr. Pennygaff
George the Giant McArthur
Malakai/Michael Todd
Tim Cridland/Zamora The Torture King
Ses Carny
Robert Wolf
Danny Snyder
Julia Strouzer/Jewels
Petur Pokus (Iceland)
Thomas Blackthorne (Italy)
Bill Berry
Roderick Russell
Dan Meyer
Charon Henning
Know Nothing Zideshow Zirkus
Crispy Family Circus
Sideshow Bennie
Harley Newman
The Great Nippulini
And many other sideshow performers!

Please let us know if you are planning to come so we can add you to our list!

12). Do I need to be a member of SSAI to attend the Convention?

No. The Sideshow Convention is open to the general public and anyone interested in sideshows and tattoos. There are expected to be at least 3000-4000 in attendance and the combined convention ticket cost for the weekend is $25/person.

13). When will the SSAI "Big Swallow" Mass World Record Attempt take place?

On Friday, September 3, 2004, SSAI will be attempting to break TWO World's Records:

Most Sword Swallowers Swallowing Swords at Once


Most Swords Swallowed at Once by Multiple Sword Swallowers

At our 2002 "Big Swallow" 19 sword swallowers assembled from around the world to simultaneously swallow a total of 50 swords at the same time. Never before had this many sword swallowers performed together on this grand of a scale, and this year, we are attempting to break both records this year! Watch video of Sword Swallowing Convention 2002

This year we are expecting at least 20 sword swallowers hopefully swallowing a total of 50+ swords at the same time to set the new world's record!

The major media will not be able to resist this colorful and unprecedented historical event.

Each SSAI member who participates will be given a certificate of verification and recognition after the records are set and the performance is verified.

This is the chance of a lifetime to get your name in the record books as well as add this to your resume to boost your credentials, publicity and booking rates. You don't want to miss out on this opportunity of a lifetime!

14). Do I need to be a member of SSAI to take part in the SSAI "Big Swallow" World Record Attempt?

Yes. This is an SSAI sponsored event set up by SSAI for SSAI members. To be included in the "Big Swallow" you will need to be registered as a paid SSAI member.

15). What are the requirements for taking part in the the SSAI "Big Swallow" World Record Attempt?

In order to qualify to be eligible to take place in the SSAI World Record Attempt, you must be a verified sword swallower and registered member of SSAI, and comply with SSAI regulations. SSAI regulations require that all sword blades must fall within the following requirements:

  • Each blade must be non-retractable solid steel
  • Each blade must be at least 15 inches (38 cm) in length
  • Each blade must be at least 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch (2 cm) wide in width
  • Each blade must be available for inspection by officials and witnesses

16). What other events are scheduled for the convention?

There are several sword swallowers slated to perform throughout the weekend, as well as other sideshow performers in other slots. Those SSAI members who perform on stage will be comped their admission fee for the weekend. Please contact us if you are willing to help us out by performing or speaking on our panel.

17). Can I bring swords and other items for sale/swap/donation?

Yes! SSAI will be giving away door prizes to SSAI members in attendance.

We are looking for additional donations for door prizes to give away to other SSAI members, so if you have your own book, video, T-shirt, promo photos, old swords, or other items that sword swallowers would like, please contact us about donating them for the SSAI doorprize.

Please also feel free to bring any books, videos, photos, swords or other products you might have for sale to the general public or even to swap with other sword swallowers. You are invited to use the SSAI booth for signing autographs and promoting yourself and your products.

18). What media is scheduled to be there?

In past years we have had major media such as CNN (CNN video clip of 2002 convention), Shocked and Amazed TV, The Discovery Channel, and others from around the world attend. We are also targeting other major media such as CNN, NPR, E!TV, ET Entertainment Tonight, Fox, Billboard, Amusement Business, National Enquirer, Guiness World Records, Ripley's Believe It or Not, Esquire, NY Post, local radio, and TV and cable TV stations.

If you have any other media connections or suggestions for media coverage, please contact us.

18). How will attending this Convention benefit ME?

  • You will be able to meet, network and learn from your fellow sword swallowers
  • You will be able to support the world's only sword swallowing organization and convention, and you will be able to help establish and direct SSAI's future as a contributing member
  • You will have the opportunity to perform in front of 3000-4000 people with the possibility of national or international major media coverage
  • This is the chance of a lifetime to get your name in the record books as well as boost your credentials, publicity and booking rates
  • And it will be a heck of a lot of FUN!

As a reminder, please let us know if you are

  • interested in being on the SSAI Advisory Board or being a Regional Representative
  • interested in selling your products on our SSAI online store
  • willing to donate any swords, books, videos, photos, or other items as doorprizes
  • planning on coming to the Convention
  • interested in sharing a room with another sword swallower
  • interested in performing on stage
  • interested in being part of the World Record Mass Sword Swallow (we need exact names for certificates)
  • interested in speaking on our panel session
  • interested in having FUN!

Make sure you subscribe to become an SSAI member before the convention!

We look forward to seeing you there! If you have any additional comments, questions or suggestions, please
contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!

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