Jim Hartung, President, Toledo Sister Cities International Board of Trustees, has announced that the Eleventh Annual International Festival will take place Saturday, April 18, 2020 from 11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Toledo SeaGate Center, 401 Jefferson St., Toledo.
The Toledo Sister Cities International Festival holds the distinction of being the first festival of the season in Northwest Ohio. Participating countries include Spain, China, Hungary, Poland, Japan, Tanzania, Germany, Lebanon, Pakistan and India.
There will also be authentic ethnic food available from several participating countries, as well as world beers. Other vendors will be on hand to offer crafts and other goods. Merchandise representing many other countries will be available. All Sister City clubs and committees and other local organizations with an international interest will have information and activities. There will also be an opportunity to learn a bit of a different language every half-hour.
The upcoming festival will include recognizing the Toyohashi, Japan Committee and their 20th anniversary as part of Toledo Sister Cities International. TSCI will also begin promoting for 2021 the 90th Anniversary of the signing between Toledo, Ohio and Toledo, Spain which is believed to be the very first “sister city” relationship anywhere.
Toledo Sister Cities International has been at the forefront of building international relationships between municipalities since 1931. In 1956, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower continued to foster Sister Cities agreements on a mayor-to-mayor basis. In 1993 TSCI incorporated as a 501c3 organization and in 2020 will celebrate its 27th year of service. TSCI has established agreements with Coimbatore (India); Coburg (Germany); Hyderabad (Pakistan); Poznan (Poland); Qinhuangdao & Nanchong (China); Szeged (Hungary); Tanga (Tanzania); Toledo (Spain); and Toyohashi (Japan). A regional agreement is in place with Bekaa Valley (Lebanon).
Additionally, TSCI runs the International Youth Academy which brings youth from all over the world to Toledo for a two-week period during the summer months. Part of TSCI mission is to assist in the facilitation of area economic development ventures by providing cultural, educational, language and other key services.
“Northwest Ohio is unique compared to other parts of the United States. Research shows that 80 percent of the people who live in our area can trace their roots from the country their ancestors immigrated from. Their families settled in the area and to this day remain part of our community. We are one of the most diverse regions in the United States. The International Festival highlights that diversity with different ethnic entertainment, foods, crafts, souvenirs, and even a language corner,” said Mr. Hartung. “This really is our opportunity to share pride in our heritages and learn about other cultures --- To truly show the diversity of not just Toledo, but all of Northwest Ohio.”
Admission for the International Festival is $5 in advance or $8 at the door the day of event. Seniors and students with ID's are $6. Children 10 & under are free.
For more information on the Eleventh Annual Toledo Sister Cities International Festival or to become a member of TSCI, visit www.toledosistercities.org. Information on TSCI is also available on Toledo Sister Cities International Facebook page and by email at email@example.com.