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Published on Wednesday, April 25, 2018

International Delegations Convene to Celebrate San Antonio’s Tricentennial During Commemorative Week

CONTACT: Trevor Whitney, Economic Development, 210-207-7049

Laura Mayes, San Antonio Tricentennial, 210-207-1337

SAN ANTONIO (April 25, 2018) — Official representatives from six of San Antonio’s Sister Cities and friends from around the world will travel to the Alamo City during the week of May 1 through 6 to celebrate Commemorative Week as part of the year-long Tricentennial celebration. Commemorative Week honors the anniversary of the founding of Mission San Antonio de Valero on May 1, 1718, later known as The Alamo. Four days later, the Presidio San Antonio de Bexar was formed to protect the new mission. 

“San Antonio will shine on the world stage during Tricentennial Commemorative Week. As we reflect on San Antonio’s history and distinctive culture, we will look at new ways to partner with our sister cities and strengthen our economic and cultural ties to the global community,” said Carlos Contreras, Executive Director of the Tricentennial Commission. 

The delegations are convening at the invitation of Mayor Ron Nirenberg and include nearly 100 officials and diplomats from more than 15 countries.  The delegations will celebrate their shared cultural and economic ties with San Antonio. As part of its global outreach and connection to global partners, San Antonio will host international dignitaries including representatives from Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Namibia, Spain, South Korea and Taiwan. 

“San Antonio engages with its international partners in a relevant and intentional way as part of our ongoing public diplomacy and international relations strategy. The Tricentennial is an opportunity yet again to bring the world to San Antonio and take San Antonio to the world,” said Shahrzad Dowlatshahi, the City’s Chief Diplomacy and Protocol Officer.

May 2 is also designated as Kumamoto-San Antonio Day in celebration of a 30-year partnership between the two cities. San Antonio and Kumamoto, Japan became Sister Cities in 1988. Guests including the Mayor of Kumamoto, the Honorable Kazufumi Ohnishi and the Kumamoto City Council will join leaders from San Antonio in discussions of urban renewal and to participate in the 2018 Sister Cities International Leadership Council Spring Luncheon, hosted in San Antonio. 

Founded in 1956, Sister Cities International is a membership organization for more than 500 communities in 145 countries. Kumamoto-San Antonio Day will end with the San Antonio-Kumamoto 30th Anniversary Sister City Commemorative Ceremony hosted by the City of San Antonio, in conjunction with the Japan-America Society of San Antonio, the Naoko Mitsui Shirane Foundation and the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

On May 3, Tricentennial Founders’ Day will begin with an official welcome of each international delegation during a ceremonial session of the San Antonio City Council, where delegates and City leaders will address attendees and present gifts honoring the friendships between San Antonio and the world. Representatives from sister cities will tour important cultural sites in San Antonio and the UNESCO World Heritage site Mission San Jose. Additionally, a memorandum of understanding between the San Antonio River Authority and the Wuxi Liangxi (China) District will be signed to create a “Sister Canal” agreement between the two cities to promote best practices between the San Antonio River and the Jiangnan Ancient Canal of Wuxi City. Founders’ Day will conclude with all international delegations attending the Tricentennial Founders’ Day Gala at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. 

May 4 is the Tricentennial Arts for All Day. Events will include the dedication of the new public art Alas de Mexico sculpture by renowned Mexican artist Jorge Marin and presented by the Department of Arts and Culture. The sculpture is a gift from the residents of Mexico City to the residents of San Antonio in honor of the longstanding economic and cultural relationships the two cities have.

Additionally, delegates will be honored at the Sister City Business Lunch at the Witte Museum, hosted by the Alamo Asian American Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The groups will receive an overview of San Antonio’s industry sectors and tour the Witte Museum’s Tricentennial Exhibitions that honor San Antonio’s growth from a prehistoric trade center into a global city. Diplomats will also visit Brooks for a briefing on the cybersecurity industry in San Antonio.

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