Portsmouth plays host to sister city this weekend

October 18, 2012

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

The city of Portsmouth is hosting 34 people from Portsmouth’s sister city Zittau, Germany this weekend, with a number of scheduled activities.

According to released information, Portsmouth’s sister city relationship with Zittau began in 1991 and has continued with successful exchanges and community involvement in both the United States and Germany. This year there will be 34 Zittau participants arriving in Portsmouth.”

Those responsible for the visit are excited for the weekend.

“With this visit we are able to showcase our city and area. Activities are planned in both Portsmouth/Scioto and Adams County,” said Grace Martin of the Portsmouth Sister City Committee. “This exchange program allows the Portsmouth Sister City Committee to show off our community and area to our Sister City exchange participants. It demonstrates to our guests that southern hospitality does begin on the Ohio River at Portsmouth. Each visit from one of our sister cities gives us an opportunity to provide a cultural exchange of ideas in the areas of art, education and business.”

Today’s scheduled activities activities of the visit will center in Adams County with a tour of Serpent Mound, a tour of the Rankin House Underground Railroad, a tour of the Old Piano Factory in Ripley and a stop at Moyers for wine and cheese, dinner and dessert on the balcony at sunset.

On Saturday the group is scheduled to take a walking Tour of Boneyfiddle and Murals. The group is scheduled to attend the flood wall stars signing ceremony and take a hike at Shawnee State Park.

On Sunday the group is scheduled to take a tour of Shawnee State University and attend a dinner in recognition of the sister city relationship between Zittau and Portsmouth with music by Stan Workman and Miriah Gynn.

The group will depart Monday.

According to Martin, Portsmouth’s first sister city relationship was established in 1965 with the city of Orizaba, Vera Cruz, Mexico.

She said over the years Portsmouth and its sister cities have exchanged a number of gifts.

“On two occasions the committee has procured ambulances for the Mexican Red Cross in our sister city of Orizaba, Mexico. The committee transported these ambulances from Portsmouth to Orizaba. The Committee has also perennially provided gifts of money and supplies to the Fundacion de San Nicolas, a girls’ orphanage in Orizaba. Most recently, the committee established a Paul Flohr Sister City Scholarship though the Scioto Foundation to support students studying foreign languages and international relations,” Martin said.

“When the Portsmouth Sister City group visited Zittau in 2010 Shawnee State University sent eight students to visit the university at Zittau and do a project on the Muslim population in Berlin. This was a successful venture between the Sister Cities and SSU,” Martin said. “In 2012, Zittau had a major flood which damaged much of the city. A donation was made to the city to assist with restoration of a playground.”

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or wallen@heartlandpublications.com.