Pleasanton recently welcomed more than two dozen officials and community representatives from Tulancingo, Mexico, for a special delegation trip to commemorate a milestone anniversary for the two sister cities.
Celebrating 40 years of friendship, the Pleasanton-Tulancingo Sister City Association delegation visit in mid-April featured a wide range of events in and around Pleasanton, including the exchange of cultural gifts at City Hall, local entertainment, a Western night dinner, a tour of the Presidio of San Francisco and recognitions of two of the group's local co-founders who died in recent years.
"Our sister cities association these past 40 years has been a great way to enjoy, respect, share and better understand each other's culture," PTSCA president Jorge Victoria told the Weekly after the five-day program.
Pleasanton Mayor Karla Brown, who participated in multiple activities during the 2023 delegation visit, said she was "was excited to greet so many of my friends that were visiting from our sister city."
"In 2013, I joined the city of Pleasanton's delegation, and had the chance to visit Tulancingo myself," Brown told the Weekly. "While I was there, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of our sister city relationship, which began in 1983. Since then, many of the same wonderful people have traveled to Pleasanton to learn more about our culture and visit with their Pleasanton friends."
"This year, 2023, Tulancingo and the city of Pleasanton are celebrating 40 years as sister cities," the mayor added. "This relationship began and was nurtured by Mr. Bob Athenour and his family. The affiliation was later expanded to include many elected officials, volunteers and exchange students that have all enjoyed a rich cultural exchange with dear friends."
Brown was on hand as the delegation joined Pleasanton representatives to unveil a new memorial bench at Bernal Community Park to honor Athenour, who died in 2020. Later in the visit, the association also paid tribute to co-founder Steve Noble, who passed away earlier this year, and his family at the group's farewell dinner.
In a cultural gift exchange in the council chambers, the Tulancingo delegates presented Brown and the city of Pleasanton with two hand-carved stone masks, a rain stick and a decorative sword, which will be displayed in the Tulancingo Room in Pleasanton City Hall.
Other highlights from the trip were a tour of Las Positas College in Livermore, an "April Thanksgiving Dinner" at the Pleasanton Senior Center that included performances by the school district's youth mariachi group Estrella del Pueblo and local dance group Ballet Folklórico, a tour of the Presidio of San Francisco, and a walk and lunch at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland.
There was also a "Western Night" at the Rebello estate, a Pleasanton Lions Club-hosted breakfast at Callippe Preserve Golf Course, a community picnic at Ken Mercer Sports Park and a farewell dinner at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.
PTSCA, which also organizes youth exchange trips between the two cities for students in the summer, is hosting an open house on June 11 at the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Center at 4477 Black Ave. to educate the community and generate more interest in the nonprofit. Visit ptsca.org for more information.