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Ashland, Guanajuato celebrate 50th sister-city anniversary

Ashland and Guanajuato, Mexico, began celebrations last week of the 50th anniversary of their siste-city relations. Some 50 “amigos” from Guanajuato came to town, and a like number of Ashlanders will travel in May to Guanajuato.

Mayors John Stromberg of Ashland and Mario Alejandro Saldaña kicked off the week’s celebration by proclaiming “Guanajuato Day” on April 8.

The visitors were feted each day by breakfasts, dinners and receptions and activities ranging from playing in the snow at Mount Ashland to city tours and buffet dinners, and an Oregon Shakespeare Festival performance of the play “Hairspray.”

At week’s end, Graciela “Señora Chela” Tapp-Kocks flew to Guanajuato to receive honors as the first foreigner ever honored as a “Distinguished Citizen of Guanajuato” for her visionary leadership in the late 1960s that led to the link between the two cities and their universities.

The Ashland Chamber of Commerce had earlier announced Tapp-Kocks as the grand marshal for this year’s Fourth of July Parade.

Photo by Jay AchPictured at an Ashland Amigo Club Party: Amigo Club trailblazers Señora Chela (second from right, back row) and Marianne and Leo van Dijk (front row) join (left to right, back row) Amigo Club President Mina Turner and Ada Hodgen, and (far right) University of Guanajuato academic Ericka Gonzalez.
Photo by Graham Lewis Guanajuato visitors and Ashlanders gather at the Hannon Library at Southern Oregon University.