SANTA CRUZ, CA (August 16, 2012) -- The Santa Cruz Sister Cities Committee is celebrating its 25th anniversary with Alushta, Ukraine on Sunday, August 19 at the Santa Cruz Wharf from 2-5 pm. The event will feature a FREE concert by Wally's Swing World, official ceremonies at 4 pm and traditional Ukrainian refreshments. Special guests include Santa Cruz Mayor Don Lane, Alushta Mayor Stanislav Kolot, Consul General Sergiy Aloshyn of Ukraine in San Francisco, and other prominent Santa Cruz citizens who have visited Alushta.
Chair of the Sister Cities Committee Enda Brennan is looking forward to the festivities. He has volunteered on the Alushta sub-committee for 15 years and traveled to Alushta six times. "Our relationship with Alushta is one of our strongest," said Brennan. "We share many similarities as coastal, tourist-based economies with fishing, local wineries and outdoor recreation. Over the years friendships have grown and we look forward to hosting our friends here in Santa Cruz."
"The Sister Cities program is based on the philosophy of peace through friendship," said Raisa Kikteva, chair of the Alushta sub-committee. "This visit is a chance to learn more about each other's lifestyle and culture and to celebrate our longstanding relationship."
The six-person Mayoral delegation will be arriving from Alushta on August 18 and staying through August 24. Social gatherings are planned at the Santa Cruz Yacht Club, the Crow's Nest and Soif Wine Bar. On Monday, August 20 at 5:00 pm, Sister Cities Support will present a reception at the Darling House at 314 West Cliff Drive ($5.00 Sister Cities Support members; $10.00 general admission, RSVP to email@example.com). While here the delegation will visit Long Marine Lab, UCSC and local hotel properties. Visits to the Santa Cruz redwoods, Boardwalk and beaches are planned as well as day trips to San Francisco and Monterey. Meetings with teachers, surfing lessons, fishing trips and local shopping are also on tap.
The August 19 public celebration is part of a series of events commemorating the 25th Anniversary. A five-person Santa Cruz delegation led by former Mayor Cynthia Mathews recently visited Alushta to celebrate both the 25th anniversary and Alushta's 110th birthday. Also commemorating the Santa Cruz-Alushta 25th Anniversary is a teacher exchange set for February 2-22, 2013. Retired City School teacher Kris Kennedy's visit to Alushta in February 2012 initiated this exchange which will include three teachers from Alushta slated to teach in Santa Cruz City Schools.
For more information on Santa Cruz-Alushta 25th Anniversary events, please contact Enda Brennan, Chair of the Santa Cruz Sister Cities Committee at 831-429-9100.
More about Alushta, Ukraine: Alushta is small coastal resort town (map) of about 40,000 located on the Crimean Peninsula on the Black Sea. Situated between Yalta (Ukraine's most famous resort) and the famed Kara-Dag Nature Reserve in eastern Crimea, the area is notable for its stunning rocky terrain. Alushta is close to the "Valley of the Ghosts" under Mt. Demerdzhi which contains examples of rock formations which have been created by wind erosion of sandstone into memorable pillars. West of Alushta lies the Mramorna Cave (marble cave) at the base of Mt. Chatyr-Dag with strangely shaped stalactites and stalagmites nicknamed after various animals, fairy tale characters and international buildings such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Alushta was founded in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian. There are also vestiges of a Byzantine defensive tower and a 15th-century Genoese fortress.
Other Santa Cruz Sister Cities: Shingu, Japan; Jinotepe, Nicaragua; Sestri Levante, Italy; Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. More information about Sister Cities at www.cityofsantacruz.com/sistercities