Sister Town's 20th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony
This is the reason why we have travelled 6500 miles over a 28 hour period. The big event. We arrived on the 2nd floor of the hotel to receive our red & white ribbons to be pinned on our suits. Tonight was the formal event of the trip. At the appropriate time, we were then led up the elevator to the 4th floor where the Ceremony/ Banquet was to take place. There were 102 guests in total is what I was told. We were the guests of honor & the rest of the guests were waiting inside the ballroom. We were then announced & entered into the ballroom with the other guests on their feet and clapping. Our group was separated into two tables, Gary, Margie and myself were at one table to the left with our school counterparts of the Japanese delegation. The table to the right had our selectmen: Dickie, Sergio, Matt, as well as the Fire Chief Ed Bradley, Police Chief Mike Boteri, Mark and Patrick and their Japanese counterparts.
It looked like a wedding reception with the decorations, flowers and table displays. The front of the room had a stage and a podium for the speeches, as well as a podium to the left for the announcing of the speeches. There were many speeches, mostly entailing thanking those who have contributed to the 20 years of the exchange. The signing of the Sister City Affirmation was signed by Dickie Quintal and the Mayor of Shichigahama. After the speeches and signing of the pact was the gift exchange. Plymouth was presented with a beautiful framed picture of the Japanese character of Happiness and the name of the mayor going down the side. We presented a crystal trophy like gift that had the logo of our 20th anniversary that included a light house, shape of the country of Japan and a Mayflower. After the exchange was time to mingle and meet the rest of the people at the party. It was also time for the entertainment. On the stage first were Shamisen musicians. They were amazing and played traditional Japanese music. Next on stage were traditional Japanese dancers in their beautiful kimonos. They were gracefully dancing with their fans and ever so lightly transversing the stage ever so lightly. Lastly were the Taiko Drummers. The huge drums took the stage like statues. The sound of the drums took over the room and one could barely talk to their neighbor. It was amazing. Such talent.
After the ceremony we went back to our rooms and changed.
Now its a Party!