Where is your hometown’s Sister Cities?
Post by Kary
While on a walk through Bayfront Park, I noticed a plaque recognizing Sarasota’s sister cities with a Ceremonial Tree Walk on March 17, 2003. Sarasota has 8 sister cities! The placard whose mission and objective reads “To Foster Peace and Understanding and to Develop Respect and Cooperation through Citizen Diplomacy” piqued my curiosity.
The Sister city program was developed by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956. His vision was to promote citizen diplomacy after having seen the severe hatred and after-effects of World War II. Sarasota got involved early on in 1963 by pairing up with its first sister city, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. This was part and parcel due to the local Hispanic heritage. Visits began and to commemorate the exchange to this day there is an Avenida Sarasota in Santo Domingo and the Plaza de Santo Domingo is located next Sarasota’s Municipal Auditorium. A relationship was maintained through the 1980s when Santo Domingo decided to partner with Miami and New York City instead. Sarasota declared them to have emeritus status and moved on over the years to its current 8 sisters.