The sister city relationship established in 1988 between Glens Falls and Saga City, Japan, will be celebrated next week as a delegation of nineteen people from Saga City led by Mayor Hidetaka Sakai will commemorate the 35-year relationship in Glens Falls. It will be the first such commemoration since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The delegation will arrive Thursday evening, April 20, for the 35th Anniversary Celebration at the Queensbury Hotel which will begin at 6pm. There’s a full schedule on Friday for the delegation with the tour of City Hall and the Glens Falls Business District including a stop at the Crandall Public Library. After lunch at Davidson’s and a trolley bus ride to the Warren County Municipal Center, the delegation will be hosted by the Koh family for dinner. Members of the delegation will have a “free day” Saturday with their respective host families before meeting up at 5pm Saturday evening for the Farewell (Sayonara) Dinner at Morgan & Company. The delegation will leave early Sunday morning.
“For the first time since 2019, Saga City will be visiting Glens Falls,” says Mayor Bill Collins, “and the support from our local community is fantastic. Over the years, we have seen college students from SUNY Adirondack as well as high school and middle school students from Glens Falls, Queensbury, Lake George and Hadley-Luzerne who have participated in the exchange program.”
“Our cities have many things in common,” continues Collins. “Both cities have similar industries, like paper mills, and our economies have experienced growth. Both cities have an appreciation for history as well as education, both cities host high school sports tournaments, and of course, both cities are involved with Balloon Festivals.”
“Awareness is so important,” states Milly Koh, who moved to Glens Falls with her husband in 1978 and is part of the Sister Cities Committee of Glens Falls & Warren County. “ We are giving everyone a chance to understand that we are not the only ones living in this world. We all live in different ways.”
“As you may know, a person who lived in Glens Falls was a crew member for a hot-air balloon team that was invited to Saga City’s International Balloon Fiesta in 1986,” continues Koh. “The team had a fantastic time and were struck by the kindness of those who attended the Fiesta. And I’ll always be eternally grateful to former Mayor Frank O’Keefe who agreed to developing the sister city relationship with Saga City.”