gmhTODAY 13 gmhToday March April 2017 - Page 87

Gilroy Sister Cities hosts visitors from several sister cities during Garlic Festival week. Here the group is on a tour of Gilroy Gardens (2008) Gilroy Sister Cities Portugal Angra do Heroismo is located in the Azores, an archipelago of nine islands off the coast of Portugal with stunning landscapes and mild climate tempered by the Gulf Stream. Angra holds its annual garlic festival in June. “A few years ago one of our board members, Al Pinheiro, attended the festival along with former Mayor Don Gage and the Gilroy Garlic Festival Queen,” Smith said. “This year, we’re discussing the possibility of setting up a future student exchange program with them.” Mexico Tecate is nestled in a valley at the foot of the Sierra Juarez Mountains in Baja California, Mexico. Smith said that Gilroy has been pleased to host Tecate’s mayor and his delegation to the Gilroy Garlic Festival. He noted that Tecate is home to Rancho la Puerta, an award-winning resort and health spa founded in 1940 and spanning 3,000 acres. Also famous is the Tecate Brewery, where its namesake cerveza has been brewed for nearly 50 years. Tecate also happens to be the starting point of the grueling but popular Baja Bike Race (73 miles through baja wine country from Tecate to Ensenada). High school students visiting from Takko-machi, Japan (2017) Local Landmarks The City of Gilroy has named local streets to honor its relation- ships with cities around the globe, including: Sister City Way, Koror Lane, Takko-machi Way, Saint-Clar Avenue, Tecate Lane, Angra Way, and Monitcelli Drive/Court. According to Smith, “I’m not typically a joiner, but I made an exception for Sister Cities. It has not only been fun, but very worthwhile for the experience of knowing that while the cultures of our cities may be different, as people, we’re all the same underneath.” Annual International Dinner & Auction Each year the Gilroy Sister Cities Association hosts an International Dinner. This year the dinner was held on March 14th at the Portugese Hall in Gilroy. It featured Japanese dishes prepared by guest chefs from Takko-machi. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN Takko-machi visitors tour historic downtown Gilroy (2016) Gilroy Sister Cities Meet Second Tuesday of every month at 6 pm Brownell Middle School Membership: $15 per year ($25 family) gilroysistercities.org Gilroy Takko Student Exchange Program Information: gilroytakkosep.org MARCH/APRIL 2017 gmhtoday.com 87