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Jan 24, 2012 7:25 PM by Andy Koen

City celebrates golden anniversary of Sister City agreement

The cities of Colorado Springs and Fujiyoshida, Japan are celebrating a golden anniversary this year as the sister cities relationship between the two communities has held strong for 50 years.

To commemorate the occasion, Mayor Steve Bach and the Colorado Springs City Council accepted a tapestry Tuesday that was given to the city by the people of Fujiyoshida. The gift is a sample of the fine quality textiles produced in the region and will be put on display at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.

Paul Maruyama of the Japan American Society of Southern Colorado says few communities with sister cities relationships have enjoyed such a longstanding friendship.

"Fifty years of a relationships is just a tremendous accomplishment," Maruyama said. "To the Japanese, especially the people of Fujiyoshida, this is really a big deal."

This summer the city, the Japan American Society and the Colorado Springs Diversity Forum will host a Fire Festival modeled after the 600 year old Japanese tradition of honoring Mt. Fuji.

During the Japanese Fire Festival, large "taimatsu" torches are burned to keep the mountain from erupting for another year. The Colorado Springs fire festival is scheduled for August 4th at America the Beautiful Park.

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