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Sister City Program

Leavenworth's sister cities are Omihachiman, Japan, and Wagga Wagga, Australia. Sister Cities International was founded in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower with the intent of promoting peace through cultural exchange.

The Sister City Board, along with the Leavenworth Convention and Visitors Bureau, coordinates many Sister City events and activities.

Wagga Wagga, Australia

Wagga Wagga is a major city in the Riverina Region of New South Wales, with 64,000 residents. It lies on the Murrumbidgee River Wagga Wagga is home to the Kapooka Army Recruit Training Base and Royal Australian Air Force Base. The name, "Wagga" comes from Wiradjuri Aboriginal language meaning "crow." The name translates as "the place of many crows." https://www.waggawaggaaustralia.com.au/ 

Wagga Wagga has sent many young women, winners of the "Miss Wagga Wagga" and "Miss Community Princess" to visit Leavenworth every few years as part of our Sister City tradition. The Quest, as it is called, evolved from a beauty pageant in the 1960s into a community leadership competition for young women. http://www.misswaggaquest.com/ 

Omihachiman, Japan

The partnership between Leavenworth and its Sister/Brother City Omihachiman is a very special one. In 1905 a man who was born in Leavenworth, William Merrell Vories, traveled this region of Japan to teach. Mr. Vories served as a Christian missionary but also was a prolific architect, poet and writer and businessman. Mr. Vories founded the Omi Mission, a company called Mentholatum, a school and a hospital. He designed many buildings throughout Japan that are still in use today. The Omi Brotherhood continues as a successful cosmetics and skin care product company: http://www.omibh.co.jp/en/ Mr. Vories eventually married and became a naturalized Japanese citizen. A museum in Omihachiman tells more of his story, http://vories.com/english/chronology/02.php

Omihachiman sends a delegation from the Omi Brotherhood Group to Leavenworth every few years to spend time in the community and visit Mr. Vories birthplace.

Omihachiman has a population of 81,730 and lies within the Shiga Prefecture of Japan.

Omihachiman nomument

This monument along North Esplanade Park and the Missouri River in Leavenworth pays tribute to our partnership with our Omihachiman friends. It is surrounded by beautiful cherry trees that bloom in mid-spring, a gift from Japan.