Sister city celebrates 725th anniversary

Sister city celebrates 725th anniversary Navrat to attend festivities in Ratingen, Germany

Ratingen, Germany, Vermillion's sister city since 1982, will celebrate the 725th anniversary of its founding on June 17.

A three-day festival is planned, involving representatives from Ratingen's additional sister cities in the former East Germany, England, Norway and the United States. Also in attendance will be the Consul General of the U.S. Embassy in D�sseldorf.

Dr. Werner Kitzler and Janice Kitzler, Vermillion, were instrumental in founding the sister city relationship between Vermillion and Ratingen, and have actively supported foreign students and visitors to Vermillion and South Dakota for over 30 years.

Dennis Navrat, professor of art and College of Fine Arts international coordinator, will attend the festivities, to be held June 15-17, as a guest of the City of Ratingen. On June 17, Navrat will represent The University of South Dakota during the signing of an academic and cultural agreement between USD and the City of Ratingen.

The agreement, approved by the South Dakota Board of Regents at its May meeting, will promote exchange visits of students and artists and the exchange of exhibitions between the Ratingen Museum and the University Art Galleries.

For this special occasion, Governor William A. Janklow has signed an executive proclamation designating June 17, 2001 as Ratingen Day in South Dakota. Vermillion Mayor Roger L. Kozak and the city council have also issued a proclamation of celebration congratulating Ratingen and supporting the sister cities program.

Over the years, students of all ages, educators, and visitors have benefited by international exchange and enlightenment promoted by the sister cities concept. Since 1982 the program has served a multitude of Vermillion and Ratingen citizens, in a spirit of friendship and cooperation. Many other South Dakota cities also have sister city relationships with cities throughout Germany.

During the ceremonies, Navrat will present the official proclamations from Governor Janklow and Mayor Kozak to Dr. Wolfgang Diedrich, the Burgermeister der Stadt Ratingen, as well as an official gift from the City of Vermillion.

The gift, a Sioux Indian painted parfleche container made by the Oliver Red Feather family of St. Francis-Rosebud Reservation, and purchased at the W.H. Over Museum, fits the occasion, as the official South Dakota documents will be carried to Germany within the buffalo hide container.

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