Entre Amigos: Sister City representatives celebrate 4th of July in Ashland

Guanajuato festival queen Cecilia Galindo sits aboard the antique car that will carry her from Triangle Park to the end of the Fourth of July parade near the Ashland Plaza. Ashland Amigo Club photo
July 12, 2022

50-year tradition picks up again after two years off due to pandemic

By Kernan Turner

Sister City Guanajuato, Mexico, sent its summer festival queen and five other representatives to Ashland to participate in Ashland Fourth of July celebrations, resuming a 50-year tradition derailed in 2020 and 2021 by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Standing on Main Street after the Fourth of July Parade passes by are (foreground) Guanajuato festival queen Cecilia Galindo and (back row, l-r) Andrea Guardado Ramirez, the 2020-2021 Guanajuato summer festival queen; Ashland Amigo Club President Betzabe “Mina” Turner; Amigo Club board members Catherine and Sean VanAusdall; Guanajuato municipal finance director Stefani “Fanny” Marlene Martinez Armendariz; and Guanajuato city ambassador Casandra Jimenez Verver y Vargas. Ashland Amigo Club photo

Ashland Amigo Club members hosted the visitors and worked with city, university, religious and civic organizations to arrange a calendar of events while they were in town from June 28 through July 5.
Mayor Julie Akins, Southern Oregon University President Richard Baily, Temple Emek Shalom, and Our Lady of the Mountain Catholic Church each hosted breakfasts for the Sister City guests.

Guanajuato Municipal Finance Director Stefani “Fanny” Marlene Martinez Armendariz sits in the driver’s seat of an Ashland fire truck while visiting the downtown station. Ashland Amigo Club photo
The six visitors from Sister City Guanajuato pose after the Fourth of July parade passes their viewpoint near the Ashland Plaza. Pictured from left are Monica Ayala Ortega with her daughter, summer festival queen Cecilia Galindo; Guanajuato Municipal Finance Director Stefani “Fanny” Marlene Martinez Armendariz; Guanajuato city ambassadors Casandra Jimenez Verver y Vargas and Andrea Guardado Ramirez (the 2020-2021 summer festival queen), and Carmelita Ortega (Queen Ceclia’s grandmother, representing the Guanajuato Amigo Club). Ashland Amigo Club photo

They rode antique cars in the Ashland Chamber’s 4th of July Parade, attended a Lions Club chicken barbecue and a Rotary Club winery luncheon, toured the city and its water reservoir and purification plant high in the hills above Lithia Park, sailed at Lake of the Woods, rafted down the Rogue River, participated in the Amigo Club’s annual Spanish-language poetry recital, and watched an Oregon Shakespeare Festival musical. They attended post-parade activities at the Lithia Park bandshell, where they were introduced to the public by Amigo Club founder Señora Chela Tapp-Kocks, received an Ashland City Band salute, sang the Mexican National Anthem, and addressed spectators on behalf of the City of Guanajuato.

Guanajuato Municipal Finance Director Stefani “Fanny” Marlene Martinez Armendariz led the delegation, representing Guanajuato Mayor (presidente municipal) Alejandro Navarro. With her were summer festival queen Cecilia Galindo and her mother, Monica Ayala Ortega, and grandmother, Carmelita Ortega (representing the Guanajuato Amigo Club), and two Sister City-designated ambassadors, Casandra Jimenez Verver y Vargas and Andrea Guardado Ramirez (the 2020-2021 summer festival queen).

In between activities, Amigo Club members opened their doors, providing meals and lodging for the Guanajuato guests. The hosts included Ashland Amigo Club treasurer Sean Van Ausdall and wife Catherine, Amigo Club secretary Lynn Lamoree and husband Tom, Amigo Club members Marian Telerski and John Morrison, and Amigo Club President Betzabe “Mina” Turner and husband Kernan.

Amigo Club’s Entre Amigos (Between Friends) column about Ashland ties to its sister city Guanajuato, Mexico, appears monthly. Longtime AP reporter and bureau chief Kernan Turner is an Ashland resident and Amigo Club member.

Ashland Amigo Club board member Sean VanAusdall waves after taking the Guanajuato visitors sailing on his Hobie Car at Lake of the Woods. Seated on the catamaran are, from left, Carmelita Ortega, her daughter, Monica Ayala Ortega and granddaughter festival queen Cecilia Galindo; Guanajuato ambassadors Casandra Jimenez Verver y Vargas and Andrea Guardado; and Municipal Finance Director Stefani “Fanny” Marlene Martinez Armendariz. Ashland Amigo Club photo

Share this article

Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

Latest posts

Red flag warning issued for Wednesday afternoon

The threat of new fire starts due to expected “abundant lightning on dry fuels” has prompted the Medford office of the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning for noon to 11 p.m. Wednesday for wide swaths of Southern Oregon and Northern California, including Ashland and the south end of the Rogue Valley.

Read More >

Two council candidates drop out as others wait for approval to get on ballot

Two candidates have dropped out of the race for Ashland City Council as the city waits on signature verification to release the forms of additional candidates who filed by the Aug. 8 deadline. City Recorder Melissa Huhtala said she is waiting to hear from Jackson County to confirm the signatures of additional candidates and will post candidate information after this step is complete.

Read More >

Rogue Grapevine: How a fox’s tail became a goat’s beard

MJ Daspit: “Caprettone got my attention because I’d never heard of it before. A light, dry Italian, it was refreshing and delicious. … ‘Caprettone is a white Italian wine grape variety that is grown in the Campania region of southern Italy … Caprettone is also grown in the Rogue River Valley of southern Oregon.’ Wait — what? We’re it outside Campania? How did that happen?”

Read More >

Explore More...

Red flag warning issued for Wednesday afternoon

The threat of new fire starts due to expected “abundant lightning on dry fuels” has prompted the Medford office of the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning for noon to 11 p.m. Wednesday for wide swaths of Southern Oregon and Northern California, including Ashland and the south end of the Rogue Valley.

Read More>

Two council candidates drop out as others wait for approval to get on ballot

Two candidates have dropped out of the race for Ashland City Council as the city waits on signature verification to release the forms of additional candidates who filed by the Aug. 8 deadline. City Recorder Melissa Huhtala said she is waiting to hear from Jackson County to confirm the signatures of additional candidates and will post candidate information after this step is complete.

Read More>
ashland.news logo

Subscribe to the newsletter and get local news sent directly to your inbox.

(It’s free)