Salt Lake City will welcome a different kind of pioneer when four dignitaries from the Philippines arrive Thursday afternoon for Pioneer Day weekend activities.
The four are representing Quezon City on the island of Luzon in the Republic of Philippines, and are pioneering better relations between Utah's capital city and their home-land.Representatives from Keelung, Taiwan, and Matsumoto, Japan, will arrive later in the week as part of the program.
The Sister Cities Program began in 1956 under the Eisenhower Administration as a means to foster world peace through better international communication, said Doreen Max-field, who is organizing this year's visit.
The program includes more than 750 U.S. cities in 50 states affiliated with 1,200 sister cities in 86 countries, she said.
Two of the Philippine delegates are city council members and the first elected officials to take office following the election of Philippine President Corazon Aquino. A member of the Quezon mayor's staff and a local businessman will join the councilmen.
Quezon was the capital of the Philippines for 28 years until Manila became the capital in 1976.
A large Japanese delegation of 34 adults and 50 students will arrive Friday for a weekend of activities, including dinner at a local Japanese restaurant with Salt Lake Mayor Palmer DePaulis.
On Saturday 25 to 30 representatives from Taiwan will arrive.
All three delegations will meet with city officials, tour the area and watch Monday's Days of '47 Parade. Members of the delegations will stay with local host families.