The mayor of Ogden's sister city, in town for a carnival honoring his hometown, says the Hof Winter Carnival is a "great celebration" and that "Ogden is a city with very, very friendly citizens."

Mayor Dieter Dohla of Hof, West Germany, spent Friday morning touring the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City and catching glimpses of the televised inauguration of President Bush before returning to Ogden to participate in the carnival's opening ceremonies.Dohla received a standing ovation from members of the House and Senate when the legislative body honored Ogden's sister city.

"Americans have a strong feeling for nationality," Dohla said when asked his impressions of the gala in Washington, D.C.

The third annual Hof Winter Carnival got under way Friday night as Germans and Ogdenites skied down 25th Street with flares in hand. The carnival continues throughout the weekend, with free skiing, snow sculpturing contests and authentic German entertainment and food at Ogden's Union Station.

Dohla and 25 other Hof residents are spending about a week in Ogden, staying with host families.

Two musicians from Hof, who perform with the Original Goestrataler Musikanten band, also said Ogden is very friendly.

Band members traveled to Ogden to play traditional Bavarian music. Roland Mergner, the group's founder and a member of the Hof City Council, said his town is thinking about hosting a celebration sometime in the summer to honor Ogden.

He said he has had a great time in Ogden and he was especially impressed with Utah snow.

Mergner said he skied at Snow Basin and had a good time. "It's a very wonderful snow, no ice, much powder."