Guanajuato’s 1980 summer festival queen, Gabriela Cardenas, remembers how as a 19-year-old grade school teacher she looked forward to not only her Guanajuato activities, but also to the traditional trip to sister-city Ashland. She had a long wait.
Festival queens had been coming to Ashland nearly every year since Sister City relations began in 1969. They joined Guanajuato’s official delegation to Ashland’s Fourth of July celebrations, where several thousand spectators along the parade route cheered and applauded as they passed by in an open convertible.
Somehow, Guanajuato city officials in 1980 failed to coordinate arrangements with Ashland and a disappointed Cardenas never got to Ashland that year. Another 33 years would slip by before she made her first visit to her sister city as the director general of the Guanajuato Municipal System of Integral Family Development.
Cardenas made her second visit to Ashland this year, this time as a city councilor heading Guanajuato’s delegation to the Fourth of July festivities in representation of Mayor Edgar Castro Cerrillo. And, for the first time, rode in the parade, accompanied by this year’s queen, Maritere Dominguez Silva, and the other delegates.
She brought pictures to Ashland taken when she was Guanajuato’s summer festival queen those many years ago.
“Ashland is the only sister city that maintains such strong bonds of friendship, fraternity, and — most of all — solidarity with Guanajuato’s most needy citizens,” Cardenas said in a recent email message to the Amigo Club. She added that Ashland’s “many contributions to Guanajuato over the last 48 years” made her fully committed to her sister city.
Amigo Club Flies Guanajuato Queen Home
One of the first Guanajuato festival queens to participate in Ashland’s Fourth of July festivities got an unusual ride home to Mexico.
The young woman, Magdalena Munoz, and her sister, Lilia, missed their scheduled flight from Ashland to Guanajuato.
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