ECHMADZIN/FRESNO — The Fresno-Echmiadzin- Sister City Delegations arrived in Armenia in early autumn to participate in the celebration of the City of Echmiadzin’s 2,699th anniversary.
Echmiadzin Mayor Karen Grigoryan welcomed Sister City representatives from Fresno, Calif.; Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, a suburb of Paris; and Petrozavodsk, Russia, the Capital City of the Karelia Republic, NW part of Russia.
Mayor Grigoryan and his staff planned a week of celebratory events that included: the Opening Ceremony; Ribbon Cutting of the Komitas Cultural House, Kindergarten N16 and playground; festive parade; concerts; audiences and visits to historical sites.
The official opening ceremony, held in the newly renovated Komitas Cultural House, was presided over by the Honorable President of the Republic of Armenia, Serge Sargisian, to a seated and standing room only audience of 1,000. Bishop Sion Adamian, the Primate of the Armavir Diocese, in which the City of Echmiadzin is located, pronounced the invocation and reflected on the day’s significance. Participating in the program were Mayor Grigoryan and Sister City Representatives: Mayor Galina Shirshlina, of Petrozavodsk, Russia; Deputy Mayor Arthur Khandjian, of Issy-les-Moulineaus, France; and Sister City Secretary Allan Yeghia Jendian, representing Fresno’s Mayor Ashley Swearengen. Deputy Mayor Vazrik Grigoryan served as Master of Ceremonies.
On this occasion, Grigoryan presented Sargisian with a specially crafted gift, a miniature Gospel and replica of St. Gregory’s right hand. Each year, for the past six years, Mayor Grigoryan has gifted the residence of the city with various improvements to their life and community. This year’s project was the total renovation of the Komitas Cultural House.