SKSCA, KSSCA, the Kobe Kids Camp Alumni, and Kobe Festival Ambassador Yuuri Kashiwaya at Seafair before the parade. Photo from the Seattle-Kobe Sister City Association Facebook page.
SKSCA, KSSCA, the Kobe Kids Camp Alumni, and Kobe Festival Ambassador Yuuri Kashiwaya at Seafair before the parade. Photo from the Seattle-Kobe Sister City Association Facebook page.

Seattle-Kobe 1995 Kids Camp Alumni and sister city groups will be preparing to march in the Seafair parade with colorful Japanese Happi coats and City of Kobe and City of Seattle flags. They will pose for photos by the Kobe Bell, a gift from the people of Kobe in 1962 for the World’s Fair, on Saturday, July 30 at 5:00 p.m.

In August, 1995, the Seattle community hosted 45 young people from their sister city of Kobe, Japan, who had experienced tragedy in the January, 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. Some of these students lost relatives in the earthquake, and some had been staying with relatives at refugee centers. They experienced Seattle hospitality, learned about volunteering and local industry, and returned to Japan with lighter spirits and hope for the future.

Now, 21 years after the earthquake, some alumni from this Seattle-Kobe Kids Camp have returned to Seattle with their children to say thank you to Seattle. On Saturday, the Kobe sister city group will be marching in colorful Japanese Happi Coats and Kobe-Seattle Sister City Association blue T-shirts, carrying flags with both City of Seattle and City of Kobe city symbols. 

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