Scottsdale’s exploration of sister city opportunities began in early 1968...
In January 1968 Scottsdale City Manager Bill Donaldson attended the Arizona City Managers annual conference in Hermosillo, Mexico. Barney Taylor, the U.S. Consul General in Hermosillo, encouraged Arizona attendees to develop sister city relationships in Sonora, Mexico. Taylor suggested Scottsdale consider a sister city relationship with Alamos. Although Donaldson knew little about Alamos (only that it was an old silver mining town in the mountains and had become popular with tourists), he was immediately enthusiastic about the idea and quickly became its earliest proponent. After Donaldson’s return from Mexico, the Scottsdale Daily Progress on January 22, 1968, ran the headline “Scottsdale gains ‘sister city’” – announcing a partnership with Alamos. This generated a lot of excitement in Scottsdale but, unfortunately, no one bothered to check with Alamos – whose Mayor showed no interest in teaming with Scottsdale. Back to the drawing board!
In May 1968, Scottsdale Mayor Bud Tims, Donaldson and several community leaders traveled to Hermosillo to explore both economic development and sister city opportunities with Hermosillo. Again, nothing immediately happened. However, in Scottsdale the interest in sister cities remained strong. Fast forward to February 1969, and a large delegation of Scottsdale officials (including Donaldson and six members of the City Council, though business kept Mayor Tims in Scottsdale) travelled to Hermosillo, Cuernavaca, and Alamos to find the perfect partner. The stops in Hermosillo and Cuernavaca were brief and not convincing. However, Alamos had second thoughts about Scottsdale, and offered a warm and enthusiastic welcome. Vice Mayor Ken Murray was particularly excited and took the lead role in bringing the relationship to fruition. Both sides knew this was the right relationship, but also wanted the official signing ceremony to be done in the right way – to properly celebrate the start of this important union.
It was decided that the perfect setting would be Scottsdale’s annual Las Posadas event just before Christmas. Las Pasadas was a traditional Mexican celebration in which signers, dancers, and musicians would walk east on Main Street from Scottsdale Road towards the Civic Center, picking up followers along the way. The celebration included luminarias, a yule log, food, dancing, etc. Alamos Mayor Jose Reyes and five members of the Alamos City Council attended 1968’s Las Pasadas, Sunday December 21st. An official signing ceremony before the parada formalized the relationship, and at Las Pasadas Scottsdale’s first sister city and its elected leaders were introduced to the gathering of some 2,000 Scottsdale residents. On January 6, 1970, Scottsdale’s City Council resolution #751 affirmed the relationship with Alamos and Scottsdale, officially linking the cities, beginning the exciting opportunity to share each other’s cultures and promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time. Alamos remains SSCA’s most active Sister City.