The sister cities of Franklin and Williamson County will host a delegation from sister city Bad Soden am Taunus in Germany October 2-9.
The relationship with Bad Soden began six years ago under former Sister Cities president Patricia Kriebel. At the time, Kriebel was eager to have a foreign language component for the student exchange program.
“I was referred to Rachel Obermeier,” Kriebel said, “We were both from West Tennessee but had never met. We worked for six years to get all the necessary parts together.
In 2014, Franklin Mayor Ken Moore and his wife, Linda, traveled to Bad Soden with Kriebel and her husband, Robert, to sign the official Sister Cities Agreement.
There have been multiple student exchanges and delegation visits between the two cities since the formalization of the relationship. The visit in October will be the first since the onset of COVID.
“It has been several years since we’ve had the opportunity to bring our city closer to our global sister cities,” said Gabrielle Hanson, Franklin City Councilman and current president of Sister Cities. “This is an important moment to strengthen our bond of friendship and partnership with German officials in Bad Soden.”
The 10-person delegation from Bad Soden will include Mayor Frank Blasch; Helmut Witt, President of the City Council; Eveline Witt, wife of Helmut; Dr. Felix Erster, First Alderman; Peter Dorr, Alderman; Nick-Oliver Kromer, fire chief and city councilman; Susanna Hein, IKUS and Vice President of Sister Cities Org. ; Michael Hein, IKUS and member of Sister Cities Org.; Rachel Obermeier, co-founder of the Bad Soden/Franklin relationship; and Danina Rink, Head of Citizen Services and Culture, Municipal Administration
A full week is planned with visits to Southall Farms, Berry Farms, Harpeth Square and Jack Daniel’s Distillery. The group will take a trolley tour of Franklin and visit local attractions and schools. They will also meet with the Franklin Fire Department, Williamson County EMS and Rotary as well as local and state officials. The week will begin with a Reunification Day Appreciation Reception on the afternoon of October 3.
The tour will coincide with the start of the annual Sister Cities Nations Celebration, which begins at 1 p.m. on October 8. This year’s Celebration of Nations will feature the Franklin High School Orchestra and several Irish-themed performers.
Williamson County residents who wish to meet the delegation or attend Celebration of Nations can contact Sister Cities at [email protected]
The mission of the Sister Cities of Franklin and Williamson County is to build global relationships, share cultural and educational experiences, and inspire community economic growth. Franklin’s current sister cities are Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada, County Laois, Ireland, and Bad Soden am Taunus, Germany.