The Sister City relationship between Wenatchee/East Wenatchee and Misawa, Japan began in 1981. The historic 1931 trans-Pacific flight of the “Miss Veedol” airplane from Misawa to East Wenatchee, piloted by Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon, was the common bond between the two cities.
A large delegation of North Central Washington residents flew to Misawa in 1981 to attend the official signing of the Sister City agreement. The group was welcomed at Misawa airport by a large crowd, and then taken to Misawa City Hall where they were greeted by the mayor, city councilmen, and dignitaries of Misawa. The signing of the Sister City agreement took place before a standing-room only crowd.
The delegation spent a week in Misawa, where they were treated to sightseeing excursions, dinners, a tea ceremony, and other events. They returned to Wenatchee treasuring memories of new friends and a better understanding of the relationship between the two cities.
From that time, the two cities have exchanged annual visits by dignitaries and representatives at their respective festivals (the Misawa summer festival in August and the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival in May). In August 1991, another large group from Wenatchee attended the Misawa summer festival to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Sister City relationship, and the sixtieth anniversary of the historic flight. Ken Goedde of Cashmere had preceded the group by one week to help put the finishing touches on a float being built by the city of Misawa for the summer festival parade. The float carried Queen Holly Lane (Wenatchee), a Japanese princess from the district north of Misawa (apple country), and two American princesses from the U.S. Air Base in Misawa. Two members of the Wenatchee delegation walked alongside the float in the parade while the rest of the delegation rode in open convertibles. Citizens of Misawa hosted members of the Wenatchee delegation in individual homes. Upon their departure, the city of Misawa presented the Wenatchee delegation with a cash gift which was used to start a trust fund to help pay expenses for Wenatchee/East Wenatchee students who visit Misawa.
For more information on the historic flight of the Miss Veedol, see The Spirit of Wenatchee Web site.