45° F

Bethlehem, meet your new sister: Corfu, Greece

Published On: Jan 29 2013 09:14:56 AM EST
Corfu, Greece

Corfu, Greece


Bethlehem is expanding the family.

The Christmas City is adding another sister: Corfu, Greece.

Bethlehem has other Sister City relationships with Tondabayashi, Japan; Schwabisch Gmund, Germany and Murska Sobota, Slovenia, which have fostered cultural exchanges for almost 50 years.

More than 2,000 Greek descendants call the Lehigh Valley home. Bethlehem and Corfu share similarities in population, tourism, a large European influence, and government structure, according to Bethlehem officials.

The city of Corfu is the capital of the seven Ionian Islands, with a total population for all the islands of 110,000. The city has a population of approximately 70,000 residents.

The economy of Corfu is largely based on agriculture and tourism. Bethlehem also enjoys a strong tourism industry.

An official ceremony will take place in Bethlehem on March 22 where the mayor of Corfu and other U.S. and Greek dignitaries will sign the formal agreement.

Then in June, a delegation headed by Mayor Callahan will represent the City of Bethlehem at a similar signing ceremony in Corfu.