St. Paul and Changsha, China, celebrates 35th Anniversary of Sister City Friendship

Official delegation from Changsha, Hunan Province China

By Greg Hugh

Despite the threat of rain, attendees did not let that deter them from gathering on Saturday, September 23 in Phalen Park, St. Paul, to begin the celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival along with the 35th anniversary Sister City Friendship between St. Paul and Changsha, China.

The Minnesota Friendship Garden Society, the organizers of the event, started the celebration at 11:00 a.m. by honoring those who founded and fostered this relationship resulting in the first sister-city China Friendship Garden to be built in Minnesota which is formally referred to as Liu Ming Yuan | 柳明園 | LUB VAJ PHOOJ YWG -THE ST. PAUL-CHANGSHA CHINA FRIENDSHIP GARDEN OF WHISPERING WILLOWS & FLOWING WATERS AT PHALEN REGIONAL PARK.

Also, there was a 5k Fun Run for those that wished to participate while the morning program continued with the announcement of the Poetry Contest winners followed by additional activities throughout the day that continued until 5:00 pm.  A five-member delegation traveled from Changsha to participate in the celebration that was held at the Pavilion, Picnic Island and Picnic Pavilion throughout the day.

The event included artistic performances, food, mooncake tasting, cultural booths personal photography, international fashion display, Garden photo exhibit and even a children’s playground.


Senator Foung Hawj honoring P. RIchard Bohr and his wife Gail.

As a symbol of peace and understanding, a flock of white doves is released by representatives of Changsha and the Minnesota China Friendship Society


SAVE THE DATE:  May 18, 2024, for the Hmong Plaza Opening and for updates on the Garden’s progress, visit

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