SIERRA VISTA — The community is invited to kick-off the holiday season with a free German-inspired Advent Abend (Evening), hosted by the Sierra Vista Sister Cities Association, on Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the VFW, located at 549 Veterans Drive.

“We are inviting the community to come out and join us for an evening that will remind you a little of Germany at Christmas time,” said Susanne Himstedt-Gilbert, one of the event’s organizers. “We are creating an outdoor Christmas market with lights and vendors where you can do some of your Christmas shopping.

“We will be selling hot Glühwein, which is a German tradition this time of the year, hot chocolate, bratwurst and hot dogs. Santa will be stopping by for a visit and there will be free craft activities for kids.”

Every year, the Sister Cities Association organizes a student exchange with Sierra Vista’s sister city in Radebeul, Germany as well as with Sierra Vista’s sister city south of the border, Cananea, Mexico. The Advent Abend (Evening) event is both a fundraiser for the student exchange as well as an opportunity to learn about other nationalities.

“We’re inviting international exchange students from other high schools to represent their country to be part of the event,” Himstedt-Gilbert said.

“Our goal is to continue to reach out to as many international organizations as we can find as this event continues to grow each year. So far, we have support from the Sister Cities Club of Buena, as well as from the Italian Social Club and Vietnam.”

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