Honoring the Sister Cities partnership
The Sister Cities partnership — formed in 1976 between the Borough of Northampton and Stegersbach, Austria — forged a strong bond for the two towns separated by the Atlantic Ocean. Events and visits, held years ago, recognizing the bond will be etched in lasting memories.
There are not many activities today. In the past, crowds gathered at the borough’s Municipal Park, Smith Lane and Laubach Avenue, for the annual celebration that included the playing of the national anthems of the United States and Austria, the raising of the flags of the two countries and a placement of a wreath at the base of a granite monument.
At past Sister Cities celebrations, button box selections played Austrian music, while attendees danced and enjoyed authentic bratwurst with sauerkraut and cabbage and noodles at the park pavilion.
Then-Mayor Anthony Pany struck an alliance 42 years ago with his Stegersbach counterpart to share the heritage since many from Burgenland emigrated to Northampton in the 1930s.
On Aug. 30, Northampton Borough Councilman Ed Pany, Anthony Pany’s son and curator of Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum, and Northampton Mayor Thomas Reenock placed a floral arrangement at the Sister Cities site in the park. There was no ceremony or program.
“We need to continue to remember our heritage. Fraternal clubs in the borough and individuals need to step up in continuing this proud tradition, remembering our roots,” Ed Pany said.