Swedish delegation welcomed by Wilmington City Council

By Tom Lehman 11:20pm, May 9, 2013 - Updated 10:34pm, May 10, 2013
Kalmar, Sweden Mayor Johan Persson speaks at Wilmington City Council's Thursday night meeting.
It wasn't quite the royal visit scheduled for this weekend, but Wilmington City Council hosted a Swedish delegation from a sister city Thursday night.

WDEL's Tom Lehman reports.

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Council presented a resolution to a delegation from Kalmar, Sweden, just two days before the Scandinavian country's King and Queen are scheduled to visit Delaware.

Kalmar Mayor Johan Persson says his city has had a fruitful relationship with Wilmington during the last five decades.

"During this 50 years, we have had a lot of exchanges. It has been in different areas--music groups for example, jazz," Persson says.

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He says the sister city partnership has been particularly effective, especially in educational opportunities between involving the University of Delaware and students from Sweden.

"They visit the city every year, so this a very good way to connect and cooperate between our two cities," Persson says.

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Councilwoman Loretta Walsh says this weekend's royal visit and celebration of the Swedes' first colony in Delaware is an important occasion because those vents eventually led to the partnership between Wilmington and Kalmar.

"That has been a really wonderful experience for our city and for Kalmar. They've gotten a lot of visitors, as we have, just because of that distinction," Walsh says.

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The Swedish King and Queen are scheduled to visit Wilmington this Saturday to help celebrate the 375th anniversary of Sweden's first colony in Delaware. That colony, New Sweden, is now present-day Wilmington.

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