Western Welcome Week 2018: Australian delegation to get red carpet treatment

Guests from sister city Bega will visit rodeo, Broncos stadium

Posted 8/1/18

Littleton will be rolling out the red carpet from the moment guests from sister city Bega, Australia, land on Colorado soil on Aug. 9 ahead of Western Welcome Week. A Littleton Public Schools bus …

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Western Welcome Week 2018: Australian delegation to get red carpet treatment

Guests from sister city Bega will visit rodeo, Broncos stadium

Posted

Littleton will be rolling out the red carpet from the moment guests from sister city Bega, Australia, land on Colorado soil on Aug. 9 ahead of Western Welcome Week.

A Littleton Public Schools bus will greet 22 delegates from the Land Down Under at Denver International Airport, whisking the Aussies away for a whirlwind 10-day trip that will showcase what Littleton and Colorado have to offer, said Wilt Cooper, president of the Bega/Littleton Sister City Exchange program.

Delegates from Bega visit Littleton every five years, Cooper said, and Littleton delegates visit Littleton on an alternating five-year schedule. The delegates include Bega vocational school students Matthew Gibbs and Jess Heaton, who won competitions to join the trip.

The bus will bring the delegation to Littleton’s Bega Park — named for the sister city — for a welcome reception from Mayor Debbie Brinkman, Cooper said. The delegation, which will stay with host families during the visit, will tour Hudson Gardens the next day, then attend the Family Night Concert and Fireworks event at Sterne Park that officially kicks off Western Welcome Week on Aug. 10.

Subsequent days will take the delegation to a rodeo in Fraser, the alpine slide in Winter Park, on a tour of the Denver Broncos’ stadium, a fancy reception at Columbine Country Club, and other destinations before culminating in the Aug. 18 Western Welcome Week Grand Parade, where the delegation will occupy a place of honor on a parade float.

The trip should be a thrill for Heaton, 18.

“The furthest I’ve ever traveled is Queensland (Australia), so I’ve never known much else except Bega,” Heaton said in an emailed statement.

The royal treatment is the least Littleton can do for their guests, considering how Littleton’s delegation has been treated in Australia, Cooper said.

“They treat us like kings and queens when we visit,” Cooper said. “Those of us who have gone down there have made lifelong friendships, so it’s good to get to return the favor.”

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