It is the mission of the Chandler, AZ - Tullamore, Ireland Sister Cities to cultivate and maintain a strong reciprocal relationship between the cities of Chandler, Arizona and Tullamore, Ireland to encourage cultural understanding, community involvement, economic development and educational exchanges.
Chandler is located in the East Valley, in the southeast part of the Greater Phoenix area. It was named for a veterinarian, Dr. A. J. Chandler, who settled in the area in 1891. The town of Chandler began in 1912, with the opening of the Hotel San Marcos in 1913. In 1920 the Town of Chandler incorporated, with Dr. Chandler as its first Mayor.
The San Marcos Resort and Spa is the oldest golf resort in Arizona, and is located in historic downtown Chandler, adjacent to Dr. A. J. Chandler Park, where many of Chandler's special events are held. In that park you'll find a statue of Frank Lloyd Wright, a business associate of Dr. Chandler's.
In the 1980s Chandler saw a shift in its economic base from agricultural to high tech companies. Intel began operations in Chandler in 1980; the Intel® Pentium® processor set of products is manufactured in Arizona. Chandler was nicknamed the Silicon Desert, as companies opted to locate here instead of Silicon Valley. In recent years, Chandler's borders have been expanded and the population has boomed -- from 30,000 in 1980 to more than 240,000 today. The economic base of Chandler has been diversified. While agriculture is still somewhat of a vital element, Chandler now enjoys a strong manufacturing and electronics sector.
The City of Chandler has worked diligently to make the downtown area a dining and entertainment destination, and their efforts are paying off as boutique shops, art spaces and eclectic cafes have steadily increased their presence. The downtown storefronts have been restored to a modern version of their original turn-of-the-century look, and the plaza has been redesigned and named after the City's founder. The Center for the Arts, new parks, restaurants and retail centers mark an exciting future for the City.
Chandler is a family-oriented city with lots of parks and family festivals and events, including events at the newly remodeled Chandler Center for the Arts and the Annual Ostrich Festival.
And the citizens of Chandler enjoy a quality of life unsurpassed in the Valley today. It certainly appears that Dr. Chandler knew what he was doing the day he dreamed of this jewel in the desert.
Located in the Midlands of Ireland, Tullamore boasts a unique geographic location. The Slieve Bloom Mountains lie to the south, while north of the town are the Arden Hills, a gravel ridge which is a product of the Ice Age. The boglands, for which this part of County Offaly is known, lie to the east and west. Beyond the boglands on the easter side lies Croghan Hill, an extinct volcano. The River Shannon flows to the southwest of the town, while the town itself is divided by the Tullamore River.
The capital town of Offaly and the powerhouse of the Country, Tullamore has a population of 250,000 serbving a 30-mile radious. Tullamore is the administrative capital of County Offaly, and is linked with the main cities through excellent road, rail and telecommunication networks.
Tullamore continues to attract a growing number of multi-international businesses, inlcuding health industries, such as Boston Scientific, Tyco Healthcare and Zaninni Ireland (packaging for the pharmaceutical industry).
In the last 20 years, Ireland has seen a dramatic transformation in business, education and economic forturnes. The Atlantic Corridor was formed to assest in prviding global and cross-border links, which will facilitate the acceleration of development in the Midlands, and for Tullamore.
With world-class heritage sites such as Clonmacnoise, Durrow and Charleville Forest, Tullamore has enough attraction within a half-hour drive to enjoy down time. Leisure and recreational facilities in and around Tullamore include Tullamore Town Park, Tullamore Leisure Centre, regional sports facilities, canal waterway, working and protected bogs, wildlife, forestry and agriculture. Famous for its Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, the Heritage Centre is a major destination for visitors in Tullamore.
Tullamore also hosts an Annual Phoenix Festival. The town of Tullamore experienced the world's first aviation disaster in 1785 when a hot air balloon crash landed during the "coming of age" celebrations for Lord Charleville. Due to a combination of the restructuring of the town, the arrival of the Grand Canal in 1798, and the success of local whiskey distilling, the town experienced unprecedented growth. The "Phoenix" was later adopted as the town's coat of arms.
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This year’s theme highlights the importance of citizen diplomacy and the innovative ways citizen diplomats achieve peace through people-to-people interaction.