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Barbosa w/Flag & Friends

Sonia Barbosa (left), and friends hold up the Avilés flag in front of the Aviles City Hall. She will present the flag to the City of St. Augustine in a flag exchange ceremony on August 26.

City to host flag exchange ceremony with sister city

A flag exchange ceremony will be held by the City of St. Augustine on Friday, August 26 when city officials meet with a representative of the City of Avilés to exchange city flags. The ceremony, which starts at 10:00am, is open to the public and will be held in the reception room, first floor of City Hall, 75 King St.

Ms. Sonia Barbosa of Aviles will present that city’s flag to Mayor Nancy Shaver and members of the City Commission, and in exchange, she will return to Avilés with a flag of the City of St. Augustine.

Ms. Barbosa was given the flag by Aviles City Council Member Manuel Ángel Campa, who heads that city’s economic development and promotional activities. 

A transit driver by profession, Ms. Barbosa’a avocation keeps her on the road, literally. Riding her BMW motorcycle, named “Trailera,” Ms. Barbosa travels some of Europe’s most picturesque county roads as a travel writer for El Comercio, a prominent newspaper in Asturius, and for an official newsletter for BMW in Spain. Her writings and photographs are also used by the Asturian government in tourist promotions as well.

For her trip to St. Augustine, Ms. Barbosa had her motorcycle shipped to New York City where she will begin her trip south on August 22. Her visit was planned to coincide with the 451st anniversary of  the day Pedro Menendez de Avilés sighted land, August 28, 1565. And because that is the Feast Day of Saint Augustine, the patron saint of Menendez’s home town of Avilés, Spain, he decided that was an appropriate name for the new city he founded just eleven days later.

St. Augustine has maintained a Sister City relationship with Avilés since the 1920s which has resulted in the exchange of numerous official gifts and cultural programs.