After attending services at the Grace Lutheran Church contemporary service at 9 am, our Estonian guests visited the traditional sanctuary just before the 10:30 am service. Sunday, July 3, 2016 DA CE #estonia
After singing the national anthem between services at Grace Lutheran Church, the next stop for our Estonian dancers is a walking tour of Westminster on their way to the Paide Westminster sign located at the railroad tracks and Main Street in the hearty of historic downtown Westminster. Sun. July 3, 2016 DA CE #estonia
For the past week, June 27 – July 5, 2016, Westminster has hosted two groups of Estonian folk dancers, "Südameke" and "Keerutajad" from Westminster's sister city Paide, thanks, in part, to the hard work of CSM Thomas B. Beyard of the Md National Guard, Audrey Cimino and Jaclyn Mathias-Jones of the Community Foundation of Carroll Co., Aime and Jeff Pringle, and Mari Thalman among many others. Not to be overlooked are members of the Maryland National Guard, Sgt. Matthews Akiba, and Spc. Ronald Maddox for great help with logistics
The visitors include 26 young performers and 10 adults for a total of 36. Among the group are friends of mine, Indrek Kivimäe, a former mayor of Paide, and his wife Tiina, who directs the Paide Girls Choir. Both have visited Westminster before. Most notably Indrek visited us in June 2004 and made a presentation at the Md. Municipal League Convention.
In fact Indrek and Tiina helped host my trip to Estonia in Sept. 2004 when I served as the mayor of Westminster and visited Estonia as part of a diplomatic mission for the Md. National Guard and the U.S. State Department.