Tarpon Springs Mayor Chris Alahouzos will travel to Greece to formalize new Sister Cities agreements with the cities of Chania, Hydra and Ilida to recognize the friendship between Tarpon Springs and the Greek cities.

The trip is designed to further the commitment of Tarpon Springs to the preservation of Greek culture and heritage.

Alahouzos will be part of “twinning” ceremonies on Sept. 20 and 21 in Chania with Mayor Panagiotis Simandirakis; Sept. 25 and 26 in Hydra with Mayor George Koukoudakis; and Ilida with Mayor Giannis Lymperis on Sept. 27 and 29.

Chania is the home of the United States Naval Base in Souda Bay. Many sponge divers in Tarpon Springs were recruited from the city of Hydra, and Ilida is home of the first Olympics.

The trip, funded by Sister Cities International, is designed to develop cooperation for the exchange of cultural, educational and economic development programs.

Tarpon Springs is home to many people of Greek heritage, and Alahouzos was excited to establish the new Sister City relationships. He said the Sister Cities relationships will help Tarpon Springs recognize its Greek culture while exchanging ideas for education and economic development.