The City of Palmdale and the Palmdale Sister Cities Association recently welcomed a delegation of 18 representatives Poncitlán, Mexico’s Sister City Association to celebrate the 48th anniversary of the relationship between the two cities.

Led by Poncitlán Sister City Association President Juan Pablo Torres de la Torre, the visit began at Poncitlán Square with an unveiling ceremony for a plaque dedicated to the memory of Chuck and Donna Medicus, who had served on Palmdale’s Sister City Association. It was followed by a reception dinner at Lemon Leaf Café that featured presentations to the associations by the offices of Assemblyman Tom Lackey, Sen. Scott Wilk, Rep. Mike Garcia, and L.A. County Board of Supervisor Kathryn Barger, and the City of Palmdale.

Palmdale Mayor Steve Hofbauer served as the emcee for the reception and led the presentation of the City of Palmdale’s gift to the City of Poncitlán, a beautiful original watercolor of Poncitlán Square gazebo in Palmdale, which is modeled after the one in Poncitlán, Mexico. The painting was created by longtime resident and local artist Renato de Guia, a highly respected artist of the Antelope Valley who has had a lifelong love for art and drawing. Guia retired after a 20-year career in architecture and now teaches children’s art for Palmdale’s Parks and Recreation department.

Poncitlán Sister City Association President Juan Pablo Torres de la Torre presented the City with ornately crafted artwork that depicted the rich history of his region.

During the remainder of their stay, the group from Poncitlán will tour Solvang and Santa Barbara, before returning to the Antelope Valley for an “American brewery experience” at Bravery Brewery, featuring music by Mike and Mike Island Music and the Heart Polynesian dancers, and a goodbye barbecue and brunch with Palmdale’s Sister City members.

The relationship between the two cities began in 1973. At the time, the two cities shared rural similarities as Palmdale’s population was only 11,000. Today, Palmdale has grown to more than 165,000.

President Eisenhower initiated the Sister City Program in 1956. This program works to develop one-on-one community relations with cities in other countries.