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Sister City Program

Sister City 2020 Trip

In July, 2020, a Palmer delegation will be traveling to Saroma, Japan, to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of our Sister City Relationship. Please feel free to contact the City Clerk's Office at 761-1301 with any questions.

Sister City Program

Between the Sister Cities of Saroma, Japan, and Palmer, Alaska


In August of 1977, Edward Holmes of Palmer, Alaska, made contact with Mutsuhiro Ishiguro of Saroma, Japan via ham radio. Frequent ham radio communications eventually led Ed to visit Saroma in April of 1980. In May of 1980, it was decided that Palmer and Saroma would become Sister Cities. In October of the same year, a delegation from Saroma visited Palmer and signed the Sister City Charter.

Over the years, there have been many visits between the cities. These have included short and long-term student exchanges, work-study exchanges, language teacher exchanges, official delegations, and simply friends visiting friends. The friendship that Ed and Mutsuhiro helped start back in 1980 continues today. It is a friendship that has touched and even transformed many lives. Their legacy will live on as future generations experience the friendship of our two cities.


June – Palmer Middle School and High School students travel to Saroma for a cultural exchange.

July -  Palmer Pride hosts the Sister City Noodle Chute, a fun event for the whole family! 

September - Student exchange arrival from Saroma.  Japanese students and chaperones will visit the Palmer area for two weeks, staying with local host families and learning about life in the Mat-Su Valley. There will be many opportunities to interact and get to know our visiting friends.

December - During Colony Christmas the Palmer Saroma Kai does a Christmas Origami Cranes folding event. Always held on Colony Christmas Saturday at the Palmer Library from 12 p.m. - 3 p.m. Paper cranes are an international symbol of peace and hope and remind us of the Sister City relationship. Enjoy family fun for all ages while making a unique and beautiful origami Christmas crane ornment for your holiday celebration.

Sister City Newsletter

Sister City News - Winter 2019
Sister City News - Summer 2019
Sister City News - Winter 2018
Sister City News - Winter 2017
Sister City News - Spring 2017
Sister City News - Winter 2016
Sister City News - Spring 2016
Sister City News - Winter 2015
Sister City News - Spring 2015
Sister City News - Spring 2014

More Information

To get more involved or volunteer, see the Palmer Saroma Kai Facebook page at 

More information about the City of Saroma is available on Wikipedia at:,_Hokkaido

International Sister Cities Organization:

The Cities of Palmer and Saroma share exchanges on many levels; as Sister cities, between several schools in each city as Sister Schools, and even a Sister Church. The  Church of a Thousand Logs in Palmer also hosts exchanges with the Sister Church in Saroma.