PALMDALE – Palmdale resident and Olympic medalist Lashinda Demus will be honored at the city’s 50th Birthday Celebration to be held this Friday, Aug. 24 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Poncitlán Square.
“Palmdale is known as the ‘Aerospace Capital of America,’ but we’ve had our share of Olympic athletes over the years as well,” said Palmdale’s Communications Manager John Mlynar. “Lashinda is a world class athlete and a world class mother who represented Palmdale with class, style and dignity as she ran for our country in the Summer Olympics in London. We were all rooting for her and now we’d like to say ‘thank you’ to her at the city’s 50th birthday celebration.”
Demus won the silver medal in the women’s 400 meter hurdles, narrowly missing the gold medal by .07 of a second behind Natalya Antyukh of Russia.
Other Palmdale residents who participated in past Olympic games include Ryan Millar (volleyball), Marion Jones (track and field), Dietre Collins (volleyball), Gail Devers (100-meter hurdles), Jamie Dantzcher (gymnastics), Keena Rothhammer (swimming), and Robert Hughes (water polo).
The 50th Birthday Celebration will feature food, music, giveaways, videos, classic cars, confetti, dancing, presentations and the singing of “Happy Birthday.”
“We’re encouraging our residents to stop by for an evening of fun and celebration in honor of our City’s half century of incorporation,” said Palmdale’s Communications Manager John Mlynar. “It’s free to attend and all you really need to bring is a chair or blanket to sit on and enjoy the festivities.”
Gift bags containing mementos including a Palmdale history booklet and Kids Activity Book, both sponsored by Palmdale Regional Medical Center, and 50th birthday t-shirts will be given away while supplies last. Food and beverages will be available for purchase onsite.
The celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. with a meet and greet/photo opportunity with Palmdale’s first Mayor Larry Chimbole, and music performed by the Tony Capko Orchestra featuring Bernie Miesinger.
“They’ll be playing some big band standards and music from the ‘Rat Pack’ era which was popular around the time the City incorporated,” Mlynar said.
Also beginning at 5:30 will be a classic car show, and the presentation of the new video, “Palmdale: Celebrating 50 Years” which will be shown throughout the evening in the Palmdale City Council Chamber.
A special presentation will be made to the City’s founding fathers and their families at 6:30 pm. The founders, known as the “Fifty Grand Men,” were the original contributors of $100 each in order to fund the project that led to the City of Palmdale’s incorporation in 1962. In actuality, there were 56 contributors, but the name “Fifty Grand Men” was chosen because they liked how it sounded.
The celebration will continue with prizes that will be awarded to the weekly Thursday Night on the Square trivia contest winners, presentations of proclamations by local elected officials, recognition of Lashinda Demus, a Palmdale “cheer” led by the Dazzler Dance Cheer group, and culminating with the singing of “Happy Birthday,” a confetti drop and 50th anniversary cupcakes at 7:30 pm.
For more information, call 661-267-5115.
(Information via press release from the City of Palmdale.)