Members of the Gonzales Committee on Cultural Affairs are busy preparing for a visit from Meylan, France, residents.

The visit is part of the city's twinning program with the French city.

In 1985, the Gonzales City Council agreed to establish a sister-city or twinning relationship with Meylan, a city cradled in the French Alps, a news release said.

Gonzales and Meylan have some similarities. Both cities are near capitols and major rivers, and are relatively the same size. Meylan is the home of the silicon valley of France with its population mostly composed of engineers. The Gonzales economy is derived from the many petro-chemical plants along the Mississippi River.

The program is the oldest twinning of any city in the state, committee members said in a news release.

Twinned for 30 years, Gonzales and Meylan have been credited by the U.S. State Department as doing more for good relations between France and the U.S. than policy could ever do, the release said.

The Gonzales committee and its French counterpart, the Comité de Jumelage, have exchanged students, chefs, artists, politicians, cuisine and are working on an economic exchange. Tourist groups regularly come to the area as a result of decades-old twinning.

On April 13, a delegation of 16 from Meylan is coming for another exchange. The GCCA is preparing a week-long extravaganza to showcase Gonzales and south Louisiana. The delegation will take part in activities spanning from Gonzales to New Iberia to St. Tammany Parish.