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Visiting one of Lexington’s sister cities

The sister cities sign outside of the Bluegrass Airport

The Sister Cities welcome sign greets you when you exit Blue Grass Airport. | photo by LEXtoday

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While we celebrated America’s independence just 10 days ago, today it’s France’s turn. Commonly known as Bastille Day, the day marks the beginning of the French Revolution + celebrates the rights and freedoms of the people.

Lexington has a familial tie to this holiday. Deauville is one of Lexington’s sister cities in France. We’ve got all the details that will have you feeling the sisterly love.

What is a sister city?

Also known as twin cities or friendship cities, a sister city relationship is when two different places make an agreement to promote lasting cultural ties. The idea here is to form a fellowship that encourages trade, tourism, and even cultural exchanges + projects.

Get to know Deauville

Deauville is located near the port of LeHarve on the channel coast. While they hold a population of only ~8,000 in the winter, the city booms to 100,000+ in the summers.

Group of young adults pose outside by a horse statue.

Deauville students pose next to Horsemania horse painted by Deauville artist Jean Francois Ondet. | photo by Lexington Sister Cities

Deauville + Lexington

Turns out the two cities have a lot in common with each other. Our sisterhood began in 1957, just a year after President Dwight D. Eisenhower began the nationwide program.

Both are recognized as major influencers in the thoroughbred industry. Deauville is home to two racecourses, La Touques + Clairefontaine, and was a host city for the 2014 World Equestrian Gamesjust four years after Lexington.

The sisters share two main goals:

  • Create a meaningful + strong bond of friendship between the people and communities of both Lexington and Deauville.
  • Build upon the love of the thoroughbred + horse industry that the two already share.

Education exchange is another major part of the Lexington + Deauville relationship, including studying abroad for UK and University of Caen students. Students from Deauville recently arrived in Lexington.

Pro tip: Visit our sister city without the plane trip at Le Deauville French Bistro, located at 199 N. Limestone, for crepes, mussels + more.