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- Antony, France - a Sister City
Antony, France - a Sister City
About Antony, France
Antony, situated just to the south of Paris, is the Town of Lexington's "Sister City" in France.
Antony is a dynamic and bustling town of over 60,000. The town is located about 6 miles from Orly airport and offers rapid, direct train service to and from Paris on the RER.
The town offers a wide variety of cultural, educational, and sporting events throughout the year, notably:
- A large wine and cheese fair in September
- A Christmas market
- An antique fair
- An international guitar festival
- A half-marathon.
- A preserved section of the old medieval town center
- The Saint-Saturnin church features sections older than in any other church in the Paris metropolitan region
- Pleasant shops and cafes
- The nearby large and beautiful Parc des Sceaux
- Cultural events such as art exhibitions in a historic manor house and a modern music conservatory.
Lexington has a close and warm working relationship with officials in Antony and informal, friendly links between citizens of both towns further strengthen this relationship.
The Lexington-Antony Sister City Association
The Lexington-Antony Sister City Association is dedicated to promoting goodwill, friendship, educational, civic, and cultural exchange between the people of Lexington and Antony, France. This group is separate from but strongly supports the long-standing student-exchange program between language departments in the public schools of Lexington and Antony.
Specifically, the Lexington-Antony Sister City Association's objectives are to:
- Help promote and support student and teacher contacts and exchanges
- Promote and support municipal exchanges and best practice sharing
- Create and nurture a communications channel between citizens of both of our towns
- Encourage and facilitate cultural exchanges
- Facilitate tourism cooperation and development.
Lexington's Historical Link to France
Lexington's relationship with France can be dated at least as far back as Lafayette's visit to the town in 1824 when he visited Lexington Green on his farewell tour and was welcomed by a large welcoming crowd of citizens and Town officials and a 45-foot banner hung across the road in East Lexington to welcome him. As described in Charles Hudson's 1913 history of the Lexington:
On the 2nd of September 1824, Lafayette honored Lexington with his presence. Attended by his voluntary suite, he left Boston for our peaceful village. At the line of the town he was received by a troop of horse and a cavalcade of citizens, who escorted him to the Common. Here was a beautiful arch of evergreen and flowers, with a motto: 'Welcome, Friend of America, to the Birthplace of American Liberty'.
In the 1980s & 90s
In more recent times, the relationship between France and Lexington has been enhanced through Lexington-Antony academic and cultural and exchange and personal contacts.
The relationship first began over twenty years ago with an exchange of art of various Lexington and Antony artists. Shortly thereafter the two towns began an exchange program with the Middle Schools. Currently, the exchange program between Lexington High School and the Lycée Descartes involves students, teachers, and parents.
The relationship between the towns was strengthened in 1995 with the support of then Selectman Dan Fenn, with informal two-way exchanges initiated between citizens in 1996.
In 1999, at the invitation of Patrick Devedjian, at that time Mayor of Antony, 67 Lexington citizens, officials, and Minute Men traveled to France for a week of events, including the dedication of the Place de Lexington in Antony. The following year a delegation of officials and citizens from Antony visited Lexington for a week of celebrations around the events of Patriot's Day.
In 2009 / 2010
Ten years later, under the leadership of the Tourism Committee, in September 2009, a delegation of Lexington citizens and Minute Men, accompanied by Town Manager Carl Valente, traveled to Antony for a formal visit.
During the visit, they celebrated the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the Place de Lexington with Patrick Devedjian, now a government minister, along with Mayor Jean-Yves Sénant, Assistant Mayors, the U.S. Embassy's Cultural Attaché, and Antony's Comité de Jumelage (Sister City Committee).
While in Antony they participated in Antony's annual Wine and Cheese Fair, during which Shirley Frawley was inducted as a well-known cheese society as the representative of Lexington. The Minute Men were welcomed as celebrities during the Fair.
The Lexington group visited sites in Paris (including the Assemblée Nationale, where they were welcomed by Hauts de Seine Parliamentary Deputy George Siffredi), and participated in a moving ceremony at Normandie.
In April 2010, the Mayor Sénant of Antony and his wife Claire accompanied a delegation of 22 including Assistant Mayors and other officials and members of their Comité de Jumelage, to Lexington. The delegation:
- Celebrated Patriot's Day and marched in the parade
- Participated in various receptions
- Took the Liberty Ride
- Enjoyed visits to various local and regional sites.
During this visit, the Town officially announced the development of the planned Antony Park in Lexington in the Tower Park area.
In 2013, a design for Antony Park was presented, and in 2019, the final work was completed.
Antony Park is located at the east end of Tower Park, on Massachusetts Avenue just west of Marrett Road. It is designed as a French formal garden and planned as a public meeting place and a venue to concerts and other activities
Plans for the Future
The Lexington-Antony Sister City Association is working on a number of projects to further enhance our relationship, including:
- French-themed activities and events in Lexington
- An informal visit to Antony by Lexington residents during Antony's Wine and Cheese Fair
- A future visit of an Antony delegation to Lexington
Informal visits between Antony and Lexington residents are encouraged. If you wish to travel to Antony, would like more information or to be informed of events please email us.