Welcome to the family
Fort Worth tips its beret to glamorous new sister city in Europe
Fort Worth has a new sister city, and she's glamorous and exotic because she's French. Nîmes, France has been welcomed to the family.
The mayor of Nîmes (pronounced NEEM), Jean-Paul Fournier, and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price signed a document declaring official sister-cityhood on February 13 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
“Fort Worth is excited to formally welcome Nîmes as our ninth sister city," Price says in a release. "We look forward to fostering business relationships and expanding cultural exchange opportunities through this partnership."
The family bond has been a few years in the making. In 2017, Fort Worth Sister Cities International sent a lucky delegation to explore the potential partnership with Nîmes. A delegation reciprocated with a visit in 2018 to Fort Worth. They both moved quickly to make the partnership official.
Instant chemistry. Secret handshake. Easier than sorority rush.
It's all part of Sister Cities' long-range plan to select new "sisters" in countries where they can build mutually beneficial relationships through education, exchanges, and commerce, they say.
Nîmes is a city of about 151,000 in the Languedoc Roussillon region of southern France. Often called "French Rome," it was settled by Romans when they were building a road between Rome and Spain during the time of the Roman Empire. Its heritage is reflected in its most famous architectural landmarks, including an arena that resembles the Colosseum.
More fun facts:
- Nîmes is known for its thriving textiles industry and denim, the fabric of blue jeans, takes its name from the city (serge de Nîmes).
- Other top industries include wine, cereal derivatives, fruits and vegetables, milk processing, meat processing, fish processing, and marine aquaculture.
- Twice a year, Nîmes hosts big bullfighting events, which attract hundreds of thousands of spectators in the streets.
- The city has a robust network of educational institutions, as well as research and innovation organizations.
"The two cities are well suited for each other because Nîmes, like Fort Worth, is experiencing significant demographic and financial growth," Sister Cities says.
As sisters, the cities will embark on annual youth and university exchanges, cultural and culinary exchanges, service club projects, economic relations, and more.
“We are already making plans to welcome our new French friends and share our finest Texas culture,” says Sister Cities Chairwoman of the Board Veronica Chavez Law in the release. “Future exchanges may focus on education, economic relations, and arts and culture to create understanding and respect of each other’s cultures.”
Fort Worth is also sister cities with Bandung, Indonesia; Budapest, Hungary; Guiyang, China; Mbabane, Eswatini; Nagaoka, Japan; Reggio Emilia, Italy; Toluca, Mexico; and Trier, Germany.
Price will lead a delegation to Nîmes from Sept. 25-Oct. 4 to sign the reciprocal agreement there, and it's a group trip. Anyone interested in going along should email firstname.lastname@example.org.