Representatives from Okaloosa County, including Crestview, Niceville, Destin and Fort Walton Beach, first visited Noirmoutier in 1995. When it came time to partner, only Crestview and Noirmoutier formalized our relationship. In May 2015, Crestview and Noirmoutier renewed the agreement amid vows of continued friendship. On October 2016, 45 Noirmoutrins will journey to Crestview to mark the 20th anniversary of their' first visit and to help us observe Crestview's Centennial as well as the 60th anniversary of Sister Cities International. In September 2017, a Crestview delegation will head to Noirmoutier to mark the 20th anniversary of the formal partnership between the cities under Sister Cities International.
In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower launched a “citizen diplomacy” initiative. Two programs — People-to-People, of which several Crestview students have taken advantage, and Sister Cities International — grew from his vision. The Sister City program is sort of like an international matchmaking service, except it matches entire communities in different countries.
Before the “twinning” of the communities is finalized, both cities send delegations to visit each other. Only after each accepts the other as a Sister City is the relationship official.
What are the benefits?
What is a Sister City?
Why should I become a member?
Our Sister City partnership includes educational, economic and cultural benefits for our two communities. Exchanges have included performances in Noirmoutier by members of the Northwest Florida State College show choirs; student exchanges; college student internships; visits to Noirmoutier by Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce members; and group visits.
Since Crestview’s relationship with Noirmoutier began in 1995, hundreds of area residents have experienced new cultural horizons by visiting France or having our French friends visit us.
Membership in the Crestview Area Sister City Program opens up cultural horizons. For some members, it's an opportunity to experience French culture by plunging headlong into a home stay in Noirmoutier. For members who prefer not to travel abroad, it's a chance to learn about a new culture by welcoming guests into their homes or volunteering at Sister City events when our Noirmoutrin friends visit Okaloosa County. However you want to experience it, the rewards are plentiful!