Deauville became Lexington’s first Sister City in 1957. Lexington and Deauville are both recognized as centers of the thoroughbred industry in their countries, and both feel their communities derive from the Sister City relationship’s mutual benefit on cultural, economic, and educational levels.
Located on the channel coast near the port of LeHarve in the Calvados department of the Basse-Normandie region of France, Deauville is only about 100 miles from the capital city of Paris. Deauville holds a population of 8,000 through the winter; in the summer however, the population swells to over 100,000. With its beautiful beaches, horse racing, and the casino, tourists flock to this quaint town to experience truly a world of elegance and leisure.
Deauville is home to two racecourses – La Touques and Clairefontaine. Because of their status as the center of the horse industry in France, Deauville was one of the host cities during the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy. The three most important races held in Deauville each year are: Le Maurice de Gheest, Le Jacques le Marois, and Le Morny. In recent years, Le Prix d’Astarte and Le Prix Romanet have gained more status in the racing world. Deauville is also Sister Cities with County Kildare, Ireland – also a Sister City to Lexington – creating a triangle relationship promoting the horse industries in each country.
To further promote tourism in Deauville during the summer season, the Deauville American Film Festival was created in 1975. The festival has provided an opportunity for American and European stars to travel to Normandy.
Deauville is a popular location in popular culture. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”, Deauville is mentioned as a place Tom Buchanan and Daisy visit on their honeymoon. It is also the location of the screen adaptation of Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Links”. Deauville is also the birthplace of Coco Chanel’s clothing career, as it was in her second shop located in Deauville where she took the step from hat making to clothing.
Goals of Lexington-Deauville Sister Cities Relationship:
For both cities to benefit from exchanges in the following areas: youth and education; arts and culture; municipal; professional; and tourism/business.
Annual Youth & Education Programs: