Binghamton's French sister city stops by for a visit

By Perry Russom

August 12, 2014 Updated Aug 12, 2014 at 9:21 PM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The city of Binghamton is getting to know a little more about their older sister city La Teste-de-Buch.

The small town in southwestern France sent a band to Binghamton to perform and experience America.

Marie-Sigrid Allant is singer in the band. She said during her time in the US, she wants to see famous monuments like the Statue of Liberty and wants to learn a different culture.

Binghamton and La Teste-de-Buch are connected through Sister Cities International.

The organization was founded in the 1950's as a way to strengthen global relationships.

"I think that it's important for citizens of both cities to exchange ideas, stories, culture," said Binghamton Mayor Rich David.

Mailys Allant said she's looking forward to the mix of the two cultures by experiencing both the French and American lifestyles.

The musical group arrived on Sunday and will be staying with host families for 10 days.

"We've been welcomed in the family and we had some free time to get to know the families," said Jeremy Rieussec.

"To be able to connect with a culture of French city, it really means a lot," said Binghamton City Councilman Chris Papastrat.

When the two towns first became sister cities nearly 25 years ago, a sculpture of a seahorse was a gift from La Teste-de-buch. It now sits in Mayor David's Office.

"It's a symbol of the great friendship between the two towns," said Rieussec.

After spending their 10 days in Binghamton, the band will visit New York City for four days and then head back home.

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